Thursday, December 17, 2020

Joel and Yasmin

Joel and Yasmin returned to the farm for 6 weeks while Andy and Shelley were taking time out, and did a wonderful job both as hosts in the farmhouse and as workers out on the farm. Many many thanks go to them for their second volunteering stay with us, we hope thay have a lovely Christmas, and we look forward to working with them again should the opportunity arise.

Root barrier

Five years ago we planted three lines of willow just beyond Imogen polytunnel to protect all our tunnels from any easterly winds - we farm in a very windy place, but the easterlies are the most destructive and annoying. The willows are all now taller than the tunnel, and do their job well, but have also been sucking water out of Imogen, so that the final three lines of plants really struggle to survive. When I scraped away the top centimetre of compost in those lines it was all a web of willow roots - so our wwoofer Joel, who is a forestry professional, recommended that we dig in a root barrier between the trees and tunnel.

Step 1 - brambles cleared, and nearest line of willow coppiced (whips planted around the chicken field, brash left around the other willow).

Step 2 - 60cm deep trench dug, all roots cut through and sections removed, and 25m of root barrier ready to lay in and backfill.

Many thanks to everyone who helped coppice the willows or dig the trench - Joel, Yasmin, Nick, Rob, Ellen, Sarah, Polly, Matt etc...

Now we will see if the garlic crop planted in Imogen thrives this winter and spring.

Seeds in the farm shop

We have just received a new stock of seed packets from the Seed Cooperative, which are now for sale in the Farm Shop. The seeds are all open-pollinated and organic, and make ideal stocking fillers or Christmas presents.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020



Last week's rainbow over the farm, as seen from our shop doorway.

Woodland weeding every Sunday.

As part of the Penwith Tree Planters group volunteers have been weeding the trees in the community woodland every Sunday afternoon.

Friday, December 11, 2020

New farmhouse guttering

Four years after the old iron guttering fell off the farmhouse front and side, we have managed to save enough money and find the time to arrange a local builder to replace it....and tomorrow he'll be back to fit a waterbutt. Another little thing that makes us happy.

Ellen and Sarah

Ellen and Sarah, two German girls who have been WWOOFing around England, will be leaving tomorrow morning to head back home for Christmas, having helped us on the farm for 12 days. Many thanks to them and we hope they have a lovely Christmas with their families.

Planting new willow whips around the chicken field on Tuesday morning.

Today's veg boxes

Today's 93 veg boxes contained (unless requested otherwise):-

Small £7 box = Carolus potatoes, a Chinese cabbage, purple-top turnips, beetroot, carrots, and a cauliflower.

Standard £11 box = all the above, plus dried lemon verbena for herbal tea, chard, kale, and black winter radishes.

Socially-distanced packing - with Matt, Nick, Nikki, Sarah and Ellen.

Purple-topped turnips picked for boxes.

Dawn over the polytunnels this morning, as we went to finish the picking.

The first 50 of over 90 Chinese cabbages picked from the Sausage.
We're already planning the Christmas boxes on 23rd December - sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, seasonal herbs.....yum!

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped harvest, pack and deliver veg boxes this week - Chris, Polly, Ellen, Sarah, Nick, Nikki, Matt, Ben, Yasmin, Joel and Ailsa.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Some of the things we'll miss this Christmas...

Yuletide Fair in St. Just sports hall...

Pendeen Silver Band playing carols at the farm...

Christmas Feast for volunteers in the packing shed...

Packing Christmas hampers...

St. Just Christmas market on Festive Friday, along with the walking nativity and Christmas lights turn on...

Christmas tree festival in the Miners' Chapel...

Sharing Christmas dinner with a group of international volunteers...

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Festive opening

Our farm shop will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Sunday 27th, and Monday 28th, reopening at 10am on Tuesday 29th December. We will then close again for another three days over the New Year period (1st, 2nd and 3rd January), reopening on Monday 4th at 10am. 

Daily shop times are 10am till 5pm Monday to Saturday, 10am till 2pm Sundays.

We will be offering plenty of seasonal veg, including sprout stalks and parsnips, as well as gifts and stocking fillers (most of them edible!).

Our veg boxes will be delivered on Wednesday 23rd and 30th December, rather than the two Fridays, returning to normal on Friday 8th January.

There will be no Christmas Hampers on offer this year, but anything in our shop is available to add to your veg box, please let us know in good time.


Phoebe, from Dartmoor, came and WWOOFed on the farm for six weeks, leaving last Friday to head home for Christmas. We all miss you Phoebe and hope you'll come back soon! Have a great Christmas!!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Tomorrow's veg boxes

Many thanks to Polly for this lovely new artwork on our Community Noticeboard in the packing shed.

Tomorrow's not-for-profit veg boxes will contain:-

small £7 box = Carolus potatoes, local organic carrots, local organic leeks, mixed fresh herbs, a rocoto chilli, kale leaves, and beetroot.

standard £11 box = Carolus potatoes, local organic carrots, local organic leeks, a rocoto chilli, kale leaves, beetroot, a portion of squash, mixed salad leaves, komatsuna leaves (a.k.a. Chinese spinach), and rainbow chard.

