Veg share box week beginning 15th September 2014


- 4 sweetcorn cobs

- 3 courgettes

- 600g tomatoes

- small cucumber

- 1kg beans (mostly runners, some French, bagged separately)

- 750g potatoes

- 300g beetroot

- 150g Swiss chard

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CSA Network UK AGM at The Welsh CSA Gathering

We thought you might like to see some photos of the Welsh CSA Gathering where the CSA Network UK AGM took place last weekend. It was a lovely event, very interesting, friendly and productive. Thank you to everyone who put so much time and effort into making it such a success, particularly our hosts at Flintshare CSA!

Wonderful Flintshare veg

Wonderful Flintshare veg

They know their onions at Flintshare!

They know their onions at Flintshare!

Our lovely hostess, Nikki Giles of Flintshare CSA

Our lovely hostess, Nikki Giles of Flintshare CSA


Serious talk…


… and serious fun too!



Joanne shares her expertise in context sensitive signage from The Oak Tree with Sandy of Flintshare ;)


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Harvest Party at the Oak Tree

Thank you to everyone who joined The Oak Tree Harvest Party last night and made it such a great event!

Dave with food from the Oak Tree

Dave with food from the Oak Tree


Dave's barbecue made from a metal drum

Dave’s & Dave’s barbecue made from a metal drum. A great success!


Oak Tree sausages

Oak Tree Sausages


it was Kate's birthday

Happy Birthday Kate!


gathered around the fire

gathered around the fire

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Eric and Rose: A floral wedding!

Eric and Rose, two founder members of The Oak Tree Farm Community Supported Agriculture Scheme (indeed Eric is now Joanne’s fellow full time grower and manager at the farm) got married a couple of weeks ago.

The happy couple got to know each other initially in the early days of the CSA planting leeks at the farm, hence our home made wedding card to the happy couple:

The Farm's card for the happy couple.

The Farm’s card to the happy couple.

Here they are, just after the ceremony, with an arrangement of farm flowers along with Rose’s farm posy.

The Happy Couple, complete with farm flowers.

The Happy Couple, complete with farm flowers.

Making it official

Making it official

Joanne, proud winner of the “Flower Arrangement in an Egg Cup” competition at her primary school, and granddaughter of an prizewinning amateur flower arranger (but with absolutely no other qualifications in floristry!) did the flower arrangements for the day, with much thanks and credit to the lovely CSA members who stepped in to help picking the flowers on the day when everything got a bit rushed!

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Update on Forrest and Gump, The Oak Tree Calves

We thought you might like to see how our lovely calves are getting on.

Here they were mid August – they have grown even more since then!

P8130263_sm P8130272_sm P8130280_sm


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Portraits of our pigs!

CSA member Filipa Fisher is a talented illustrator who has been spending some time painting farm animals recently. She has kindly allowed me to share these lovely pictures of our Gloucester Old Spot pigs – aren’t they beautiful!?

second little piggy autocorrect crop one little piggy autocorrect crop

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Pigs love comfrey!

Comfrey is an amazing plant – its deep roots draw up minerals from the subsoil which can be used to provides nutrients for vegetables – we do it the easy way and just use it as a mulch. It was tradtionally known as “knitbone” thanks to its remarkable healing properties. And it makes a nutritious food for chickens and pigs – after initial doubts our pigs have learnt to love it! Zero food miles for our pigs :)

The Oak Tree pigs ejoying a comfrey breakfast!

The Oak Tree pigs ejoying a comfrey breakfast!


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New Oak Tree Chicks

Pictures of the latest Oak Tree Chicks! A delightful mixed selection of our home bred dual purpose meat and egg chickens (because we don’t want to kill day old boy chicks as usually happens for commercial egg production).

Thank you to CSA members Lara and Derek for raising them! They will be moving to the farm this Saturday :)

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Soil Carbon Sequestration – Savory Conference

Thank you to Eric and CSA members who did the harvest and working party on Friday and Saturday last week so I could attend the Savory Conference in London. This was all about using farming to sequester carbon in the soil though innovative farming techniques (of the sort we are trying at The Oak Tree).

You can watch the entire conference, for free, here:

Here are some of my personal favourite parts of the conference:

Darren Doherty is the man who inspired Eric to return to the farm and say “we need livestock”. Find out why I listened to both of them, Day One, Session 3, from 03:29

For an extraordinary insight into how soil works from a remarkable lady on the cutting edge of science, Elaine Ingham, Day One, Session 5, from the beginning.

Joel Salatin is my hero. If I ever feel discouraged at The Oak Tree, I read or listen to Salatin. Hear him talk Day One, Session 5 from 2:00:00.

I’d never really listened to Hunter Lovins before. Worth doing. Day 2, Session 1, from 1:13:25

Need to see the world from a new perspective, or simply to be entertained? I highly recommend the author of “The Optimist’s Tour of the Future” Mark Stevenson Day 2 Session 5 1:47:00

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The Oak Tree awarded Suffolk Carbon Charter Gold

We’re delighted to say that The Oak Tree Farm has once again been awarded the Suffolk Carbon Charter Gold Standard.

Joanne receiving the award presented by Oli of Groundwork

Joanne receiving the award presented by Matt Hullis

We received the award at a lovely event organised by the Greenest County Team last week here.

Garden Party

Garden Party


Our friend Ned Harrison from the Greenest County Team was on good form.

And there were some very interesting talks on deep green architecture, including from the very knowledgeable architect Ralph Carpenter.






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