They really do deserve a medal!

July 29, 2009

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. 

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.

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

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