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Bulletin May 2016

Ffarm Moelyci is well and truly open for business.  Vegetable and flowers are blooming in the growing space.  The shop and cafe continues to attract many customers to buy local produce and, with the sudden influx of warm weather the allotments are buzzing with activity, just like the rest of the farm.

Come and find us at this year’s Ogwen Show.
Ffarm Moelyci will once again be at this year’s Ogwen Show on June 11th, Last year we simply took our veg but this year we hope to give everyone a taste of the newly branded Blas Lon Las – our shop café and growing space for learning to grow. And as the farm is now open for business we will also be giving tasters of our renewable energy plans, our allotments and – hopefully – our new pig venture.
The Moelyci Wildlife Group (formerly the Ecology Group)
As you can see we’ve changed our name to the “Wildlife Group”.
The group have been looking for a data storage system for all Moelyci’s wildlife records and we’ve agreed that the online biological recording site iRecord best suits our needs. To facilitate data entry and give the records some spatial meaning we hope to develop a geo-referenced map of the farm with the help of Moelyci tenant Becky, who works with GIS (geographical information systems).
Progress is being made on producing a farm plan for Moelyci and the wildlife group will be working with other interest groups to facilitate this.
June is the flight period for the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly, a specialist butterfly which is confined to areas of unimproved pasture where its larval food plant (dog violet or marsh violet) grows. At Moelyci this habitat is on the fridd, particularly the top bit of fridd for anyone interested in having a look.
© Alice Smith
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterfly
Alice Smith -  for Moelyci wildlife group.
The Growing Space Y Lle Tyfu
May is a very busy month in The Growing Space. The polytunnels are cropping madly from winter sowings. Waiting in the wings are all the tender summer crops to be planted out as the winter crops finish. It’s a nerve racking time. By the end of the month hopefully a lot of the summer crops will be in place.
The plant sales have been going well the TGS has been at 4 spring markets selling many plants and herbs.  Veg plant sales have also expanded with fantastic leaves, kales and broccolis available in the shop. 
Come see what tender summer veg plants  we are selling.  We have a range of plants for developing your own Cutting Garden are also for sale.
The cutting garden is slowly being planted up.  We have sweet Williams blooming in the poly-tunnel and the first flowers are setting on the sweet peas.
The outside vegetables are slow to develop with the cold April and dry weather but they will soon pick up with the sudden influx of warm and wet may weather.
Come and see what growing.
Shop and Cafe
We welcome a new addition to the shop, Carol Williams our new Manager.  Taking over from Dave, Carol will drive the shop further forward, expand our opening hours and develop the cafe more.  We look forward to her input and give her a warm welcome to the staff team.
It is with sadness too that we lose our well loved baker too.  Pumpkinseed Bakery in Menai is closing its doors at the end of May.  Very unhappy news for us as many of our customers adored the products and certainly we will be mourning the loss of potato cakes.  We will be exploring new local breads, cakes and savouries but if anyone has any ideas and contacts then please let us know.  In the meantime join with us in saying a big thank you to Claire and all her staff for the products over the last year.
If you fancy spending some time with us in the shop and cafe, we’re always on the look-out for volunteers.  You can learn some till skills or how to be a barista.  Get in touch at for taster sessions.
May on the Allotments
May on the allotments is bright light, early sunrises much further round on the eastern horizon and clouds of apple blossom on the fringes of the plots. Hawthorn clothes the hedgerows at Moelyci. Veg growers keen on biodiversity would do well to find a space for at least one hawthorn on a boundary.  Common hawthorn can support more than 300 insects.  Caterpillars of many moths feed on it. Dormice eat its flowers .Bees and pollinators feast on the nectar. It provides dense shelter for nesting birds. In autumn  redwings, fieldfares and thrushes stock up on the fruit.  Allotment ponds in May see dragonflies crawling up pond grasses, shedding their chrysalis, drying out their new wings and doing a fly past with a flash of breathtaking colour. After about 21 days as spawn, the embryonic frog leaves its protective jelly as a tadpole, complete with organs, gills and a long tail.
