Thursday, December 28, 2023

Veg boxes Friday 28th December


We are in that quiet period between Christmas and New Year, with no farmer's markets, not many shop customers, and only 2 restaurant orders, but still 63 veg boxes to pick and pack. We have done really well today despite the wind, thanks to Ross, Ailsa, Karl, Yvonne, Warren, Freddie, Emma, Margot, Tom, Lucille and Saul, and our boxes just need the final salad picking tomorrow morning to be full. This was our first week of watercress season, it looks wonderful, and we're excited!

Standard box (£13.50) - beetroot, parsley, fennel, perpetual spinach, Ambo potatoes, 3 dried chillies, salad leaves, watercress, kale, UK organic carrots, and a local organic cauliflower.

Small box (£8.50) - Ambo potatoes, 3 dried chillies, salad leaves, watercress, kale, and UK organic carrots.

Please email us on to join our not-for-profit community veg box scheme.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Farm factoids

For our AGM on Thursday 20th November we wrote a set of facts about the community farm, one for each attendee to read out at the end of the meeting, and here they are:-

Your farm was established in 2010 making us the second-longest-running CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project in Cornwall (Camel CSA was established in 2008).

Your farm has produced veg boxes without a break every week since our first box in June 2011.

Your farm ran courses for local unemployed adults from 2020 to 2022, for which we won St. Just Council’s Community Group of the Year trophy in 2021, and the Plunkett Foundation’s “Rural Community Business Award” for Employment and Training in 2023.

Your farm has achieved “Level 5 – Outstanding” in the RHS South West In Bloom “It’s Your Neighbourhood” section for the past nine years, and in 2023 was adjudged to be the second best community growing project in the South West of England.

Wildlife seen on the farm includes heron, barn owl, kestrel, red kite, buzzard, fox, weasel, pole cat, grey squirrel, hedgehog, roe deer, adder, Cornish chough, and slow worm (and two goldfish living in an old cattle trough).

In the 2023 season your farm grew over 700kg of tomatoes, with a value of over £4000.

Your farm has engaged with several thousand volunteers since it began in 2010, some of whom have gone on to work in the organic farming sector, including setting up their own market gardens, and even starting vegetable gardens in Rohingya refugee camps on the Myanmar border.

In a recent price check, our organic cauliflowers (bought locally with zero packaging) were selling at exactly the same price as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

In the first Covid lockdown our veg box numbers hit a record 156 per week. Since then they have gradually reduced to just under half that amount.

In the 2022 growing season your farm produced over £58,000 of vegetables.

In 2022 in response to the cost of living crisis we set up our Community Veg Box Fund, which has so far raised £2500 from private donors, allowing us to deliver veg boxes to local people who would otherwise struggle to access fresh local healthy food.

Your farm has hosted WWOOF volunteers from all over the world, including Brazil, Argentina, Tajikistan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Senegal, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Russia, Finland, New Zealand and Australia.

Our polytunnels all have names – The Mothership, The Propagation Station, The Sausage, Valentine, Nigel, Imogen, and Castle Dracula.

Our first “farm shop” was Hugh’s Grandad’s old bathroom cabinet balanced on the concrete plinth at the roadside, selling salad bags and eggs, with a margarine tub for payments (in 2010).

We used to fill a wheelbarrow full of boxes of eggs and push it into St. Just to sell eggs round the doors.

Probably the best archaeological find to date is a carved stone spindle whorl used for hand-spinning wool several thousand years ago, found when preparing potato beds on the market garden in 2011, similar to the ones on display in Penlee Museum. We have also found knapped flints, a musket ball, a Salvation Army cap badge, and half a Spanish silver coin, as well as hundreds of clay pipe stems.

We once took a soil sample up to Duchy College to be assessed, and they told us we couldn’t grow vegetables here!

Your farm used to be a cattle farm, and for fifty years the farmer was Penrose Harvey – he died in 2021, and his niece now has an allotment on the farm.

