Thursday, October 31, 2019

Tomorrow's veg boxes

Tomorrow we are providing 49 veg boxes to local people, so we have done the bulk of the harvesting today, with a little bit to do in the morning, plus the fresh artisan bread and local organic milk to go in.
A wheelbarrow full of various cabbages from our market garden.

Rex harvesting leeks, and Ben black Tuscan kale behind, in the market garden.

Bruno hunting for swedes in one of the outer fields.
Our veg boxes this week contain a selection from leeks, onions, potatoes, rocoto chillies, swedes, cucumber, big tomatoes, gem squash (a South African variety - small round and dark green), cabbages, and radishes (both red and black). All grown here on the community farm without the use of chemicals.

Shaun, Noelle, and Divya

Three of our WWOOF volunteers left the farm this morning to head either home or to their next farm - many thanks to Divya from London, Shaun from Essex, and Noelle from Colorado for all your help during your time with us, and good luck for your futures.
Divya harvesting the first leeks of the season from our market garden.

Shaun and Noelle in the farmhouse kitchen.


Leona, from Germany, came to help us for two weeks, and left last Saturday to return home - many thanks Leona for your help whilst at the farm, and good luck for your future.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Four Acres restored

Four Acres used to be our best hay meadow until it was ploughed up and used for crops, but this year we have restored it as a hay meadow. This involved rotovating and rolling it in the spring to make it level, then allowing the native seed-bank to do its own work over the summer, and this week it has been "topped" to leave a short sward of grass and wildflower species, which will hopefully mean it is ready to be cut as hay or fodder next summer.


We would all like to thank Marta, from Madrid, for her help on the farm during her recent stay as a WWOOF volunteer, and wish her all the best on her next farm.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rebuild Southwest

We have just had a team from Rebuild Southwest working at the farm for two weeks, which has massively advanced three of our projects for this winter:-
1 - building a new safer entrance into the farm;
2 - creating a new farm office away from the farmhouse; and
3 - creating new and improved volunteer accommodation in the farmhouse itself.
Working on the new safer farm entrance.
Spreading gravel in the new parking area.
Decorating the new farm office.

Fitting double-glazed windows and electric sockets in the new farm office.

Converting the old farm office into a new volunteer dormitory.

Working in the new dormitory.
None of these projects are completed yet, but thanks to the efforts of Rebuild Southwest they are much closer to being so -

Harvesting squash

On Tuesday 15th October we harvested this year's squash patch, which amounted to 435kg of squash (exactly twice our 2018 yield, but still only one third of our massive 2017 yield). Most of the squash are Crown Prince and Jack-be-Little, with a few Gem, Turk's Turban, Green Hokkaido and a smattering of other varieties thrown in. These will be on sale in our farm shop and at markets priced at £2 per kg by the end of next week. Our squash are all good for eating, chosen for flavour rather than ease of carving - they can be carved of course but please eat the flesh too!
Our squash patch ready for harvesting.
Weighing wheelbarrows of squash into the polytunnel.

Part of the squash harvesting arranged in the polytunnel for curing and storage.
Thank you to Noelle and Shaun for harvesting all the squash.


We have also hosted Virginia from Italy for six weeks, which was a real pleasure - thank you Virginia for all your help!
Virginia serving in the farm shop.


We don't get so many South American wwoofers, but we have just hosted Roberto from Argentina for one month, on his tour of organic farms in the British Isles - thank you Roberto for your help!
Roberto planting winter salads in the Mothership.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Meadow wildflower survey

On July 12th a volunteer came to survey our main three wildlfower meadows as part of our involvement with the Penwith Landscape Partnership, and he recorded the following 47 species:-
common bent grass (Agrostis capillaris)
creeping bent grass (Agrostis stoloifera)
sweet vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum)
lesser burdock (Arctium minus)
onion couch grass (Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum)
soft brome grass (Bromus hordaceus)
hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
common knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
common mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium fontanum subsp. vulgare)
creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense)
spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
smooth hawk's-beard (Crepis capillaris)
crested dog's tail grass (Cynosurus cristatus)
cock's-foot grass (Dactylis glomerata)
wild carrot (Daucus carota)
foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
red fescue grass (Festuca rubra agg.)
cleavers (Galium aparine)
cut-leaved crane's-bill (Geranium dissectum)
hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
Yorkshire fog grass (Holcus lanatus)
cat's ear (Hypochoeris radicata)
toad rush (Juncus bufonius)
soft rush (Juncus effusus)
perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne)
large bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus)
ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)
creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
blackberry (Rubus fruticosa agg.)
curled dock (Rumex crispus)
broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
fiddle dock (Rumex pulcher subsp. pulcher)
procumbent pearlwort (Sagina procumbens)
elder (Sambucus nigra)
common ragwort (Senecio jacobea)
red campion (silene dioica)
prickly sow-thistle (Sonchus asper)
smooth sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
corn spurrey (Spergula arvensis)
common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.)
lesser trefoil (Trifolium dubium)
white clover (Trifolium repens)
gorse (Ulex europeus)
pennywort (Umbilicus rupestris)
common nettle (Urtica dioica)
common vetch (Vicia sativa)

Friday, October 4, 2019

Alex, Veronica, Luka, Ilaria and Emelie

More WWOOF volunteers have been and gone in recent weeks - Alex from France, Veronica from the USA, Luka from Germany, Ilaria from Italy, and Emelie from France - many thanks to all!
Alex on the tractor loading hay.
Veronica (back right) packing veg for veg boxes.

Virginia (who hasn't left yet!) sowing radishes with Emilie, Ilaria with Alex planting coriander.

Harvest celebration photos

Bee embroidery workshop in the packing shed pop-up cafe area, with Vicky.

Designing an insect garden in the farmyard, with Kate.

A tour of the polytunnels and hardening-off area of the market garden, with Ian.

Singing workshop in the farmyard, near the campfire, with Kelsey.

Crafts and games in the farmyard.

Embroidered bees created at Vicky's workshop.

Visiting the pollinator garden and bee-ed shed, with Ian.

Carving and selling handmade spoons outside the farm shop.

Meeting and feeding the laying hens.