Video captures the spirit of Cornish Wassail at Camel CSA

January 15, 2024

Our growing community gathered together on Sunday to bless Camel CSA’s young orchard in a traditional Cornish Wassail.

We joined in playing music, singing, dancing, and making a din to wake the trees from their winter slumber, to encourage a bountiful harvest, and to frighten away any bad spirits. 

View the video

Traditional Cornish tunes soon got fingers and toes tapping as families with young children joined in on their percussion instruments.

This is the second year that Camel CSA’s held its Wassail at Treraven Farm. It’s fast become one of our annual community celebrations alongside the autumn Apple Day and summer barbeque.

*Original Wassail song composed by Dee and Dave Brotherton of Tir ha Tavas, accessed from the Cornish National Music Archive

Volunteers make hay while the sun refuses to shine

August 15, 2023

There wasn’t much sunshine on Sunday but an enthusiastic bunch of volunteers did manage to get the hay raking done on our meadow at Treraven Farm.

We proved that many hands make light work after topping up people’s energy levels with a delicious barbeque.

We cut the grass at this time of year and rake up all the mowings because we want to encourage lots of wild flowers. More native flowers will thrive and grasses will become less dominant as we manage the meadow in a way that will gradually reduce soil fertility levels.

Camel CSA volunteers planted nearly 40 fruit trees in the more sheltered corner of the meadow in January. Two hives of bees were introduced in early summer and are managed by a member of Wadebridge Beekeeping Group.

Camel CSA features in Forest for Cornwall film about our orchard

July 19, 2023

A delightful short film about Camel CSA has been produced by Forest for Cornwall. It showcases how they help local organisations like ours to plant trees that will benefit people in the community.

We’re currently nurturing nearly 40 fruit trees that Camel CSA volunteers planted earlier in the year in the new orchard beside our vegetable growing site at Treraven Farm, Wadebridge.

Forest for Cornwall supplied the trees, including many traditional Cornish varieties, with the support of the Woodland Trust‘s Forest for My Place project.

We celebrated planting the orchard in January with a traditional Cornish Wassail and will be holding our annual Apple Day as usual in the autumn when we invite people in our local community to take part in apple pressing.

In the past many farms in the Camel Valley maintained a thriving orchard. Most have been lost over the years and we’re passionate about doing our bit to reverse this decline.

It’s been a thrill for us to establish a lasting resource that’ll bring people together, provide apples for the veg boxes, and become a fantastic habitat for birds, bees, bats, beetles and butterflies.

BBC Spotlight report about Camel CSA’s growing community role

July 15, 2023

BBC Spotlight came to film us at Camel CSA this week about a new report focusing on the future of community food growing in Cornwall.

The inquiry by Exeter University’s Environment and Sustainability Institute and the new Sustainable Food Cornwall partnership found that community growing schemes are flourishing but urgently need access to suitable land, funding and skills to expand and thrive.

It concludes that existing growing schemes succeed against the odds as they overcome barriers including a shortage of land, inadequate funding, short-term leaseholds, lack of infrastructure and equipment.

Camel CSA is one of the case studies in the report alongside Bosavern Community Farm at St Just, Growing Links at Penzance, Loveland in Penryn, Newquay Orchard in Newquay, Soul Farm in Flushing, and Tamar Grow Local in Callington. 

We’re all part of a new Good Food Map charting the many agroecological producers and community growing schemes across Cornwall. It’s a work in progress that aims to recognise the huge diversity of sustainable food businesses across Cornwall.

Community Growing in Cornwall  The impact and potential of local sustainable food growing in Cornwall – produced by Sustainable Food Cornwall and the University of Exeter, supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board’s Community Growing Working Group.

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