“Bosavern” means the settlement of Afern, who is believed to have been a Danish viking.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Saffron, Eloi, and Rita

Three of our wonderful WWOOF volunteers have come to the end of their stays with us recently. Saffron returned to Bristol earlier in December, Eloi headed home to France yesterday, and Rita will be leaving tomorrow morning. Many many thanks as always to these three, and to all our volunteers, whether WWOOFers or otherwise.

Eloi and Rita (both in the centre) with our other current WWOOF volunteers yesterday.

Yesterday's sunset


We'd just finished packing our Christmas veg boxes when the sky did this, a beautiful sunset seen through the farm buildings looking out to sea.

Harvesting in a blizzard!

On Thursday 30th November we were surprised and delighted to be snowed upon whilst harvesting for veg boxes! It doesn't snow often in Cornwall, so that is probably it for the year now, and it only lasted for about 4 hours.

Conditions on the market garden were so cold and windy in the morning that we harvested indoor salad instead of leaving it for Friday morning, then did the outdoor harvesting in the afternoon, whilst the snow was melting, before whizzing up to St. Just to attend the farm's AGM... The veg boxes were finished on Friday and went out as normal, quite an achievement, so many thanks to the team!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Merry Christmas everybody!


Plunkett award


On the 15th November our treasurer, Alan, attended the Plunkett Foundation's "Rural Community Business Awards" in London, where we were thrilled to be announced winners of the "Rural Vision Employment and Training" award. This was awarded for the work experience and training programme for local unemplyed adults that we ran from 2020 to 2022. One of our volunteers, Lil, was also announced as a joint winner of the "Young Person Award" for her volunteering here on the farm. These latest awards are testament to the incredible dedication of our volunteers and staff here at the farm as we strive hard to build community, feed local people, encourage wildlife, and be financially viable.

How the Cornishman reported the awards in their December 14th edition.

Community farm social


On Monday morning we held our Christmas coffee morning for the farm's staff, volunteers, and other members of our farm community. We met in Castle Dracula polytunnel and were treated to live music (carols on a cornet!), hot drinks, cakes, muffins, pancakes, and other festive treats. This is our way of saying thank you to our volunteers for all their hard work through the year, and of bringing people together on a cold December morning. Particular thanks have to go to Ali C for organising most of the catering, but also to everyone who helped, and those who attended.

Today's picking and packing team


We are currently picking this year's Christmas veg box - a big thank you to all our volunteers and staff who have turned out in strong winds to help us through the day - Freddie, Rita, Emma, Margot, Eloi, Ben, Ross, Karl, Quentin, Sue, Miranda, Jos, and Ailsa.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Christmas veg boxes


Our Christmas veg boxes will be ready for collection, or being delivered, on Friday 22nd December. We will then be doing our veg boxes as normal on Fridays 29th December and 5th January 2024.

This week's small boxes (£8.50) will include - beetroot (ours), carrots (UK organic), rainbow chard (ours), mixed herbs (ours), parsnips (UK organic), potatoes (ours), and sprouts (UK organic).

This week's standard boxes (£13.50) will include - all the above, plus a cauliflower (local organic), kale (ours), and salad leaves (ours).

It is now too late to order a Christmas veg box (though not too late to order for the 29th December or later) but all the above will be available in the farm shop, which will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10am till 5pm, then re-opening on Wednesday 27th December.

The final farmer's market of the year will be in St. Just W.I Hall on Saturday 23rd from 09:30 till 12:30.

Stick insect


This stick insect was seen on a front door in Newlyn last Friday while we were out delivering veg boxes!


Gil, from Belgian, stayed with us as a WWOOF volunteer for part of November, and we loved hosting him. Thank you and a merry Christmas Gil! Here he is helping to muck out our chicken sheds on his final Wednesday as part of the team.

Winter skies


Early morning from the chicken field.

Late afternoon from Home Field.

Late afternoon over the polytunnel.
We love the drama of the winter skies here at Bosavern!!

Shop opening days over Christmas and New Year


Our farm shop will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and the 2nd January. We will be open on all other days from 10am till 5pm.

We have a wide range of winter vegetable including sprouts, parsnips, carrots etc... and lots of gift ideas such as honey, beeswax candles, cards, chocolate, biscuits etc...