But May can also be a challenge for allotment growers: at Moelyci we have had more droughts in May than any other time- this is the most damaging for young plants – vigilance to keep the soil moist is essential -keep all water containers filled before they are needed – with sudden heat wave conditions some young plants might not cope without some shade . Fleece is useful too for any late season hail,frost, heavy rain and cold winds .
We’re making great progress with a sustainable water supply, something allotment holders have wanted and needed  for a long time, so fingers crossed that will go ahead soon. The new service arrangement agreed on by allotment holders will make a really big difference  too, as the foot paths will be maintained much better and  so the allotment site should become a really well maintained, tidy and safe place for everybody to enjoy.
We've had 8 new allotment holders join us since November and they all love the views over to the Carneddau. It must be one of the most beautiful  places to have an allotment in Wales.
There are a couple of allotments vacant at the moment present so if you're interested in having an allotment please contact or tel Ffarm Moelyci Office 01248602793
Health & Wellbeing Group
A couple of volunteers here at the farm have got together to form a Health and Wellbeing group.
The first activity that the group will start will be teaching healthy cookery classes which will be available to the people in our community.
Volunteers wishing to take part in teaching these classes will be provided  with training free of charge by the NHS dietetic department. This training will involve volunteers doing training one 5 hour day a week over a 5 week period. One more day training will be available to anyone who would like to teach these courses to WEA level.
If you would like to join us teaching this course you would be really welcome. Please contact or call the farm office on 01248 602793.
Many thanks
Ynni Ynni Ynni
Ffarm Moelyci has some modest plans for renewable energy generation on the farm. Biomass to heat the farmhouse offices and workshops, some field mounted PV and a small wind turbine to give us electricity. Recently we have seen the great success of Ynni Ogwen with their community share offer that will see their hydro schemes be built later this year. Together – along with other community renewable cooperatives in the area – we have formed Cyd Ynni so as to share ideas, resources and potentially help us all develop our renewable energy schemes more effectively. Watch this space for more news and if you want to learn about renewable or get involved in getting them built at Ffarm Moelyci then please get in touch.
One opportunity being pioneered by Cyd Ynni and available to householders in the valley is Ynni Lleol. This pilot project is looking for 100 homes in which to fit smart meters and who can then purchase local renewable energy (from one of the local hydro schemes) at, potentially, a lower price. So smarter management of the energy you use and the potential for you to run your home for less.
How to get in touch with us...
We’ve spent some time at the Ffarm sorting out the computer systems behind the scenes.  One of these new tasks has been to sort out the email addresses and how you contact us. 
Below is a list of groups and enterprises and how to contact them
General Information
Our telephone number remains the same but soon you’ll be able to directly contact the shop and The Growing Space individually.
Forge for Rent
Few people know that, amongst the outbuildings on the farm there is a working forge. Small and best suited for architectural ironmongery it is available to hire either by the day or longer term if you are a budding ironmonger!
Glass Kilns
Anyone interested in glass? Architectural glass or craft production? Ffarm Moelyci has access to three nearly new glass kilns and is looking for someone interested in putting them to good use (ideally in one of our workshop spaces). As a start-up business, for teaching or simply to rent for pleasure?
Offices to rent
Did you know that the farmhouse at Ffarm Moelyci was now a small enterprises hub? With offices and desk space available to rent by the day, week or month there are already five small businesses renting space, developing their businesses and enjoying great coffee and fruitful conversations. If you would like to know more:
The Kitchen
You may not know that the kitchen is ready to rent out to the community.  Available to hire on a ½ day or full day basis, the kitchen has most of the basic needs any training or commercial facility will do.  Are you interested in starting a micro-business and don’t want to invest?  How about setting up cooking clubs or a community group?  You could also host your own parties, pop-up restaurants and evenings.
Get in touch to find out more.
Copyright © 2016 Ffarm Moelyci, All rights reserved.

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