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  • Jobs for Sunday

    Posted on October 3rd, 2009 charlotte No comments

    onions cropped - jg 09-08-09Expert grower Jane Mellowship says:

    “On Sunday we’re planning to plant out onion sets.  It’ll make a change from weeding!  Also putting up posts and wire and tying in the remaining boysenberries.  

     

    “See you there!” 

  • How we’re securing veg supply

    Posted on August 20th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture is starting to source vegetables from outside suppliers.  Up until now the contents of our weekly veg boxes have come from our own site at St Kew Highway and from our three expert growers.

    camel-csa 09-08-09Our business plan allows us to buy in up to 40% of box contents over the course of a year, but during the rest of Year Zero we may have to increase that proportion.  Provided our bid for external funding is successful, this should not need to happen in the future.

    This new move has led to some debate among members.  It’s proved impossible to source sufficient organic vegetable supplies within a 30-mile radius.  However we are in contact with some reliable small-scale local suppliers whose vegetables are not grown to organic principles.

    Compromise

    So we have a dilemma.  Do we insist on organically-grown vegetables that could come from afar or do we buy local vegetables that may not be organic?

    Either way, we have to compromise: either by clocking up extra food miles or temporarily abandoning our organic food-growing principles.

    We’ve been sounding out the views of members at our recent volunteering sessions and over the ether.  The response has been interesting.

    weeding-camel-csa 09-08-09With a couple of exceptions, members feel they would rather eat local food that is not strictly organic provided it comes from within our own immediate community in north Cornwall.  They don’t like the idea of clocking up food miles by using suppliers who are some distance away – maybe as far as east Devon. 

    Local food

    Ideally, the membership would like to source organic veg locally but realise this is not practicable in the short term.  They say they’d rather keep our veg box scheme going over the winter months and use the opportunity to start building up important local networks of small vegetable growers.  

    Some responses from our members: –  

    “Very happy with that – a pragmatic response to a short term problem.”

     

    “We would definitely support the option of buying in local non-organic veg over shipping it in from further afield or taking a box holiday.” 

     

    “Buy from local, especially small-scale local, rather than organic from further afield if necessary (fewer food miles).”

     

    “We’d be happy with local produce even if not totally organic rather than shipping it in.”

    Green manure

    weeding-carrots-camel csa 14-08-09 Our volunteer teams have been busy weeding row after row of carrots.  We’ve also begun the laborious task of pulling up the plastic mulch from the disused strawberry beds in preparation for sowing a crop of green manure. 

    Thanks to Sunday’s volunteers – expert growers Jeremy and Mark N, helped by Carmen, Charlotte, Danny, Ian, Kitty, Mike H and Mike S, plus Finn aged five and three-year-old Keira.  

    A special mention to Steve, who singlehandedly weeded a whole 29-metre-long carrot bed on Friday.  Trish masterminded the packing of the boxes along with pickers Charlotte, Mike H and Penny. 

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • 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.

  • They deserve a medal!

    Posted on May 26th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    We’re having an extra mid-week volunteer session on Thursday as there’s so much work to do at Camel Community Supported Agriculture.  Charlotte, Kitty and Mike S have already put their names forward.

    carrotsWe need to plant out brassicas, celeriac, parsley and spring onion plants and, if we have time, sow sweetcorn and squash seeds.

    If you’re able to give a hand, we’ll be on the site this Thursday 28 May between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Click here for directions. 

    If you can’t make it on Thursday morning, why not give expert grower Jeremy Brown a ring on 07971762227 to find out when else it might be convenient to help out.

    Medals all round

    Last Sunday’s team deserves special praise.  Everyone got down on their knees and hand weeded. 

    weeding-carrotsThe onion, shallot and Swiss chard beds were comparatively easy to tackle, but weeding the carrots by hand was an exacting and extremely fiddly job. The air was blue at times.  We’ll savour every single one of those carrots when they appear in our weekly vegetable boxes!

    Grateful thanks to volunteer expert growers Jane, Jeremy and Mark and to their willing helpers – Beverley, Cath, Carolyn, Charlotte, John, Kitty, Mike H and Mike S.

    There’s so much effort going into preparing the first vegetable shares, which should start to be available in mid-June.  A lot of thought is being given to when and how they will be picked, packed and distributed.  

    We’ll be working on the site as usual next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Do come along and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.  It’s not all hard work.  It’s good company – and fun too.

  • Sunday jobs – Whitsun weekend

    Posted on May 21st, 2009 charlotte No comments

    We need all the help we can get on Sunday.camel-csa  The growing season has hit us with a vengeance at Camel Community Supported Agriculture .  Weeds are shooting up – they love this showery weather! 

    Expert grower Jane Mellowship says: –

    “On Sunday we have lots to get done. Brassica, celeriac, parsley and spring onion plugs need to be planted out, there’s sweetcorn and squash to sow and plenty of weeding too.

    Hope to see you all then!”