Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Polly, Warren, and Rosie

Three core members of the farm team left us this autumn (as well as Heather and Bea - see earlier post) - Polly, Warren, and Rosie.

Polly snedding coppiced willow ready for planting as whips.

Polly came to the farm as a WWOOF volunteer in November 2020 and stayed for two years, acting as our host for residential volunteers in the farmhouse, as well as helping on the farm and with delivery rounds (and many other things including amazing art work...). Polly steered the farmhouse, and its occupants, through some very difficult times during various lockdowns, for which we are incredibly grateful.

Warren with the chicken pop-hole door that he made and decorated.


Warren came to us as a WWOOF volunteer in October 2021 and stayed for just over one year, helping on the farm and assisting Polly in the farmhouse, as well as creating more amazing art work (such as the farm map), and other things...

Unfortunately we don't have a photo of Rosie, which is an idication of how busy we were this summer. Rosie first came as a volunteer in 2021 for 2 days per week, but returned for 5 months in 2022 as our Assistant Grower, working 3 days per week. Rosie brought a lot of very good ideas to the farm some of which we have managed to implement.

We are so grateful to Polly, Warren, and Rosie, for all their hard work, art work, ideas, friendship, energy, and the huge help they all were during their times with us, and we wish them all the best in their futures.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Squash harvest 2022

Despite the horribly hot dry weather this year, and our plants going into the ground about 3 weeks too late, we still harvested more than 500kg of squash at the end of October, just in time for Halloween. Most of our squash are Crown Prince, which is probably the best squash there is, but we also have some Turk's Turban, and we did have some Jack-o-Lantern but they have already sold out. They are for sale in the farm shop and at farmer's markets priced at £2 per kilo (and also being eaten at the Dog And Rabbit and the Gurnard's Head).


Haruka, from Japan, joined us as a WWOOF volunteer on the farm, and has left this morning to travel across the country. Many thanks to Haruka for her help whils with us, and all the best luck with her onward travels - thank you!

Tomorrow's veg boxes

Tomorrow's veg boxes are going to contain:-

Small box (£7.70) - jerusalem artichokes, Carolus potatoes, rainbow chard, kale, and salad leaves.

Standard box (£12) - jerusalem artichokes, Carolus potatoes, rainbow chard, Oriental greens, 3 ring-of-fire chillies, leafy celery, salad leaves, leeks, and mixed herbs.

Please email us on or phone 788454 to join our not-for-profit veg box scheme.

Preparing leeks in the farmyard for veg boxes last week.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Recent wwoof volunteers

We have recently hosted several autumn wwoofers who have been and gone and whom we would now like to thank for their time and help whilst here.

Ben, providing us with hot coffee and biscuits in the farmyard.

Jane shovelling greenwaste compost for the market garden.

Elliot (on the left) going out into the maincrop field to pick perpetual spinach.

Kate, with her camera, who helped on the farm whilst filming a documentary for WWOOF, to celebrate their fifty year anniversary.
And also Joseph, of whom I failed to get a photo (sorry Jo!).

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Heather and Bea

This year we have been incredibly fortunate to have four long-term volunteers living in the farmhouse and helping on the farm (also in the house and shop). Two of these were Heather and Bea, who came in January and stayed until the end of October, having already been here for 3 months last year. Good long-term volunteers are a huge asset, as they get to know what they are doing so they can show other volunteers how to do farm jobs, they can take on extra responsibilites, integrate into the farm and local community, and even give our staff some time off when needed. We would like to express our huge gratitude to Heather and Bea for their year with us, and we wish them a wonderful winter, as they travel around India!

Chicken enclosure

Unfortunately all chickens in the UK (and turkeys, geese, ducks, quails etc..) have had to go back into lockdown from Monday 7th November, by law, due to the ongoing avian flu epidemic. Avian flu has never really gone away this year, and has been killing wild birds all around the coast of Cornwall, including within 2 miles of the farm. Millions of farm birds have also been culled by DEFRA to try to control the disease. This is the worst outbreak to date. Farm birds were anly allowed out of their sheds/barns (or fully enclosed runs) on May 2nd, so they were outside free-ranging for only 6 months of the year.

We have not bought any new chickens this year, which we would normally do in both spring and autumn to top up our flock, so we are about 150 or 175 head down in number to what we had planned to be. Add to this the seasonal dip in egg numbers (colder weather with reduced daylight) and our eggs are in short supply. Our veg box members are now limited to only half a dozen per veg box per week, no eggs are available at our two farmers market stalls, or to restaurants, and what we have left over are going into our farm shop where they are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

We are going to see how this winter pans out and then decide in the spring what to do about this situation - do we gradually wind-down our flock and stop keeping chickens, or do we build it back up to previous numbers and learn to live with bird flu and its restrictions?

The good news, though, is that we spent all yesterday creating the best-ever run for our chickens, fully enclosed with netting over the top, so they can come out of their sheds into a small area of outdoor grass.

Many thanks to all our volunteers who helped us with this yesterday - you might have got soaked to the skin but you did make 240 chickens very happy! - Warren, Rob, local Ben, wwoofer Ben, Jez, Mick, Yerin, Jihu, and Dan. Special thanks go to our almost-vintage tractor which huffed and puffed but eventually managed to get all three sheds down the field into position...