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  • Extra volunteering sessions for Camel CSA members

    Posted on March 31st, 2011 charlotte No comments

    The spring planting rush is on. So we’re setting up some additional volunteering sessions on weekdays. 

    From now until September volunteer growers can help out on our site at St Kew Highway on Mondays from 2-4 pm and on Fridays from 10-12 noon.

    The Friday morning growing slot is at the same time the picking and packing team prepares the weekly veg boxes. This in addition to our all-year-round Sunday morning team sessions.

    Expert grower Mark Norman will be on hand to advise and guide us on the finer art of vegetable growing.

    There’s lots to get done over the next few days both inside and out. Onion sets and broad beans need sowing  and there’s spring cabbage to plant out in the newly-prepared growing beds.

    And of course there’s still plenty more dock weeds to dig up.

  • We’re digging, ploughing, sowing and growing

    Posted on March 21st, 2011 charlotte No comments

    Camel CSA’s growing team continue to prepare the veg beds and sow seeds on our community veg plot.

    Expert grower Jeremy Brown has ploughed one side of our two-acre plot in preparation for the sowing of alliums, roots and legumes. The first seeds in the ground will be broad beans, shallots and onion sets.

    The soil in the first polytunnel has finally been dug over. It can now be rotavated before we plant early salad crops, carrots, beetroot and french beans.

    Our volunteers are still valiantly trying to dig out all the dock weeds. This is not a popular task.

    More jobs

    The team’s also been sowing additional seeds in modules – salad rocket, canary yellow and blood red leaf beet, multi-coloured and silver Swiss chard.

    Thank you to this Sunday’s volunteers – expert growers Jane M and Jeremy B, plus Charlotte, Danny, Mary and Mike S.

    Over the next few weeks there’s plenty more jobs to tackle. The seeding tunnel needs covering, the potting shed is awaiting construction, the second large polytunnel is ready to be erected.

    And – sigh – there’s hundreds more of those damned docks to dig up…

  • 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.

  • How our volunteers cope with Cornwall’s claggy soil

    Posted on November 19th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    It’s a good thing I’m very fond of leeks, as I dug up 90 of them this morning for Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s weekly veg boxes. It certainly made me appreciate where my food comes from.

    After all the torrential rain in Cornwall lately, the earth was distinctly claggy. My boots got heavier and heavier as the mud stuck to them, and my clothes, hands and face were splattered with streaks of soil.

    I wasn’t the only one, of course. This sort of task is routine for members of Camel CSA’s volunteer picking and packing team.

    While I tussled with the leeks, Mike was trimming them. He also dug and washed the Jerusalem artichokes. Anne and Cath were pulling up beetroot and fennel. Robert was sorting and labelling the boxes and rinsing the leeks. Meanwhile in the shed Trish and Henrietta were weighing and sharing out the rest of vegetables to go in the boxes.

    A total of 30 boxes of fresh, seasonal food achieved in just over an hour’s work… how ever will we cope when we reach our weekly target of 90?!

  • 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).

  • Growers and veg box volunteers sprout up in numbers

    Posted on July 26th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    We’ve had a great response in the last few days from volunteers keen to help out both on our growing team and our picking and packing squad.

    Camel CSA’s volunteer growers worked hard today to weed the veg beds, mulch around the celery, celeriac and sweetcorn with green manure and to harvest the garlic.

    Many thanks to expert grower Jane Mellowship and her team – Anne, Cath, Charlotte, Danny, Mark, Mike S and Rebecca plus junior members Finn and Keira. 

    On Friday the volunteer picking and packing squad harvested quantities of our own Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, salad leaves, lettuces and garlic to match the rest of the veg box contents from expert growers Jane, Mark Norman, and Jeremy Brown of St Kew Harvest.

    Thanks also to picking and packing supremo Trish and her squad – Anne, Charlotte, Henrietta, Jenny, Jeremy, Mark N, Penny, Robert and WWOOFer Gillaume, who’s visiting Cornwall from his home in the French Alps.

    As Trish said: “It was good fun this morning. What a difference it makes when there’s a fair number of people there to help!”

    The garlic’s now strung up inside our packing shed, where it’s drying out.

    All the volunteers were rewarded this week with some freshly-picked boysenberries, which are ripening quickly at the perimeter of our plot in this warm, humid weather. 

    If you’d like to take part in the growing operation or veg box preparation, just turn up on our site at St Kew Highway on a Friday or Sunday morning at 10am.

  • We need some more help with packing our veg boxes

    Posted on July 20th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Now our spring-sown crops are beginning to mature, there’s more harvesting to do for the veg boxes on a Friday morning. So we could use some more volunteers on our picking and packing squad.

    The team meets every Friday at 10am in the new packing shed on our plot at St Kew Highway. 

    Veg box preparation takes about two hours and involves harvesting and sorting vegetables, weighing them and distributing them among the 25 or so weekly boxes.

    Afterwards, there’s always the opportunity to relax and have a friendly cup of fair-trade tea or Cornwall-crafted Origin coffee and home-made cake next door at St Kew Harvest Farm Shop

    If you’re able to help out please contact Robert Manders on 01208 880022 or e-mail him at manders@waitrose.com  

  • Veg growing jobs for Sunday

    Posted on July 3rd, 2010 charlotte No comments

    After a welcome day of rain, we won’t need to do any hand watering in the near future. However, as usual there are plenty of things for our volunteer growing team to do on our site at St Kew Highway this Sunday.

    Expert grower Jane Mellowship says:

    Jobs for Sunday include sowing salad for our own mixed salad bags, coriander and bulb fennel. None of which particularly thrive in hot, dry conditions, which is exactly what it has been of late. So when germinated the crops are going to need some extra care to ensure they don’t get tempted to bolt!

    And of course there is always a little weeding to be done. See you Sunday.

  • A little help from our friends

    Posted on May 26th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    Our visitors from Trevalon Organic Co-operative set to work on Sunday and gave us some very welcome assistance on the veg plot. 

    It’s amazing what a team of dedicated vegetable growers can do in a short time. They helped us get through all our weeding, watering, planting and sowing chores.

    In the blazing sunshine we sowed plenty of carrot seed and planted out bee borage. But we decided not to risk planting out the celery in such hot, dry conditions.

    At the same time we exchanged news and views about organic cultivation methods, how to make local food work and the growing number of community supported agriculture schemes here in the south-west.

    Many thanks to all five members of the Trevalon group who’d travelled from Herodsfoot, led by landowner Mark Simon.

    Camel CSA’s expert growers Jane, Jeremy B and Mark N organised our own volunteer growing team of Charlotte, Danny, Kitty, Mark M, Mike S, Rebecca and Tess.

    We deserved our al fresco lunch, when we were all joined by fellow Camel CSA volunteers Dan, Kate, Penny, Robert and Theresa.  Plus members of our junior wing – Brooke, Carla, Finn, Keira and Seth along with babes-in-arms Daisy and Hollie.

  • We’re raising the roof

    Posted on May 19th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    At long last we have a shed to shelter our volunteer picking and packing team from the Cornish elements.  

    We’re marking the occasion with an informal picnic at the veg plot this Sunday 23 May.  This will start to happen as the volunteer growers finish work about 12.30 pm.

    It’ll be a chance to get together and celebrate the season, plus anything else that comes to mind…

    Everyone’s welcome. All ages of course.  Please bring your own food and drink and be prepared to share it!  I expect we’ll be on site until around 3pm.

    According to a rumour from the Met Office it promises to be sunny and warm, so keep your fingers crossed.