Category Archives: Farm News

Manure Day

Pitch fork in compost

Manure is very important for us to keep our soil healthy.

We are very fortunate that our friends at nearby Down to Earth Farm keep a variety of animals and as a consequence have a large pile of manure we can get our hands on. (Well, not our hands, our pitch forks!)

Our good friend Andy the Acorn Tree Specialist is helping us with transport.

So all we need now are lots of good friends to spend the morning with wheel barrows and pitch forks to load and unload.

This is what me mean by Manure Day !

  • [times have changed!!] We will meet on Sat 7 Oct at 2.30pm at Aldermoor Community Farm or 3.00pm at Down to Earth Farm on Green Lane (SO16 9FQ).
  • We will load up using wheelbarrows and pitch forks loaned by Down to Earth.
  • We will return to Aldermoor Farm to unload and distribute the manure to our veggie beds.
  • We will enjoy a hearty cup of tea!
  • If you want to arrive early and have lunch with us, please do – we do lunch at about 12.30

We are hoping for 12 helpers (the dirty dozen??). It would make us less nervous if you could sign up below if you can help.

Thank you.

Easter Monday Picnic and Open Day

We were blessed with a mostly sunny day on Monday 17 April 2017.

Through the gates came 124 people, and we all seemed to have a very happy day on the farm!

Activities included the crafty barn, easter egg trail, fishing game and golf ball runway. We all enjoyed the sunny weather, meeting the animals, the tranquil atmosphere and seeing the blossom and new growth. Many picnic lunches were enjoyed.

Thanks to those who brought cakes to share.

Thank you very much to our team of volunteers – Sophia, Becky, Tracey, Paul, Gill, Zoe, Nathan, Adam, Richard, Mauri, Kathy.

Bio-Cycle

Bio-Cycle is a student-led food waste recycling scheme (see their Facebook page).

In the absence of a council scheme to collect veg peelings and other waste food for compost, students from the University of Southampton devised their own scheme.

In preventing unnecessary food waste from going to landfill, by re-using it locally, they hope to encourage sustainability within Southampton and the strong student community, changing the way people view recycling.

The scheme provides student households with food waste caddies and bin liners for a small fee of £10.

This also registers them with a regular weekly food waste pickup service.

There are 35 student households in the scheme.

Each week volunteers go round on bicycles to collect the liners full of compostable materials.

All collected food waste comes to Aldermoor Community Farm – and it comes by bicycle.

 

We put the liners into our custom-built compost bay, layering the fresh material with wood-chip. It is a great recipe for compost.

Bio-Cycle is one of many projects organised by Southampton Hub, a nation-wide charity whose aim which supports students to tackle social challenges. Find out more here: southamptonhub.org/sustainability

 

Bike2Basics

We are really pleased to support Bike 2 Basics at Aldermoor Community Farm. In 2017 they visited us on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month.

Due to reduced numbers of volunteers, Bike 2 Basics are not visiting us regularly at the moment. But they do go to the Repair Cafe, which is on the first Saturday of each month.

They run a Community Bike Doctor session where they undertake minor repairs to bicycles. They encourage people to watch the repair so they can learn how it is done, and are happy for people to undertake their own repairs under supervision.

They can do safety checks, minor repairs and service work. They can also advise of more in-depth repairs that may need to be undertaken by your local bicycle repair shop.

Bike 2 Basics is a Southampton-based community bike project. Their aim is to offer services that enable more people to cycle safely around the city and surrounding areas. Their services are run by volunteers, and they aim to create an inclusive and fun environment for people to work in.

Find out more at bike2basics.org.uk

Logo

This is our logo. Made for us by a friend.

What do you see in it? This is some of what we see:

  • Young and old working together
  • Producing food
  • Nurturing the land
  • The central importance of soil
  • We have roots

Apple Pressing 2016

Sunday 25 September     [10am to 4pm]
Sunday 16 October     [10am to 4pm]

chopping ashurst press brens press

We are excited to announce TWO apple pressing days for this year.

We had a great time last year. So much so, that we have booked the press from Ashurst and Colbury Community Group for TWO sessions this year.

Come along from 10am with your apples to press. Or just come along and join in! We pause at about 12ish for a bring and share lunch.

