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  • Broad beans in our birthday boxes

    Posted on July 1st, 2010 Trish No comments

    Yes, it’s a whole year since we packed our very first vegetable boxes

    Treats in store this week come from our professional growers Mark Norman of Bodmin, Jane Mellowship of Polzeath and Jeremy Brown of St Kew Harvest as well as some of Camel CSA’s own produce, all of it grown to organic principles.

    In the small birthday veg boxes:
    potatoes ‘Pentland Javelin’ (Mark)
    garlic (Mark)
    lettuce (Jeremy)
    spring greens (Jeremy)
    broad beans (Jeremy)
    spring onions (Jane)
    swiss chard (Camel CSA)

    The standard birthday vegetable boxes will have:
    extra potatoes (Mark)
    courgettes (Mark)
    beetroot (Mark)
    salad bags (CSA)

    Update: Please make sure you wash the leaves in the salad bags, as some are a little muddy after yesterday’s very welcome burst of rain.

  • Come and get stuck into our veg plot

    Posted on April 10th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Make the most of this lovely spring weather.  Come and share in the push to get our vegetables in the ground.  There’s lots to do.

    We need plenty of people at our volunteer growing session this Sunday 11 April to prepare some more beds and spread compost.  There’s also celery and broad beans to plant out as well as beetroot and parsnip seeds to sow.

    Please join us between 10am and 1pm on Sunday.  You’ll find us on the plot behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.  If you can, bring tools – hoes, spades, forks, trowels, rakes, wheelbarrows. 

    Help us to get veg growing again

    It’s time to get growing again

  • Help us to get veg growing again

    Posted on April 3rd, 2010 charlotte No comments

    The next volunteer growing session is on Sunday 11 April.  We’ve decided to give everyone a rest this Easter Sunday.

    We do need all the help we can get to plant veg at this time of year so please consider coming along for a couple of hours next Sunday between 10am and 12 noon.  

    You’ll be made very welcome.  We can guarantee you unlimited fresh air, plenty of exercise and some friendly company… PLUS you’ll come away feeling you’ve achieved something worthwhile.

    Expert grower Mark Norman says:

    “A small gang of us created a new growing bed, spread compost, and sowed lettuce and beetroot Detroit last week.  But we really could have done with some extra assistance. 

    On Sunday 11 April there’ll be broad beans and celery to plant out, and more beetroot plus parsnip to sow.  Also compost to spread and additional growing beds to prepare.  Please bring tools – hoes, spades, forks, trowels, rakes, wheelbarrows…”

  • More and bigger helpings

    Posted on November 7th, 2009 charlotte 1 comment

    The extra potatoes in our shares are put there in direct response to a plea from Camel CSA members.  Standard boxes contain 2.5 kg of Wilja spuds this week and there are 1.5 kg in the small boxes.

    weighing-potatoes-camel-csa 25-09-09 Our picking and packing volunteers had to dodge some sharp, heavy showers as they picked, dug, sorted and weighed the veg on Friday.  The team’s now rigged up some rudimentary shelter to help them escape the worst of Cornwall’s wild autumn equinoxal weather.

    Picking and packing supremo Trish explains:

    “We’ve been loaned a gazebo which we put up over the sorting area.  We’re hoping it’ll stay put and not take off once we put a couple of ties into the wall.


    “It was good to stay reasonably dry while doing the packing and it meant we could leave the boxes under cover at the end.”

    Friday’s band of helpers alongside Trish were Penny and Robert, Mike H, Henrietta and Jennie M.

    The growing team still have broad beans to sow and garlic sets to plant which we hope (weather permitting!) to get finished this Sunday.  See you then.

  • Broad bean glut over

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 charlotte 2 comments

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture regrets to announce that the broad beans have gone over, so there are none in the latest veg share.  You probably have mixed feelings about this.  But remember to keep all those recipes for next year!

    Camel CSA 17-07-09Some succulent baby carrots are included in the veg boxes this week.  We did sort them out, but some of the tops are a little chewed.  We think either rabbits or badgers are the culprits.

    There are surplus older peas available at the box distribution point for any members who would like to help themselves.  They are rather starchy, but can be used in soups and casseroles. 

    The small £5 box contains: – 700g potatoes, 700g peas, baby carrots, two onions, Swiss chard, spring onion bunch, 100g salad bag, a few chive stems

    The standard £8 box contains: – 1kg potatoes, 1kg peas, baby carrots, three onions, Swiss chard, spring onion bunch, 140g salad bag, bunch of chives, cabbage, cucumber

    If you’d like to give feedback on box content, please click on the comments link at the top of this post. We really want to know what you think.  Also tell us what you’ve done with the vegetables.

    More and more Camel CSA members are signing up for a share in the harvest.  We filled a total of 22 veg boxes this week, up from just 15 a fortnight ago.