Yasmin bagging mixed fresh herbs in the packing shed.
This week we'd especially like to thank all our volunteers who helped to harvest and pack tomorrow's 97 veg boxes, as it was a really horrible wet and cold day to spend outside picking veg or collecting eggs, so lots of thanks to Yasmin, Joel, Phoebe, Sarah, Ellen, Ben, Ailsa, Caroline, Nick and Matt.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Scenic delivery round

We rely on local volunteers to deliver the veg boxes all over Penwith every Friday, but Joe, who normally covers Penzance, had to work last Friday, so Chris and I split the round between us. I drove up the coast to St. Ives, dropped at Cafe Art community hub in the centre of town, then made all the deliveries back along the coast road to St Just (St. Ives, Treen, Pendeen, Botallack and St. Just). Chris, who is the main volunteer when it comes to deliveries, putting in at least 7 hours every Friday, did all the rest (Tremmithick Cross, Ludgvan, Gulval, Penzance, Drift, Sancreed, Nrwlyn, Mousehole, St. Buryan, Sennen, Cot Valley etc...). We are very lucky to live, work, and deliver veg boxes in such a beautiful area, as these photos taken on my delivery round testify.

Clara and Yasmin

Clara and Yasmin, from London, have also volunteered on the farm for one month, and left this morning to return home for December. Many thanks Clara and Yasmin for all your help on the farm, and have a great Christmas!

Clara (left) and Yasmin (right) packing turnips into Friday's veg boxes.


Sonya, from Buckinghamshire, left us on Saturday morning having volunteered on the farm for one month. Many thanks Sonya for all your help, and we all hope you have a good Christmas!

Sonya picking rocket for salad in the standard veg boxes last Friday morning.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Tomorrow's veg boxes

To "celebrate" black Friday all tomorrow's veg boxes will have half a kilo of black winter radish in them...

Packing tomorrow's veg boxes

In the small boxes - a cauliflower, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and spring greens.

In the standard boxs - all the above, plus salad leaves, mixed herbs, and onions.

Art on the farm

Some of our volunteers gave themselves an farm-based art project, and here are some of the results (including a bulb fennel carved out of soap!).

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Veg boxes Friday 20th November

Another week, another 100 veg boxes delivered throughout Penwith....

£7 veg box = leeks, potatoes, kale, spring greens, a squash portion, and beetroot.

£11 veg box = leeks, potatoes, kale, a squash portion, beetroot, chard, pak choi (see above photo), ring of fire chillies, and salad leaves.

Please email us on for more information or to request a joining form.

With many thanks to all our volunteers who helped to pick, pack, organise, and deliver the boxes this week - and to all the others who have gone before to sow, plant, weed, compost etc... over the past decade!

Planting garlic

On Saturday 14th November we planted four beds of garlic in our polytunnels, where they will grow all winter and spring, to be harvested next June. 2020's garlic harvest was the best we've ever achieved, at almost 1000 big bulbs, and we're hoping to replicate that in 2021. We also planted a lot of elephant garlic - a closer relative of the leek than garlic - outside to overwinter and harvest on the same timescale. All the elephant garlic is from our own saved cloves, which we have been propagating and growing for the past decade.

Sonya and Phoebe planting the first of four garlic beds in Imogen polytunnel.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Leek croustade recipe


Leek croustade


Wash, trim and chop 3 to 6 leeks. Soften them in

a saucepan with butter or oil.


Stir in a tablespoon or two of flour and heat for a

few minutes.


Pour in some milk or a mixture of milk and stock,

stirring continuously.


Make breadcrumbs out of 2 slices of wholemeal

bread. Add a cup of chopped nuts, a handful of

oats and any sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

sesame seeds that you have. Add mixed herbs

and rub in about 100g margarine or butter.


Press the breadcrumb mix into the base of an

ovenproof dish. Bake in a hot oven for 10 -15



Add the leek mixture and sprinkle grated cheese

on the top. Bake in the oven until the top is

golden brown and bubbling.


Serve with green salad and potatoes.


Friday, November 13, 2020

Recent improvements on the farm


Our new portacabin kitchen-cum-classroom has arrived and been sited in Home Field, as part of the Growth and Empowerment Project.

We've bought a second van to make delivering so many veg boxes a bit easier.

Simon Matthews donated us a set of shelving which we've erected in the packing shed (replacing some tables balanced on top of each other).

We've installed hot and cold running water both inside and outside the egg-packing room, so that shop customers (and staff/volunteers/visitors) can wash their hands in more comfort.

Today's veg boxes

Today we delivered (or had collected from the farm) almost 100 veg boxes, all of it grown on the community farm except the cauliflowers (local and organic), and now in people's homes throughout Penwith.

Packing 97 veg boxes in the packing shed.

Sorting and bagging potatoes, with Phoebe, Clara, Sonya and Yasmin.

Mel and Shaun picking the season's first komatsuna (Chinese spinach) in the Sausage.

Today's veg boxes contained -

£7 box = Cara potatoes, onions, kale, a cauliflower, mixed herbs (parsley, rosemary and sage), purple-top turnips, and 2 ring-of-fire chillies.

£11 box = Cara potatoes, onions, kale, a cauliflower, 2 ring-of-fire chillies, peppers, spring greens, komatsuna, purple-top-turnips, and beetroot.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who have harvested and packed the boxes over the past three days, and delivered them today.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Moving chicken sheds

Yesterday morning (having postponed for the previous two Saturdays due to bad weather) we moved our three chicken sheds a little bit down the slope of their field, to give them fresh pasture, and to stop their manure from building up all in one spot. We drag them with our tractor, using a special chain and yoke made out of old polytunnel pieces, with all the chickens inside, then let them all out in their new spot.

Our chickens are laying less eggs now that the weather has turned cold and daylight hours are much reduced, this is the natural rhythm of laying hens. We have about 20 boxes per day, half of which are for the farm shop, and the rest are for veg box deliveries. Please be understanding if you come to our shop and we've already sold out - there will be more on the following day.