Wednesday, January 30, 2019

This week's veg boxes

Picking chard in the rain on Tuesday - this is what we'll be doing tomorrow again...
This Friday's veg boxes will hopefully contain a selection of the following (weather and harvest permitting) - Ambo potatoes, cauliflower, spring greens, chard, kale, Chinese cabbage, French breakfast radishes, lettuce, bunched beetroot, swede, and mixed herbs.

Clara and Noemie

Two of our French wwoof volunteers, who have been with us through January, are heading on to pastures new tomorrow, so we'd like to thank them for all their hard work and chocolate mousse, and wish them the best of fortune in their onward travels.
Clara weighing leeks in the farm shop on her last day.

Noemie sowing lettuce seeds into trays in the propagation tunnel earlier this week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This week's veg boxes

In this Friday's veg boxes we plan to have the following:-

£6 box - jerusalem artichokes, Orla potatoes, chard, oriental greens, and leeks.

£10 box - all the above, plus spring greens, a lettuce, radishes, and parsnips.

Lettuce packed for veg boxes (we'll pick fresh on Friday morning).
We have optional extras of our own free-range eggs, Treen organic milk, and Vicky's organic bread. You can collect your box from the farm, the North Inn in Pendeen, Cafe Art in St. Ives, the Redwing Gallery in Penzance, or have it delivered to your door for £1 extra.


Many thanks to Marie, from Germany, who came to wwoof with us for two weeks, leaving the community farm last Sunday to visit friends. You can see her digging raised beds in the photos posted previously.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mooli / daikon pickle recipe

Quick takuan pickle recipe
This has been copied straight from an article entitled “Marvellous mooli, delicious daikon” in “The Organic Grower” magazine of winter 2018 (issue 45). We’ve not tried it yet but will do this week…*


500g daikon radish
1 tablespoon salt
100g sugar
100ml water
100ml rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sake (optional)


Peel and slice the daikon into 5mm thick pieces.
Sprinkle with salt and leave for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, mix the sugar, water, vinegar and sake in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Stir till the sugar dissolves then remove from the heat.
Rinse the sliced daikon and drain well.
Put the daikon in a jar then add the liquid mixture and screw up the lid.
Leave the pickle for 2 days to develop its full flavour (if you can wait that long).

*I can report that this is very good, but if I was to make it again I would use more vinegar and less sugar (but this is a presonal preference).

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sowing seeds

A new year, and a new growing season beckons. We don't get much of a winter break here at the end of Cornwall! So on the first Saturday of January we powered up the hot bed and sowed our sweet pepper, chilli pepper, and aubergines crops. This year we dug out the heating cable, cleaned it off (which involved scrubbing off encrustations of sand using sandpaper), and relaid it, which took a few hours, but the bed is working better than for the past couple of seasons, so it must have paid off.
Seed trays in the hot bed, inside clear plastic bags to deter mice and retain moisture.
We've also sown a lot of seeds which will germinate in the polytunnel without needing additional heat - mange-tout and sugar snap peas, various salads, spring greens, herb fennel, headed lettuces, pak choi and Chinese cabbage.
Sowing seeds in the propagation tunnel - Noemie, Ole, Adrien and Ben.

New raised beds

Last spring we dug seven permanent raised beds in the market garden, and such was the quality and value of the crops they produced (amazing black Tuscan kale, excellent broad beans, some big pumpkins, but disastrous onion transplants which dried out due to the lowered water table - a lesson learnt) that we have just finished creating another nine, which is all that we can fit into the space available. With a good group of both local and WWOOF volunteers this took us one week exactly, using all our spare time.
Number 6 under way, with Marie, Ailsa, Ole and Robert.

Marie, Sue, Ben, Ole and Robert.

Digging the ninth and final bed - Clara, Adrien and Ole.

Lots of planting to be done this spring!
We emptied one of our own compost bays into the beds (buried between layers of soil), as well as a pile of horse manure from a nearby field. Now we have to produce the plants to go into them - cut and come again salad leaves, globe artichokes (sown today), black Tuscan kale and other kales, spring greens, summer cabbages, broad beans, headed lettuces, possibly early courgettes.....

Many thanks as always to our volunteers who dug on most days of a week to get this done - many of them appear in the photos above, but some don't - big thanks to all.

Friday, January 11, 2019

veg boxes 11th January 2019

Our second batch of veg boxes of the new year....
Today was mooli day (or daikon day if you prefer the Japanese name to the Hindi), with every veg box - except those specifying no radishes - getting half a kilo of this delicious Asian root veg, plus a recipe in their email newsletter to give one idea of what to do with it.

Small veg box (£6) - mooli, Ambo potatoes, a lettuce, leeks, komatsuna greens (Chinese spinach), and sprigs of Vietnamese coriander.

Standard veg box (£10) - as above with added rainbow chard, beetroot, purple-top turnips, and a cabbage.

All grown by us on the community farm except the potatoes, which are certified organic from nearby St. Hilary.