    Please remember to return your empty box when you collect your fresh one next Friday.

    And don’t forget the Big Lunch on the site at 1 p.m. on Sunday!  We look forward to seeing you there.

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • Beautiful plump peas

    Posted on July 9th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Camel CSA 28-06-09The harvest from Camel Community Supported Agriculture includes some beautiful plump peas in this week’s share.  Otherwise we are providing a similar selection of vegetables to last week. 

    The broad bean glut continues so please think of different ways to use these versatile vegetables. Please pick up your box from St Kew Harvest, as detailed in the e-mail to members. 

    Subscribers can expect all or some of of the following: –

    • potatoes (Arran Pilot)
    • onions
    • broad beans
    • beetroot
    • peas
    • salad pack / lettuce
    • cucumber
    • courgettes
    • turnips

     A definitive list and recipe ideas for beetroot will be posted once the boxes have been packed on Friday.

  • Our veg boxes are tops!

    Posted on July 5th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    We’ve had an enthusiastic response from our members to Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s first vegetable boxes.  This is despite some teething problems with distribution.

    Tony says:

    Our first standard veg box

    Our first standard veg box

    “The box looks fantastic! We’re looking forward to next week’s already.”

    John and Cathy are delighted with the quality:

    “The cucumber which was sweet and fresh and the lettuce and onion we used in a salad.”

    They like the wide and interesting variety of vegetables and have found new ways of using them:

     “The beet greens we cooked almost like a spinach or spring greens and had with fish – better than spinach – along with broad beans and potatoes.


    The beets will be roasted and eaten with a lamb casserole with the rest of the onion, turnips and courgettes and we will try your broad bean soup.  Nothing wasted.”

    In the end, both small and standard boxes contained potatoes, broad beans, beetroot, turnip, cucumber and onions.  Standard boxes had a salad pack and small boxes a lollo rosso lettuce.  In addition, standard boxes contained Swiss chard and courgettes.  There wasn’t enough time to pick parsley.

    We have a glut of broad beans, so each box was given an extra £4-worth at shop prices!  We don’t yet have our own poly tunnel, so our three expert growers – Jane, Jeremy and Mark – supplied the salad bags, lettuce, courgettes and cucumber.

    New team

    Camel CSA 03-07-09Grateful thanks to our volunteer picking and packing team of expert grower Mark Norman, Mike H, Penny, Robert and Trish.  Mark says:

    ” It’s great to see some new faces.  I hope the boxes going out means that we’ll see even more volunteers next week.


    As first boxes they are excellent.  I hope we can keep the variety going.”

    If you would like to volunteer, either picking and packing or planting and cultivating, just turn up on a Friday or Sunday between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

    Compost bin

    This Sunday we constructed a compost bin from wooden pallets lashed together with binder twine.  At long last we have somewhere to dump the annual weeds, unwanted plant tops and thinnings.

    Camel CSA 05-07-09A great deal of effort was devoted to the backbreaking job of cutting down the remaining dock leaves to stop them going to seed and spreading all over the site.  We were grateful there were so many of us to share this potentially soul-destroying task!

    We weeded the Swiss chard, carrots and brussels sprouts.  We planted more radishes to replace the ones which had gone to seed in the hot weather.

    A big thank you to expert growers Jane and Mark N and Charlotte, Danny, Ian, Mark M, Mike H, Mike S.

  • Seasonal recipe No 1 – Broad bean soup

    Posted on July 3rd, 2009 charlotte 1 comment

    The first of Camel Community Agriculture’s weekly recipes celebrates our first-ever veg boxes.

    Broad beans 28-06-09 - cropped 3Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes

    Serves: 4

    125 g (4 oz) chopped onion
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    60 g (2 oz) butter
    0.5 kg (1 lb) shelled broad beans
    2-3 good quality bean pods
    chopped fresh sage or parsley
    salt, pepper, sugar
    6 tablespoons double cream
    lemon juice, chopped green onion stalk or chives

    Soften the onion and garlic in butter without letting them colour.  Add the beans, a litre (1.75 pints) water, the pods and a few sprigs of the herb you choose.  When the beans are cooked (approx 10 mins), sieve or blend the soup. Reheat, adding more liquid if necessary to dilute.  Season to taste, with a pinch of sugar.  Add a little more chopped herb, the cream, the onion stalks and a few drops of lemon juice to bring out the flavour.

    This soup recipe taken from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book is simple, quick and good.  Jane Baxter, the resident chef at Riverford Organic Vegetables’ Field Kitchen, has adapted it into Broad bean soup for children who hate broad beans!  She discards the pods before blending the soup.  I agree with her that it is essential not to skimp on the cream.

