Friday, June 4, 2021

Eyed hawk moth

 


We were very excited to find this beautiful eyed hawk moth in one of our polytunnels the other day.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

This season's first cucumbers

 

The first cucumbers of the season are slowly starting to appear in the farm shop, just a couple a day as they get going, but there will be more and more over the coming weeks. We nearly always manage to get cucumbers towards the end of May, and this for us signals the beginning of the end of the notorious Hungry Gap, when we can begin to dream of the bumper summer crops to come. These are Passandra F1 cucumbers, a lovely squat European variety, one of the few hybrids we grow.

Veg boxes 21st May

For the second week running the only produce we could source to buy in was organic potatoes, so the rest of the contents for 101 veg boxes was harvested by us from the farm over 2 days, showing that we are slowly starting to climb out of the depths of the Hungry Gap.

Our first crop of outdoor salad this year.

Friday morning's 8am salad picking team - Courtney, Gerogia, Polly, Heather and Bea - on the way to 11kg of fresh leaves.

Friday's veg boxes contained:-

Small box (£7) - potatoes, salad leaves, rainbow chard, kale, mixed herbs, and a dried chilli.

Standard box (£11) - potatoes, salad leaves, rainbow chard, kale, mixed herbs, fresh elephant garlic, purple sprouting broccoli, and a headed lettuce.

Delivering to St. Just, St. Buryan, St. Ives (community hub), Penzance, Ludgvan, Gulval, Porthcurno, Sennen, Pendeen, Hendra, Cot Valley, Lamorna, Newlyn, Sancree, Grumbla, Newbridge, Zennor, Treen, Mousehole, Paul etc....


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Bosavern Tagine

 https://www.bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk/recipes/

Follow the above link to find our new video on our website - cooking a Bosavern Tagine, and picking and packing veg for veg boxes.

Many thanks to Florence Browne for this delightful short film.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Veg boxes Friday 14th May

We find ourselves in the darkest recesses of the Hungry Gap, where even our local producers can't help us out with any veg, and the only Britich organic veg on offer from the national wholesaler that we buy from is potatoes. Thankfully last Friday we managed to pull 100 veg boxes out of the bag, all our own produce (except the potatoes), containing a selection from - fresh elephant garlic, new-season kale, mixed herbs, rainbow chard, potatoes, mange-tout, rhubarb, purple sprouting broccoli, and salad leaves.

Harvesting elephant garlic.

Tonight we made a leek, elephant garlic, and lemon risotto, which was delicious. All of the garlic can be used - bulb, leaves, stem, flower bud - with the tougher leaves being used in the stock.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Planting rainbow chard

 

Bea and Heather getting stuck in to the first bed last Friday.
We have begun to tame our permanent outdoor raised beds after a productive winter of kale, spring greens, and purple sprouting broccoli. As part of our crop rotation the beds will have no brassicas in them this year, so will mainly be filled with chard, bulb fennel, broad beans and peas (plus other miscellaneous crops).

1000 rainbow chard seedlings planted over the weekend (mainly thanks to Georgia and Hector) to fill 3 of the beds.

Today we sowed about 1000 Ambassador peas ready for planting out next month, all being well.


Robin chicks

A pair of robins nested in a crate in our Propagation Station polytunnel, and last week all the chicks fledged, leaving us with just an empty nest and memories of the sounds they made when a parent flew in to feed them.

Robin chicks in their nest in our polytunnel.

This week's empty nest...


Nick

One of our local volunteers, Nick, who was on furlough, has now had to go back to work. Nick helped at the farm five days per week for much of the past year, and became an "honorary wwoofer", even joining the farmhouse bubble for several months, and spending Christmas Day with us. Luckily he has arranged to come and help pick and pack the veg boxes on Thursdays! Many many thanks to Nick for all his help during the busy pandemic, and we look forward to seeing him tomorrow.

Nick, second from left, with our farmhouse bubble.

