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Burscough Community Farm May Newsletter
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Hello everyone

Sorry but this newsletter is a little overdue. It has been a mad busy time on the farm. The cold spring has put us back so now we are having to pull out all the stops to get us back on track. This is my favourite time of year with everything growing like crazy and the growing season is so full of potential. Now we are well into May, our tender crops such as Courgettes, Pumpkins and Runner Beans can be grown (hopefully) without any fear of frosts. The first of the potatoes are well above the ground and I have even seen our first tomato formed.

Beltane Barbeque



The Beltane BBQ last turned out to be a success with over 60 people and raising us £274.00. We owe thanks to all those that helped make it happen, but especially to our cooks, Andy, Terry and Shane, Geraldine and Susan for making the salads (with some of our own rocket) and a special thanks to Ruth who organised the raffle and playing card draw.

It is the first time that we have ran an event where we charged a ticket price and organised our own catering so I would be interested in your opinon on how you think it went. Should we organise more events this way; please let me know?


Bryan enjoying a burger with our cooks Shane, Andy and Terry (L-R)



Poly Tunnel Overflowing



We have just about reached the capacity of our poly tunnel with seedlings literaly hanging from the rafters (its a good way of keeping them our of reach of the slugs). It has become a plant production line, getting seedlings to germinate and then grow on. When big enough, they move onto the cold frames and finally out into the market garden.

It is a very satisfying process to raise something from a seed into produce that you can eat. It is a process that we take for granted and one that I feel priviliged to be a part of every day. Growing food teaches you about life and about nature and I wish more people could take part in it first hand; this planet would be a much better place.



Making A Difference - The Wheel Hoe



Anyone who has visited the farm recently will have witnessd me in an almost giddy state of enthusiasm, a state that has been brought about by the wheelhoe. This tool can be set up in many ways, but it has the prime function of clearing weeds effectively and efficiently. Hoeing a 100ft row of crops or pathway takes a few minutes and the whole plot can get hoed in a few hours.

These particular wheelhoes were made in the 1940's and 50's, a time when market gardening provided so much of our fresh food. It offers an amazing human powered solution to keeping large areas of vegetable beds free of weeds.

The battle against weeds is never over, but at least I now have a fighting chance.

The Trees Are Dying



Well, thankfully only parts of them. I went through the Alder coppice the other day and noticed that as I walked, hundreds of lower branches were snapping off as I brushed past. The trees have decided which branches are not getting enough light and not producing enough of a return energy wise. These lower branches dry up and wither off so the tree can put all it's effort into growing upwards to reach the light. This is great news for us, as areas of the Alder coppice are growing tall straght poles which will be of great value to us in construction projects in the future. Where the Alder are more generously spaced, lower branches are retained to gather maximum sunlight.



New Cloches Are A Success



The new cloches supported by the blue water pipe seem be the answer to our brassica growing problems. They provide a great environment for the plants to thrive with protection from a long list of things that want to eat them before we get the chance. The main benefit though is the ease of access we get to hoe the crop. This wasn't possible with the large sheets of wondermesh that we had layed out over several rows. Pulling the sheets off to hoe was a major job, hence it didn't get done enough and crops got lost in weeds.

This system is designed to fit our 30inch beds and is quickly set up and stripped down at the end of the season so it can be moved on to different beds. Thanks to Lancashire County Coucil for providing some of the funding for this.



An Area For The Children



Molly and Barnaby have been busy at work, putting together a growing area especially for the smaller children. It will be surrounded with a 'growing wall' made up from living willow and recycled pallets. I think it meets the approval of the two 'overseer's' sat chilling out in this picture. Molly and Barnably could do with a hand if you fancy lending one. They are creating a great resource for bringing little ones to.

 

Message from Geraldine Boocock:
Second grand charity barbecue for 

people of 
Nepal


Where? 
Geraldine's garden (or inside if it rains...........). 
28 Winifred Lane, Aughton, L39 5DJ

What?
Last year Sue & I hosted a BBQ to which many of you came, were very generous and, I’m told, had a good time! 

Same format this year so do come again. Food (meat & veggie), drink, prayer flags and good company. 

Please come, join the fun and make a donation if you CAN.

When?  


SATURDAY 11 JUNE from 1.30pm until everyone goes home. Food from 2.00pm.



update on Nepal:
 


The Nepalese earthquake is no longer in the news but for the people of Nepal many problems remain.  If you have a few mins to 

spare watch this video:

https://youtu.be/EpAQHsCP4j0

And flip through Doug Scott’s report, where many of you will get a mention in the donors' list (some donations were made anonymously or in cash so if your name doesn’t appear don’t worry - all the money raised was personally delivered!!).
 
http://www.canepal.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/CAN-Progress-Report.pdf

https://youtu.be/EpAQHsCP4j0https://youtu.be/EpAQHsCP4j0


NB:  If you haven’t yet been in touch Please RSVP by email, text or 'phone:


01695 422732

0776 445 6146
Birds Update

If you have been around the farm lately, you may have noticed the cordoned of area around the wood shed. Here is the reason why: 

https://www.facebook.com/burscoughcommunityfarm/videos/1097527133642865/

Pied Wagtail's have been busy raising a family and here is the result. Since this video was filmed I am pleased to say that the young wagtail seems to have successfuly fledged and I hope that it is now busy on the field eating the little creepy crawlies that want to eat our crops.

We have also found a Blackbird nest amongst a stack of pallets just behind the woodshed and Blackbird parents have been seen feeding fledgling chicks around the area.

It seems that even recycled material storage area's provide great nesting sites for the birds on the farm.

Dawn Chorus Walk

We will be having another dawn chorus walk this year, scheduled at around 3:30am on Sunday 5th of June. This event, hosted by Graham Clarkson, was a great success last year with over 40 different bird species identified during the morning. The walk ends up back at the farm for a bacon and/or egg barm for breakfast.

BCF On TV

Burscough Community Farm made it's debut on the North West edition of the Andrew Neil Sunday Politics program on Sunday 15th of May. Go to 53 mins and 30 seconds to see what we had to say about the ongoing issue of pumps and flooding in the area.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b079rv7s/sunday-politics-north-west-15052016


And Finally

The hawthorn hedgerows around the farm have burst into flower, on a sunny morning like today I can think of no finer sight. If you haven't been down to the farm lately come over and have a look around, I think it is amazing at the moment.

Copyright © 2016 Burscough Community Farm CIC, All rights reserved.


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