    If you don’t like to use cream and butter for economic or health reasons, try this Vegetarian Society “cordon vert” recipe for Fresh broad bean and mint soup. There’s also a delicious-sounding recipe for Broad bean pate.

    Danny, one of our core group members, recommends Chorizo and broad bean salad.  Danny says:

    “I tried this absolutely delicious broad bean salad. My kids loved it as well!!!

    Simply fry an onion, add the sliced chorizo and put the podded broad beans in at the end. I topped it with fresh parsley and some parmesan. YUM!

    I did it again with bacon instead of chorizo…..equally yummy!!”

    For tips on how to cook, store and freeze broad beans have a look at the useful eat the seasons website.

    Click here to see all the recipes that Camel CSA members have recommended so far.

  • Our first veg boxes

    Posted on July 2nd, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Broad beans 28-06-09 - cropped 1We’ve done it – we’re starting to eat our own food! 

    More than 15 Camel Community Supported Agriculture members receive their first vegetable boxes on Friday 3 July. 

    A great deal of human effort has gone into providing these first fruits of our labour.  It’s hard to believe that we only started preparing our site at the beginning of March and sowed the first seeds just a few weeks later.

    Our first share of the harvest will contain: – 

    • broad beans
    • potatoes
    • onions
    • beetroot
    • Swiss chard
    • a bunch of curly or flat-leaved parsley
    • turnips and radishes – possibly
    • green salad

    We’ve grown the first eight items ourselves at St Kew Highway.  The salad leaves are being provided by Jane Mellowship, one of our expert growers, who has her own vegetable plot at New Polzeath.

    Hard work

    CSA weeding 28-06-09 - croppedWe’ve made enormous strides since March – entirely as a result of the dedicated volunteer labour provided by members and expert growers.  Some people said we would never manage it, but we have proved that we can.

    Many hours of hard work have gone into preparing the 40-metre long growing beds, spreading compost, digging up dock leaves, sowing seeds, planting out seedlings, hoeing and an enormous amount of hand weeding.  We’re grateful to our expert growing team and all the volunteers who have turned up on Sunday mornings – rain or shine.

    Last Sunday we thinned out and hand weeded the parsnips, weeded the Swiss chard, spread compost and dug up yet more dock leaves that were threatening to go to seed. 

    A big thanks to expert grower Mark Norman, to members Charlotte, Diana, Mike H and Mike S, and to visitors Donna and Marianne.

    Another team of volunteers will be picking and packing the boxes every Friday morning.  If you’d like to be included on the rota, please contact Mark Norman or phone Antonina at St Kew Harvest. 

    Box collection

     Members must pay for veg boxes in advance.  You’ll be able to collect your box every Friday between noon and 5 p.m. from St Kew Harvest Farm Shop, which is next to the Camel CSA site.  Treasurer Cathy Fairman has been co-ordinating box payment and organisation.  She says:


    “Your name will be on your box, please take your own box and anyone else’s that you are delivering.  Remember to give us feedback as soon as possible.


    A special thank you to to Penny and Robert Manders and to Mike Haywood for volunteering to help Mark with the first harvest and packing.


    Happy eating!”

    Feedback on box content and any queries about veg box administration should be sent to Cathy at thefarm@bodminmoor.co.uk

  • We’re growing our own food

    Posted on April 30th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    A big thank you to the 17 volunteers who turned up last Sunday to work on the Camel Community Supported Agriculture project.

    In three short hours our community food growing group achieved what one person working alone would have managed in a week!  That’s one of the big advantages of belonging to a co-operative.


    Grateful thanks to the three volunteer expert growers – Jane, Jeremy B and Mark N – and to volunteer members Alex, Cath, Charlotte, Diana, Fiona, Ian, Jeremy S, Jerry, John, Kitty, Mike H, Mike S, Mark M  and Yvonne.

    Together we spread compost, hoed weeds, tended the broad beans, shallots and onions, planted out cauliflowers and cabbages, sowed radishes and dug up yet more dock leaves.  More seeds were also sown in the polytunnel.

    Unfortunately a whole row of peas had been eaten by predators, but our enthusiastic volunteers got some new seeds planted in just a few minutes.   It would have taken an allotment holder most of the morning.

    Jeremy B, one of our expert growing team, thinks we should blame slugs rather than our resident cock pheasant.  Fortunately the rabbit netting has proved secure so far.

    We’re looking forward to welcoming you again this Sunday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  We’ll be preparing additional beds, spreading compost, planting out more brassicas, and sowing calabrese and leeks.

    Remember to bring strong shoes or wellies, waterproofs, gardening gloves, drinks and a snack.  Also tools, ideally wheelbarrows, shovels, spades, forks and rakes.  If the weather’s good you might need suncream and a hat!

    Click here for directions to the site.  If you have any questions call Antonina at St Kew Harvest Farm Shop on 01208 841818.