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  • 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.

  • Reap the rewards

    Posted on June 24th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    It’s that moment we’ve all been waiting for!  We’re about to harvest some of our own food.

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s first vegetable boxes will be ready on Friday 3 July.  Any member who would like to share in the harvest should contact our treasurer Cathy Fairman as soon as possible.   

    Camel CSA 14-06-09

    The first boxes have been allocated to members who have paid in advance.  They will be ready to collect on Friday 3 July from St Kew Harvest Farm Shop at any time between 12 noon and 5 p.m.  Cathy says:

    “We are all hoping that these boxes will meet expectations. Please, please, if for any reason you are not totally happy let us know.  We really want to get this right so your input is crucial.”

    We also need volunteers to pick vegetables and pack the boxes.  Cathy adds:

    “We will be picking and packing the vegetables on Friday mornings.  Times will vary and we would like to form a rota of volunteers to help the growers in this. Any members who would be able to help please let me know.”

    Volunteer growers

    If any members would like to help on the site at St Kew Highway outside the normal volunteer times on Thursday and Sunday mornings, please contact expert grower Jeremy Brown on 07971762227 or phone St Kew Harvest Farm Shop on 01208 841818.  There’s lots to do as usual!

    Last Sunday we constructed more growing beds, spread compost, sowed extra carrots, did loads of hand weeding, spread concentrated chicken manure on the potatoes and dug up scores of dock leaves that were threatening to go to seed.

    Many thanks to expert growers Jane and Jeremy B and to volunteer members Carolyn, Cath, Charlotte, Diana, Mark M and Mike S.

  • 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.

  • Come and join us on Sunday

    Posted on April 2nd, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s spring planting programme continues apace.  We’re relying on volunteers to tackle a whole lot more jobs this Sunday 5 April.

    Expert grower Jane Mellowship says:

    “There’s lots of sowing to be done and more compost to put on beds. We plan to do carrots, parsnips, turnips, swiss chard and plant another bed of onion sets. Also dock leaf removal for the willing!

    “A new seed order is being prepared. It includes broccoli, fennel and sweetcorn.”

    We would love it if you could join us this Sunday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Our expert growers will be waiting for you at the site behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

    Do come and help out.  You will learn what’s involved in preparing a vegetable plot, what’s on the planting schedule and also work up a good appetite for Sunday lunch.

    Please bring strong shoes or wellies, waterproofs, drinks and a snack.  And don’t forget some gardening gloves!  Also bring any tools, ideally wheelbarrows, shovels, spades, forks and rakes.

    If you would like more information or have any questions call Antonina at St Kew Harvest on 01208 841818.

    Click here for directions to the site.