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Summer on the Farm
There's been lots happening at The Oak Tree Community Farm this summer! As ever, we've been busy growing a wide range of delicious nutritious veg in our no-dig garden, in our polytunnel and out in the field. Meanwhile our open day in May was a great success, we celebrated the summer solstice in June and - in many ways most exciting of all - we've officially opened our new composting toilet building!
Open day success
In May we held our annual, family friendly open day. We had over a hundred visitors in all, and everyone really enjoyed coming to see the farm and getting involved in farm tours and all the activities our wonderful members helped with, from pond dipping to seed sowing, arts and crafts to elder necklaces and bug hotels. The refreshments were also superb, with a fantastic team of members busy serving teas, coffees and cakes throughout the event.
If you missed out this year look out for details of our open day in spring 2024. Meanwhile Charlotte from ‘Suffolk Food Stories’ who came along has released an excellent write up on her blog here.
Summer veg boxes
Our Summer veg boxes have featured a wide range of veg including some new variations for this year. We’ve enjoyed some delicious mangetout peas, broad beans, spring onions, Aztec broccoli, cucumbers, courgettes, carrots, beetroot, new potatoes, basil and salads, amongst other things. We’re now into tomato, French bean and pepper season with some new varieties to try. Some of our members have even got together to do some fermenting of excess vegetables, producing some incredibly flavoursome jars of colourful goodness!
Toilet building grand opening
As part of our May Day celebrations we made a big push to finish off and tidy up our new toilet and hand-washing building, so that it could be officially opened by Councillor Stuart Lawson, who had facilitated the grant funding of the materials we used from the East Suffolk Council Enabling Communities Budget. Stuart and fellow councillor Sam were very impressed by the building, especially when we showed them the former mini-shed. A massive thank you to farm director Lucy for co-ordinating and drawing up the plans, and to everyone who worked on the project, especially Alec and John (pictured either side of Stuart) who applied their considerable skills and ingenuity (and a lot of time) to constructing it for us.
It has already made a big improvement to the farm’s facilities. No more crouching into a cramped cobwebby lean-to with minimal privacy. Welcome to the new era of toileting at The Oak Tree – a proper roof, a proper door, a proper lock, and loads of space! Then once you’ve been, just wash your hands at the plumbed in sink provided under cover in the same building.
Celebrating the summer solstice
At the end of June we gathered at the farm to celebrate the Summer Solstice. It was a really lovely evening, and there were some delicious and inventive homemade dishes brought and shared, many of them featuring farm veg. The first samples of fermented farm vegetables were enjoyed and much discussed, the pedal powered disco kept the music going, and many of us also took the opportunity to take a walk around the farm in the warm evening sun. But most importantly, we ate and drank and made merry to mark the height of summer, and after the sunset lit a small fire in the fading light.
If you live near us, or know people who do, we do still have a limited number of spaces available for new members and a range of membership options including our one-month Trial Memberships. Details on our website.
Wishing you all the very best for a great British summer!
Ryan, Tom, Lucy, Andy and Ken
The Oak Tree team