First we cut the apples in quarters. Then they go into the scratter. Then into the press. Then we have amazing fresh apple juice to enjoy. Everyone brings bottles to take some home in – last year everyone went home with at least a 4-pint milk carton of apple juice – most with more!!

The juice needs to be enjoyed in a few days – it starts to ferment quite quickly. Or you can freeze it for a few months. Or you can bottle it and heat it to 75 degrees C for 25 mins  – then it will last in the bottle for about a year.

There are many apple trees around the city that don’t get used – if you don’t have your own tree, perhaps you could go and pick some apples and bring them along! For hints about this, see the website of Southampton’s Urbane Forager.

Hope to see you there!

NOTE – this is a free event for everyone in the community, but if on the day you can make a contribution to our costs, we would appreciate it. We donate £20 to Ashurst and Colbury Community Group for the loan of the equipment.

August Open Day

intensive bedsOn Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August we have an open day.

Gates open at 10am and we keep going until about 4pm.

At the open day you can enjoy the following:
  • map and self-guided tour
  • feed the chickens
  • treasure hunt
  • drain pipe car races
  • the pond will be in use for our new fishing game/competition
  • at lunch time a summer squash curry will be served, with the majority of ingredients grown on the farm
  • our shop will be open with a range of chemical-free fresh produce for sale – sweet corn and golden beetroot should be ready by then, as well as our delicious french beans and runner beans. We also have new season jams and chutneys and local honey for sale.
  • throughout the day our pay as you feel refreshments will be available with home made cakes

Summer Saturday Sessions

Announcing Saturday sessions for volunteers in May, June and July!

These are the dates booked in so far:

  • Sat 21 May 
  • Sat 4 June 
  • Sat 2 July
  • Sat 16 July

Our Saturdays start at 0930 and run until 1230. We have a cuppa mid morning and then if you want to stay for our “bring and share” lunch at 1230 that is encouraged! We send everyone home and lock up after lunch.

In May and June we will be potting up germinated seeds, such as basil. Then we will be planting out and potting on various things. There will be seeds to plant in our various beds.

No doubt we will be digging more swales and shaping new ponds at some stage.

And there is always some weeding to do, if you like taming the land!

 

May Open Day

We hope to see you at our bank holiday open day on Monday May 30th. Gates are open from 10am to 4pm. We will serve a “pay as you feel” tasty mild vegetarian curry from 1230.Apple tree in blossom

This is what you can do:

  • follow the farm trail and quiz
  • [perhaps] see our new goslings
  • feed the chickens
  • plant some seeds

We will have a few things for sale:

  • chicken and duck eggs
  • marmalade and local honey
  • vegetable plants
  • flower plants
  • seeds for flowers and bee plants.

Co-operation and Community Gardens

co-operation and community gardensOn Sunday 8th May an event called “Co-operation and Community Gardens” is being held at Aldermoor Community Farm. It is an all day event for those interested in community gardening in Southampton (and area). Whether you are a volunteer, community leader, or just want to know what it’s all about, this free event is a good place to start.

10.00 Arrive, chat, hot drink, housekeeping
11.00 Practical Task
13.00 Lunch, please bring food to share
14.00 Short talk on co-operatives, as they apply to Aldermoor Farm, presented by Richard Pitt.
15.00 Mindfulness session led by Helen Cooper and Andy Mabey.
16.00 Close.

More activities may be added and you are welcome to join in all or part of the program.

Here is some more info from Helen Plowman who is the driving force behind this:

Our intention is to give community growers more chances to learn from one another and support each other. We also hope to encourage new volunteers or those wishing to start a new project. By working alongside each other in a practical way connections and conversations happen, it’s a great way to make new friends and it’s also a thank you to the farm for hosting us.

Lunch will be an informal affair with lots of chances to walk around the site, network and generally relax.

Then a simple presentation on the theme of co-operatives and the farm, how it works, what the co-operative structure has added etc. Depending on numbers and the wishes of the group we will have small group discussion time afterwards.

Then to wind down there will be a mindfulness activity, possibly run in parallel with a land art exercise (again dependent on numbers).

Please let me know if you’re planning to come, either via email or by joining the Facebook event page. It would be helpful to know numbers, and also what food people will bring for lunch. This is a free event, but the farm sells produce so do bring some money along.

I really hope to see you there.
Helen Plowman
hj.plowman@gmail.com