Phoenix Farm Newsletter

Spring Newsletter March 2015

The ‘Pop Up’ farm produce stall started up again at the beginning of March.We have been selling a small range of fresh veg that we have grown over winter- curly kale, cavalo nero, leeks, cabbages, winter lettuce, spicy winter salad leaves, chard, coriander pots and eggs from the farm hens. We celebrated it’s re-opening with some lovely warming home- made leek and potato soup!

The Year 7 Farm Lunch Club students have been busy (Farm Lunch club is a mix of food growing, cooking & healthy eating activities).The students have been looking after the rabbits and chickens, digging over their patch, planting and seed sowing. In February they made a big wish list of what they would like to grow, and so far they have got cucumbers, melons, cherry tomatoes and giant sunflowers underway.

During February half term we ran a couple of sessions on the farm as part of the Phoenix SAFE Holiday scheme. The children did a trail around the farm, looking at all the different herbs growing, and then we used some of them in a cooking session, making herby scrambled eggs.
Also in February, the farm hosted a weekend course about how to prune fruit trees. It was part of the Big Local Community Project and was attended by 8 locals .Charlotte and Shay (Post 16, Land Based Studies students) have been busy on the Farm. Shay is doing his work experience on the farm every Tuesday morning, and is putting his plant propagation skills into practice, and Charlotte has done a lot of work in creating a wildlife area, to attract more birds and beneficial insects.

The farm volunteer sessions have been very popular, with 3 new local people starting since February. The large greenhouse is rapidly filling up with all kinds of seedlings, and cuttings. We have sowed 13 different varieties of tomatoes so far! Our overwintered onions and broad beans are looking great, the potatoes are ‘chitting’ nicely and we have started sowing peas, spinach, carrots and beetroot outdoors. Well done for all your hard work weeding, digging and composting, ready for the new season. Many thanks to the staff from Taylor Woodrow who have built us a new raised growing bed at the front of the farm, and reorganised all the growing space in the new polytunnel; thanks for all the digging guys!

Our thanks go to the Salt Yard Group for their continuing support, of our community based programmes. Written by Cath Knight, Community Food Grower

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