Storm-damaged polytunnel covers replaced at last

May 16, 2024

We’re feeling such an incredible sense of relief. A wonderful team of volunteers made the most of still, warm weather at the weekend to replace two polytunnel covers that were torn off in the winter storms.

Camel CSA has lost a lot of valuable growing space and time during this extremely difficult start to the season, so we’re very grateful to be getting back to normal business on our site at Treraven Farm.

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*chard
*seasonal salad leaf mix
*parsley plant in a pot
Tamar valley strawberries (Continental Wholesale Fruits)
cauliflower (Gluvian Growers, St Columb)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair Farm, St Eval)

Also in the standard boxes:
*radishes
*spring onions
leeks (Trerair)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Organic celeriac and new-season asparagus in the veg boxes

May 6, 2024

We always get very inventive at this time of year. We need to find ways to bridge the hungry gap as we wait for this season’s newly-planted crops to mature.

The new-season UK asparagus in our vegetable boxes comes via Organic North, the wonderful cooperative wholesalers in Manchester. It was grown on Bedlam Farms in the Fens. We also have some enormous celeriac roots from Chapel Organics at North Berwick in Scotland.

Just a little further afield than usual!

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*spring cabbage
*asparagus (Organic North)
*celeriac (Organic North)
leeks (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
cauliflower (Gluvian Growers, St Columb)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*seasonal salad leaf mix
*spring onions / chives
*sprouted fenugreek seeds

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Seasonal stalwarts help fill our veg boxes during the hungry gap

April 27, 2024

A couple of super stalwarts have starring roles in our veg boxes this week – organic yellow oyster mushrooms from Forest Fungi in Dawlish, and our own rhubarb chard.

Both are reliably available during the hungry gap when British-grown seasonal vegetables become increasingly scarce. They’re also extremely delicious!

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*red rhubarb chard
*radishes
*yellow oyster mushrooms (Forest Fungi, Dawlish)
leeks (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
cauliflower (Gluvian Growers, St Columb)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*oriental stir fry or *salad leaf mix
*dried British-grown chickpeas (Hodmedod’s)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Camel CSA’s veg growers are making up for lost time

April 21, 2024

It’s hard work doing catch-up but so much easier when the sky’s blue, the air’s warm and the ground’s dry!

Our growers and volunteers are working flat out to get the new season’s crops planted after the unusually wet and windy winter. It’s now the ‘hungry gap’ when there are fewer seasonal vegetables to harvest.

The beautiful spring sunshine has enabled them to push on with preparing beds, weeding, spreading and making compost, sowing seeds and planting out seedlings.

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*spring onions
*elephant garlic
*oriental stir fry or *salad leaf mix
*Shiitake mushrooms (Forest Fungi, Dawlish)
leeks (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*mung bean sprouts
*can of fava beans (Hodmedod’s)
red cabbage (Trerair)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Extreme weather leads to food shortages

April 17, 2024

We are facing some unprecedented challenges this spring. And we’re not the only ones.

The home-grown vegetables we love so much are now in the grip of the UK ‘hungry gap’ when overwintered veg are coming to an end and this season’s crops have yet to mature.

In this week’s veg boxes we have an amazing selection of our own salad leaves, stir fry mix, chard, radishes, rhubarb, kale, elephant garlic and beetroot.

Over the next few weeks we’re preparing to buy in an increasing proportion of veg box contents from other growers – sometimes from much further afield than Cornwall.

It won’t be straightforward as all growers are facing enormous challenges, delays and shortages arising from the recent torrential rain.

The upside is that we’ve already prepared lots of growing beds, spread vast quantities of homemade compost and planted all the early potatoes.

The broad beans are flowering and the young pepper, aubergine, chilli and tomato seedlings are growing on strongly. The small propagation polytunnel is full of onion, root veg and brassica plants ready to go out as the ground dries and begins to warm up.

It’s really reassuring to know that it won’t be too long before the weekly veg boxes are almost 100% full of our own homegrown produce again. But as the climate crisis brings more chaos to our weather systems we’re all having to learn to adapt.

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*oriental stir fry or *salad leaf mix
*radishes or *beetroot
*red Russian kale or *rhubarb chard
purple sprouting broccoli (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
leeks (Trerair)
cauliflower (Gluvian Growers, St Columb)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*rhubarb
*elephant garlic
*can of carlin peas (Hodmedod’s)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Lots of leafy goodness in Camel CSA’s weekly vegetable boxes

April 9, 2024

We pick a variety of salad leaves for the veg shares nearly every week all through the winter.

In early spring as the light levels improve and the days get longer the oriental leaves are left to put on more growth. Just as they start to go to seed we harvest them in large quantities and mix them to make stir fry bags.

