We're well into Spring on the farm. Despite the apocalyptic hail storms threatening to put a halt to any horticultural endeavour, the flowers and crops march on in earnest. The wild garlic is flowering, soon to become little garlicky capers of pure delight, the rhododendrons are a riot of colour and the copse is almost in full leaf. Our top field is now sown with a variety of cover crops and herbal leys for the pigs to enjoy later in the summer, and Tom remains (anxiously) hopeful that the wild flower mixes sown in the borders in front of the bee hives will eventually germinate. With pig production in full swing, this year is when we really find out if we can farm our pigs in a manner which benefits the land and our soil. We are hopeful.
Our thoughts, of course, are turning to summer. Lottie has been busy in the poly tunnel tending seedlings and making plans with the kitchen for late Spring harvests. Our breeding sows have moved onto new pasture, Mike the boar has sealed the deal, and we are hoping for new arrivals in a matter of months. We'll see.
As ever, we've benefited from some amazing produce from local friends and producers, such as the sweetest asparagus you can find, picked, delivered and eaten same day courtesy of George & Loretta, who also provide us with rhubarb, mustards, radishes and much more. Bart is proving his fishing prowess, having caught a glorious trout from the river in the valley, which was duly smoked and added to the menu for that week's lucky diners. This issue now is getting Bart to stop talking about his trophy trout. If you see him, mention it at your peril.
We were joined in March by volunteers from the Cornwall Ancient Tree Forum who recorded a total of 43 trees in the valley for the Ancient Tree Inventory, the oldest being a 6.69m in girth oak tree estimated to be between 520 and 590 years old. She's a beauty, covered in lichen and ferns and we highly recommend a stroll into the valley to take a look.
A trip to visit Harbour Brewery in March has left us eagerly anticipating a limited edition collaboration beer made with our sourdough bread, as well as the possessors of plenty of wort, which the bakery quickly put to use to develop a delicious naturally leavened malt loaf for the breakfast table.
We will look forward to welcoming lots of guests old and new to the farm this summer when the wildflowers burst forth and the first tomatoes are ripening on the vines. Whether it will be a scorcher like the last or a damper and altogether more Cornish affair, we've still got plenty of work to do and lots to look forward to.
On Monday 8th of April we hosted a special charity dinner with a full compliment of superstar chefs. Friends of the farm from near and far came to cook at Coombeshead for a dinner to support Parkinson's UK and The Stroke Association.
Jeremy Lee of Quo Vadis, Aaron Mulliss of The Hand and Flowers, Jonny Lake, formerly of The Fat Duck, Paul Cunningham of Henne Kirkeby Kro, our good friend Nathan Outlaw and of course our very own Tom, Oscar and Bart came together to create a one of a kind 7 course meal hosted at the farm. Each chef contributed a snack, full course, and an addition to an epic dessert trolley. A very delicious way to raise money for two fantastic causes.
We have the following availability coming up...
28th July onward
Farmhouse private dining
Friday 9th August
Sunday 1st September
Fancy having the place to yourself? Coombeshead Farmhouse sleeps up to twelve people, and the restaurant can accommodate up to 30 people, making Coombeshead a great location for private parties, dinners and events.
If you are interested in hiring out the farm for a private party or wedding we are taking bookings for the remainder of 2019. Please do get in touch if you would like any more information.