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  • Camel CSA volunteers ready for the veg growing season

    Posted on February 9th, 2011 charlotte No comments

    Our growing team is preparing for the busiest year we’ve had so far.

    Now we’ve got support from the Lottery Food Fund and ECLAG we’re forging ahead and constructing two large polytunnels, a small seeding tunnel, a large tool shed and a potting shed.

    Over the next two weeks we’re hoping to plant rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes in new permanent beds. And we need to get rid of the dock weeds that are springing up everywhere.

    The plastic covers will go on the polytunnels by early March, provided we get a calm, warm weather window. Then we’ll sow broad beans, carrots, radish and assorted salad leaves directly inside the tunnels.

    We’ll also plant seeds in modules, starting with spring onions, salad, spinach, chard, beetroot, parsley, celeriac and spring cabbage.

  • Exciting times for Camel CSA’s grow-our-own veg project

    Posted on September 25th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Our local food initiative in north Cornwall is entering a very exciting new development phase. So watch this space closely over the next few weeks!

    We’ve been busy tidying up the plot at St Kew Highway in anticipation of our big expansion on to the full two acres of land.

    All the ragwort’s been pulled up, dock leaves removed and ground levelled to make way for our first very own poly tunnel. 

    Much of the rest of the area has been ploughed and sown with green manure to help improve the soil fertility over the winter months.

    This Sunday our volunteer growing team will be sowing winter salad crops to go in the new poly tunnel as soon as it’s up.

    If you’d like to get involved, please meet outside our packing shed at 10am. We’ll be there until 12 – 12.30pm. Wear stout boots, bring gloves and don’t forget to include a waterproof (just in case).

  • They really do deserve a medal!

    Posted on July 29th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Camel CSA 26-07-09 The volunteer growing team braved monsoon conditions on Sunday to plant nearly 1,000 brassica seedlings donated by Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s latest sponsors – Fentongollan Farm at Tresillian.

    The rain ran down inside our collars, our trowels got clogged with wet earth and our boots became totally caked in mud, but we all remained remarkably cheerful. 

    In all, we planted 10 long rows – five of purple sprouting broccoli (two varieties) and five of winter cabbage (Dutch white and primo).

    The generous donation of over 1,500 plants means that we can look forward to plenty of green vegetables in the early part of next year. 

    By then we hope we’ll have been successful in our bid for outside funding from the Lottery’s Local Food programme to enable us to buy a polytunnel to raise our own seedlings and salad crops. 

    Camel CSA 26-07-09 Jeremy Hosking of Fentongollan explained why he offered us his surplus brassica plants:

    “We do raise millions of plants every year – 80 million in fact.  We have certain lines that don’t always sell out so rather than throw them away we like to give them away.”

    And for this we’re extremely grateful!


    Last Friday Camel CSA expert grower Jeremy Brown and our secretary Mike Sadler singlehandedly planted 450 donated kale seedlings – both red and green varieties. 

    Later this week we will plant the cauliflower and leeks that make up the remainder of the gift from Fentongollan.  Weather permitting, we’ll also start preparing another planting area.

    The torrential rain is helping the seedlings to put out new shoots.  At least they won’t need watering in.  Lengths of fleece are protecting them from a long list of hungry predators – from rabbits to badgers to pheasants to pigeons to slugs to snails.

    Camel CSA 26-07-09 A big thank you to the intrepid growing team – expert growers Mark Norman and Jeremy Brown plus Charlotte, Gillian, Kitty, Mike H, Mike S, six-year-old Sophie and Freddie, aged four.

    Sharing the harvest

    There was also a keen turnout last Friday to help with the picking and packing of 24 vegetable boxes for our members.  Grateful thanks to expert grower Jeremy Brown and to Callum, Henrietta, Jenny, Mark, Mike H, Penny, Robert, Steve and Trish.

    Over the next few weeks we can look forward to more onions, potatoes, Swiss chard, beetroot, turnip, radishes, lettuce and parsley plus runner beans and another crop of peas.  Provided we get some warm sunshine and the slugs and snails stay away, we will also have some French beans. 

    However the non-stop rain is also resulting in a new crop of weeds, so the growing team needs all the help it can get on Friday and Sunday mornings.

    We look forward to seeing you.  Just make sure you bring waterproofs and wellies! 

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • We’re a growing concern

    Posted on March 31st, 2009 charlotte No comments
    Some of our growing team regulars (left to right) Gav, Jane, Diana, Kitty, Charlotte, Jeremy

    Some of our growing team regulars (left to right) Gav, Jane, Diana, Kitty, Charlotte, Jeremy

    We feel we’re starting to get somewhere!

    There was a good turnout on the field on Sunday. The Camel Community Supported Agriculture team worked hard to create additional seed beds, spread loads of compost, and get broad beans, peas and onions into the ground.  

    More seeds were planted in the polytunnel.  Some of us tackled the remaining dock leaves with a vengeance.

    Many thanks to Kitty, Ian,  Mike, Jane, Gav, Jeremy, Charlotte, Frank, Mark and Diana.

  • Join us to plant peas, broad beans and onions

    Posted on March 25th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    All this hard work is starting to make a difference!   

    A big thank you to all Camel Community Supported Agriculture members who turned out in the sunshine last Sunday to plant potatoes, onions and shallots.

    Please come and help out again this Sunday 29 March between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to get more seeds in the ground.

    Mark Norman, one of our team of expert growers, says:

    “There’s another bed of onions to plant together with  broad beans and  peas.  We need to prepare another bed for sowing carrots and parsnips.  Look out for broad beans and Jeruselem artichokes just peeking through.

    “We have more seeds to sow in the polytunnel. Seeds sown in the tunnel three weekends ago are doing well.  Some have been moved into the greenhouse for slightly cooler and less humid conditions with maximum light.”

    Remember to bring wellies and waterproofs (just in case) as well as drinks and snacks.  And don’t forget a pair of gardening gloves!  If possible, bring a selection of tools – wheelbarrows, rakes, spades, forks and trowels.

    We look forward to seeing you.  You’ll be sure to get a warm and friendly welcome.

    Camel CSA - first volunteer day

    Camel CSA - first volunteer day

    Watch this video of our first volunteer day.

    If you would like more information or have any questions email Alex at alex@olivetreeevents.co.uk or call Antonina at St Kew Harvest on 01208 841818.

    Click here for directions to the site.

  • Camel CSA sows the first seeds of success

    Posted on March 12th, 2009 Pickle Design No comments

    We’ve started to get stuck in!  Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s first vegetables are now in the ground.   We’ve planted several rows of broad beans and Jerusalem artichokes, guided by our team of expert growers.  Parsley, cabbage and calabrese seeds are all germinating in the poly tunnel. 

    We’re inviting volunteers to come along and get involved every Sunday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on our site behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop at St Kew Highway.

    Remember to bring wellies, waterproofs, drinks and a snack.  And don’t forget a pair of gardening gloves! Also bring any tools, ideally wheelbarrows, shovel, spades, forks and rakes.   You’ll be made very welcome.

    Find out more from Alex at alex@olivetreeevents.co.uk or Antonina at St Kew Harvest on 01208 841818.

    Click here for directions to the site.