Nick, on the right, planting potatoes with Hector.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Plant sale

 


On Saturday 1st May we held a plant sale at the farm, selling our own plants (produced by Ian before he left), and with two other local plant-producers selling their plants too. The sale ran from 10am till 1pm, outside in the farmyard, with social distancing and face-masks in place, and was a big success. It was wonderful to welcome local people to the farm for an "event" for the first time since the Covid pandemic began early last year. We will be holding more on Saturday mornings, weather permitting - please keep an eye on Facebook - and are open to offers of more stalls attending - please email us at info@bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk.

Ian

Ian, who has been volunteering on the community farm (and on other projects in the local community), has moved back up north to be nearer to family, and is already being sorely missed. Ian has put time in at the farm most days for the past seven years - watering plants, potting-on seedlings, opening polytunnels, picking herbs and edible flowers, picking salad early on a Friday morning, planting wildflowers in the meadows, planting pollinator-friendly plants in the farmyard, leading Monday's wildlife gardening group, leading farm tours on open days etc..etc.. - but most of all sharing his wide knowledge with everybody, and being a friend of the farm. 

Ian dressing leeks in 2015.

Ian picking parsley in 2021.
We'd all like to thank Ian for all the help he has given the farm over the past seven years, and we wish him all the best, and hope the move is going well.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Veg boxes May 7th

 

Sam and Sylvie packing purple sprouting broccoli.
We have 98 veg boxes ordered for tomorrow, delivered all over West Penwith, containing:-

£7 small box - mange-tout (or purple sprouting broccoli), cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips, salad and mixed herbs.

£11 standard box - mange-tout, purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips, salad, mixed herbs, spring greens, and chard.

April showers?

April is a month renowned for wet weather, but we have just endured the third dry April in a row. In spring in 2019 we had 10 weeks without rain, 2020 was 4 weeks, and we have now in 2021 come to the end of 5 weeks without rain. Maybe dry springs are the new climate? It's the worst time of year to be so dry, as we are desperately trying to bring on the new season's crops, and taking hours each day to water seedlings in the field is time (and water) consuming, with some plant losses. The first showers of April came to great relief on the 26th, and there have been more since then, mixed in with hot dry days and easterly winds. By yesterday the ground was parched again, but a lot of rain overnight and this morning has come to the rescue.

Bartinney Beacon seen from the farm, after the nature reserve on it was devastated by wild fires.

Salad plants bolting due to heat in one of our polytunnels.

Rain this morning, wonderful!



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Veg boxes 16th April

We are now definitely in the Hungry Gap, so our boxes this week contain the usual assortment of chard, spring greens (including tender stems and tips), "oriental greens" (polytunnel brassicas), cauliflowers, purple sprouting broccoli, mixed herbs (coriander, parsley, oregano and fennel), potatoes, dried chillies, and salad leaves. Next week there will be parsnips, and we are all looking forward to a variety of new season produce by the end of next month.

Planting cucumbers

On Saturday we ripped out several lines of bolted brassica winter salad crops from Nigel polytunnel, and planted 150 Passandra cucumber vines. Planting cucumbers is a sign that spring is definitely here, and harvesting the first ones (usually towards the end of May) is a major sign that the Hungry Gap is drawing to a close.

The planting is quick, the stringing up takes the rest of the day - and we've already got two lines of French beans strung up in the same tunnel (but a different tunnel each year). We put the most red-spider-mite-susceptible crops all together in the same tunnel (aubergines, French beans and cucumbers) and install overhead irrigation, to keep them damp all season to stop the mite taking hold - we are still fine-tuning this system.


Harry

Harry, from London, has WWOOFed with us for 3 weeks, and will be heading back home tomorrow. Thank you Harry for coming and helping on the farm.

Harry hoeing weeds in Nigel polytunnel, with a small team planting cucumbers beyond.


Jenny

One of our long-term WWOOFers left this week, after three and a half months volunteering on the farm - Jenny, from Bristol, has moved to a nearby campsite and we hope to see her back as a day volunteer very soon! Many thanks Jenny for all your help through Lockdown 3.

Jenny stringing up tomato vines in a polytunnel last Saturday.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Bosavern training and work experience week 6

Last week Giles Rickard from Westcountry Rivers Trust and our very own Board Member Holly Whitelaw delivered inspiring talks to our trainees on soil health and the impact this has upon human health; food production; water resources; the wider ecosystem and climate.





