Thursday, February 28, 2019
St Mary's C of E Primary visited the farm on Tuesday 28th January. The year 2 class were extremely enthusiastic and well behaved and enjoyed a variety of activities including visiting our hens to collect eggs, harvesting, weighing and bagging some of our produce to take back to school with them, building a super bug hotel and sowing a patch of wild flowers around our well to help the bees.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Of our three chicken sheds, shed 1 was the only one that hadn't had a new floor since the community farm began in 2010. The old floor was made of bits of wood found in the outbuildings when we took on the lease, and was a few years past its best. So today we treated our oldest birds to a lovely new plywood floor.
Many thanks to Adrien and Andy who did nearly everything between them in less than one day.
|The old floor taken out.|
|Adrien fitting new support struts.|
|Adrien and Andy fitting the new floor panels.|
|All done and the chickens allowed back in.|
As the climate changes and the weather gets less predictable and more freakish, here's some photos comparing this February to last year.
|Our polytunnels bathed in a February heatwave, 27/2/2019.|
|View to the coast on the walk to work this morning.|
|Our polytunnels on 28th February last year.|
|Almost the same view on 28th February 2018.|
Sunday, February 24, 2019
The tall Cornish hedge by the back door of our packing shed has been slowly bulging at the base for years, pushing further and further across the doorway, scraping the skin off our knuckles when going in and out with wheelbarrows of veg.
Before the hedge fell down of its own accord (which could have hurt one of our team of volunteers), we took it down, and built it back up again.
|The bulging hedge encroaching across the doorway, threatening to collapse.|
|All the stones from the hedge laid out ready for rebuilding.|
|The rebuilt section.|
|No bulge, and a clear safe run through to the door.|
In 2015 we started using degradable plastic bags to pack our leaves (salad, herbs, chard, kale etc..) instead of standard plastic. These break down over time so as not to litter the environment, but are still manufactured from oil, and are not recyclable (unlike the standard plastic bags that they replaced). We wanted to use compostable bags, but none were available at the time. Technology has now caught up with demand, and we are pleased to have found some compostable bags ideally suited to our use. These are made from potato starch and "other biologically sourced polymers" such as wood pulp and sugar-cane waste. They will compost in three to six months in a home compost heap (quicker than that in a hot composting system). Our leaves are now being sold in these bags. They are substantially more expensive than the degradable bags that they replaced (which were substantially more expensive than standard plastic), so we have had to increase the cost of our leaves by 10p per bag in the farm shop.
The bags can still be re-used before composting, but they can't be recycled. The only other packaging that we use for our own veg is brown paper bags. We support the "Plastic-Free Penzance" and "Plastic-Free St. Just" movements, and you can find out more about them on their facebook sites.
|Information in our farm shop.|
|Our new compostable bags in action on our farm shop shelves.|
Our farm shop (which is open 362 days of the year from 11am till 6pm, and run almost entirely by volunteers) has a new range of seeds for sale. These are from the Seed Co-Operative, a community owned organic seed company based in East Anglia, an organisation with a lot in common with Bosavern Community Farm and whom we are pleased to support. We have used their seeds on the farm before and found them to be of good quality and good value, plus they are organic and open-pollinated (no hybrids). We have 30 types of seed for sale including lettuce, peas, beans (runner, broad, and climbing), phacellia green manure, coriander, basil, parsley, parsnips, cabbages, carrots, leeks, pumpkins, courgettes, tomatoes, beetroot, kale, chard, radish etc...
Friday, February 8, 2019
Our packing shed, which used to be the cow shed when it was a dairy then beef farm, is a huge space primarily used for storing miscellaneous items. But last weekend we sorted it out and created a much more useable space, with a larger packing and collection area, and a new seating area for use by visitors and volunteers.
A huge improvement all round - many thanks to everyone who helped with this winter project.
|The old veg box packing and collection area.|
|The area that has become the new veg box packing and collection area.|
|Robert levelling the floor at the back of the shed, before putting tables and shelves for veg boxes in place.|
|Adrien and Robert dismantling the shelves.|
|Adrien admiring the new veg box packing and collection area.|
|Andy and Anne packing veg boxes in the new big area yesterday.|
|The new multi-use seating area where the packing area used to be.|
|Spring greens, ready to pack into last week's veg boxes.|
|Last Friday's veg £10 veg box - cauliflower, leeks, swede, beetroot, lettuce, potatoes, mixed herbs, Chinese leaves, chard, and kale.|
|Picking French breakfast radish early on a Friday morning.|
Every Thursday we spend all day picking and packing veg for our veg boxes and restaurant orders, both of which go out on a Friday morning. We are currently blessed with a wonderful team of local volunteers who come to help us harvest, whether rain or shine. Many many thanks to Anne, Ben, Ian, Jenny, Linda, Margaret and Sue. If anybody else would like to join the team then please contact us on 01736 788454, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Margaret, Anne, Jenny and Ben, preparing leeks in the packing shed.|
|Linda and Ian in the fruit cage, which they have overhauled this winter.|
|Sue picking mooli in one of the polytunnels.|
|Sleet and rain lashing the farmyard on the Thursday before last, when we all went out and got wet picking veg - a huge thank you to our volunteers for this one!|
Robert and Ole, two friends from Germany, have headed to London before moving north to Scotland for their next wwoofing adventure, having stayed on our farm for six weeks (they arrived between Christmas and New Year). We'd like to wish them all the best, and thank them for all their work and cameraderie whilst with us.
|Ole digging up Jerusalem artichokes in the market garden.|
|Robert helping to re-arrange our packing shed.|