Sunday, May 23, 2021
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
Monday, May 17, 2021
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.|
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
|Bea and Heather getting stuck in to the first bed last Friday.|
|1000 rainbow chard seedlings planted over the weekend (mainly thanks to Georgia and Hector) to fill 3 of the beds.|
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...|
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
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.|
Thursday, May 6, 2021
|Sam and Sylvie packing purple sprouting broccoli.|
£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 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
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.
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.
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
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 email@example.com 01736 272367. Funded by EU European Social Fund with support from CornwallCouncil.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
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.|
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.|
Friday, April 2, 2021
|Picking oriental greens (pak choi, komatsuna, Chinese cabbage, giant red mustard, green-in-snow mustard).|
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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
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.|