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*oriental stir fry leaf mix
*spring onions
*red Russian kale
*rhubarb or chill crab apple jelly
purple sprouting broccoli (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
romanesco cauliflower (Trerair)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*mixed salad leaves
*radishes or turnips
*sprouted fenugreek seeds

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Homemade compost improves the soil and boosts biodiversity

April 2, 2024

The growing team have started spreading our own compost on the potato beds. We make vast quantities of this rich crumbly concoction every year.

A small number of volunteers work throughout the seasons to ensure enough is available. Green vegetable waste, chopped stalks, annual weeds, leafy debris, and grass clippings are mixed with brown layers of shredded cardboard, untreated wood shavings and woodchip.

Regular turning by hand introduces air, helps the raw materials to heat up, and encourages microorganisms and bacteria to complete the breakdown process.

Once it’s matured after several months, we use the fragrant dark compost to mulch and improve soil composition on the no-dig vegetable beds. It helps feed the crops, conserves moisture, deters weeds, and boosts biodiversity. The worms love it!

In a few weeks time we’ll be using even more to plant out tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and chillies in the polytunnels, and hundreds of pumpkins and squashes outdoors.

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*rhubarb
*mixed salad leaves
*purple sprouting broccoli or red Russian kale
*dried olive green lentils (Hodmedod’s)
cauliflower (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
potatoes ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*leafy oriental stirfry mix
*radishes
leeks (Trerair)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Volunteer with Camel CSA and grow with us

March 24, 2024

Would you like to volunteer with us? It’s the very start of the veg growing season and there’s lots to get done!

We still have spaces for a few more people of all ages on our friendly volunteering team. Join us to grow together under the guidance of expert paid growers.

It’s an opportunity to get healthy outdoor exercise while finding out more about no-dig, nature-friendly vegetable growing.

No previous experience is necessary. Simply click here and complete the short request form.

In all the weekly veg boxes:-
*rhubarb
*wild garlic leaves (foraged)
*red Russian kale
*Shiitake mushrooms (Forest Fungi, Dawlish)
red cabbage (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
potatoes ‘Wilja’ or ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*mixed salad leaves
*sprouted mung beans
leeks (Trerair)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

First of the wild garlic in Camel CSA’s weekly veg boxes

March 17, 2024

Not before time! We’ve started foraging wild garlic leaves for the weekly veg shares. It’s such a welcome addition in early spring, all the more so this year.

We’re always short of our own veg leading up to the hungry gap, like all UK growers. We still have some salad leaves, parsley & chard in the polytunnels, with rhubarb, red Russian kale & some gale-battered purple broccoli outside, and elephant garlic in store. But that’s about it until the early seedlings mature.

Our much-valued growers and volunteers are working flat out as we begin the spring rush.

It’s been a rough old winter one way and another, probably the worst in Camel CSA’s 15 consecutive seasons growing veg in wet and windy north Cornwall. Saturated ground has delayed outdoor bed preparation, and for the first time ever we lost a couple of polytunnel covers in two consecutive Atlantic storms.

So a handful of wild garlic leaves and a few sticks of rhubarb in the 70 weekly boxes really do lift our spirits and tickle our tired taste buds!

In all this week’s veg boxes:-
*wild garlic leaves (foraged)
*purple sprouting broccoli or *rhubarb chard
*sprouted mung beans
leeks (*Mark Norman, Bodmin / (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
dried British chick peas (Hodmedod’s)
romanesco cauliflower (Trerair)
potatoes ‘Wilja’ or ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*parsley
*mixed salad leaves
swede (Trerair)

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

Rhubarb season begins early at Camel CSA

March 10, 2024

The outdoor rhubarb crop is ripening earlier than normal and it’s a star feature in this week’s standard veg boxes.

The emerging stems put on an enormous growth spurt in the mild wet weather during February. We rely extensively on this perennial fruit crop in the run-up to the ‘hungry gap‘ as we come to the end of last season’s root vegetables and leafy greens.

The big challenge our growers now face is keeping the tender new rhubarb protected from sudden cold, dry, easterly winds that can hit north Cornwall in the spring. They blow straight across our site from Rough Tor, the second highest point on Bodmin Moor.

In every weekly veg box:-
*red Russian kale
*Shiitake mushrooms (Forest Fungi, Dawlish)
cauliflower (Trerair Farm, St Eval)
leeks (Trerair)
parsnips (Continental Fruits, Pensilva)
potatoes ‘Wilja’ or ‘Manitou’ (Trerair)

Standard boxes also have:
*rhubarb
*elephant garlic
*sprouted fenugreek seeds

* = grown to organic principles.  Please wash all veg thoroughly  
Produce grown by Camel CSA, unless indicated otherwise 

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