 

Bosaverntraining & Work Experience is a project for unemployed adults. For details of how to join, contact Katie on training@bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk 01736 272367. Funded by EU European Social Fund with support from CornwallCouncil.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Donated equipment

 

Guy and Jo Clegg came to the farm yesterday and donated piles of plant pots, seed trays, crates, tools, and assorted horticultural equipment - many thanks! Guy and Jo were tenants at the farm for ten years, and were the last occupants before it became a community farm in 2010. They converted the farm to organic, erected the Mothership polytunnel, hosted WWOOFers, had a shop on site, and in many ways laid the foundations for what we have become, for all of which we are very grateful. Guy and Jo are now leaving farming, which is farming's loss, but we wish them all the best for their future, and bon voyage.

Planting the first tomatoes

On 26th and 27th March we planted the first polytunnel tomatoes of the season. These are sungold, gardeners delight, black cherry, yellow submarine, and zuckertraube, and are our early batch. Today we have sown our third and final batch - costoluto di Fiorentina, beef heart, quadro plum, and more sungolds.

Jenny planting early tomatoes in the Sausage.

Harry taking a tray of tomato plants from the Propagation Station.


Chickens released

On Thursday 1st April we were permitted by DEFRA to release our chickens back into their field. It has been difficult for them over the past fifteen and a half weeks (after 16 weeks we would not have been allowed to market their eggs as "free range" anymore), despite us constructing some spacious netted outdoor runs (they are usually free to roam throughout one hectare), and there have been more fights, more injuries and more fatalities as a result.

Thankfully DEFRA stuck to their planned release date despite two new avian flu outbreaks in the northwest of England. The nearest cases to us were in Exmouth in Devon last year, although there were reports of swans in Falmouth dying of bird flu in January. Anyway, we are all very glad to see them out and about enjoying the grass and sunshine and space and insects of their field.



The bare patch in this picture was where their outdoor enclosure was before we took it down. All the grass was gone within a few days back in December.


A few of the new girls also getting out and about for the first time in their lives.


Bosavern training and work experience week 5

 







Last week our trainees began to develop their fencing skills with visiting Tutor Chris Lutey. Bosavern Training & Work Experience is for unemployed adults. For details of how to join, contact Katie on training@bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk 01736 272367. This project is funded by the European Social Fund with support from Cornwall Council.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Veg boxes 2nd April 2021

 

Picking oriental greens (pak choi, komatsuna, Chinese cabbage, giant red mustard, green-in-snow mustard).
Today's 105 veg boxes contained a selection from the following - potatoes, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens, salad leaves, watercress, oriental greens, chard, mixed herbs (chives, parsley, thyme), radishes and kohl rabi.

Please email vegbox.bcf@bcents.org for a joining form.

New hens

On Wednesday 31st March we bought a new flock of 100 laying hens, to boost our flock number and egg production. They have moved in with 30 older hens who will show them the ropes, and will be let out into the field for their first outside experience tomorrow morning - poultry lockdown has now also ended.

Polly releasing the new hens into their new home.



Friday, March 26, 2021

Peziza repanda

 

We've found this fungus growing in our newly mulched rhubarb patch, possible on wood chip, or possible on cardboard. We think it's Peziza redanda, or palomino fungus, can anyone confirm this or correct us? The fungus is very brittle.

Today's veg boxes

 

Today's 105 veg boxes (making more than 6000 veg boxes produce this financial year) contained a selection from - oriental greens (pak choi, vivid choi, komatsuna, green-in-snow, Chinese cabbage), chard, kohl rabi, radishes, potatoes, parsnips, mixed herbs (coriander, parsley, fennel), cauliflower, dried chilllies, salad leaves.
Plus extras of eggs, bread, milk and honey....

Klara

Klara arrived at the beginning of February (from another WWOOF host in Devon) and stayed with us for almost two months, becoming an integral part of our team for Lockdown 3, and left today to head home to Germany. Many thanks Klara!

Farmhouse bubble for lockdown 3 - Polly, Klara, Nick, Jenny, Wanchi, Hector.