It was a challenging start to the year on the farm, and not just because of the relentless rain! After much deliberation we sadly closed our home delivery business, Northern Harvest, at the end of January. With 18 years of weekly food deliveries, hundreds of customers and a dedicated team of staff, this was a very difficult decision to make.
But in farming you can't stand still for long. We've taken the opportunity presented to us with the closure of one part of the business to help develop something totally different at Kenyon Hall: a coffee roastery! In this post I'll introduce our latest venture, including the interesting couple of characters behind it...
I can only apologise. This is the 4th blog post on the trot where I've cheated by writing next to nothing and just making a video instead. I promise I'm not trying to become a Youtube star (my one subscriber will attest to that). Being flat out with the busy strawberry season for the last couple of months, it's been quicker to post a short video than draft and re-draft endless paragraphs of waffle!
Speaking of the strawberry season, we've come to the end of the main outdoor season and are now exclusively picking from the indoor tunnels. And in rainy weather like we're having at the moment, they're really coming into their own! As my video tries to explain...
If you've not been to our indoor strawberry fields yet, you've still got a month or so to visit and I really hope you do - they're awesome! Make sure to check our Pick Your Own page to work out the best day to come.
I'll try to get back to writing in the next few weeks and give your eyes a rest from my ugly mug!
James Bulmer (27th July 2019)
Having lived through nearly 40 strawberry seasons, I've got a reasonable understanding of how they work. There's a beginning, a peak and an end. The quantity, quality and availability changes during the season. There are good times to pick, and not so good times. And when I'm updating the availability page on this website, I often fall into the trap of using phrases like 'peak season' and assume everyone must know what I'm talking about.
But on reflection, I suspect this isn't always the case. Why would anyone who doesn't spend their year obsessing about growing soft fruit know the ins-and-outs of a strawberry season? Surely they're either ready for picking or they're not?!
Well, to help explain what I mean, and to give you a better idea of what you can expect from different parts of a strawberry season... I've made a little video guide.
I hope the video helps explain what I struggle to communicate in my written updates. And even if it doesn't help, I hope you enjoyed Linda's little cameo!
8th July 2019
Even as I type, I can't believe I'm about to share this video publicly on the internet... A film star I am not!
... but I hope you find it useful in explaining what to expect at the farm this summer when the fruit picking starts. And if nothing else it might raise a little smile!
I spotted the team in action in the pumpkin patch this afternoon and took the chance to make a short video. We've planted pumpkins in late May every year since the early 1990s. It's the start of months of caring for the plants to get a bumper patch full of pumpkins for picking in October!
You'll have to excuse the noise of the breeze in the background but I hope you'll find something interesting in this quick introduction to pumpkin planting!
And if you know a little someone who'd like to have a go at planting a pumpkin in our patch (by hand) then check for spaces on the Junior Farmer sessions we hold during the May half term.
James Bulmer, 21st May 2019
Back in January I set out our New Year’s resolutions for the 2019: the ideas to make Kenyon Hall a better place to visit this year. Having been open about our intentions, I wanted to continue that transparency with an honest appraisal of progress. Here I'll take a quick look at the five resolutions we made and assess how each one has developed. We've not had 100% success, but we've certainly stuck to them better than I ever manage with my own personal resolutions!
Welcome to 'Kenyon Small Farm', our re-vamped play area here at Kenyon Hall Farm.
Over the last 6 weeks we've braved the soggy spring conditions to refresh our outdoor play park in time for Easter. And we've made it just in time! This is a quick post to share what we've done, why we've done it, and what the little ones can expect to find on their next visit to the farm...
I'm James Bulmer. Born and raised on Kenyon Hall Farm, where I spent the first 18 years of my life. After university I spent a decade working in IT (specialising in making maps on computers) before returning to the farm in 2016 to help out my mum and dad. I hope you enjoy these occasional posts and please get in touch if there's something you'd like to know more about and I'll do my best to answer!