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Ffarm Moelyci Bulletin October 2016
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Ffarm Moelyci Bulletin October 2016
Panad a Sgwrs

First Saturday of Every Month.  Saturday November 5th. 11am
Are you a Welsh learner and would like to use your Welsh more often?

Next Pub Quiz
 
The next monthly pub quiz at the Douglas Inn will be a one off THIRD Tuesday of the month in November.  Come along and join in the fun on Tuesday November 15th from 7:30pm
It’s been a busy month on the farm.  From Curry Nights to Apple Festivals, Community Engagement to Fungal Forays.  This month we have been openly discussing how we take on farming over Moelyci land whilst being sympathetic to the environment and rich biodiversity we are privileged to enjoy.
 
Coming up next month we have more food nights and courses, but book early because they are very popular.  Keep an eye on our website, newsletters and our social media.
Courses at Ffarm Moelyci
 
Even though it’s getting colder out there it’s the ideal time to sort the home vegetable plot out.  Need a little help?  Coryn Bye is running once a month courses on different aspects of growing your own vegetables.  Learn about crop rotation or getting seeds and plants ready for the new year.  She’ll help to plan our your plots too and identify the best plants to grow in our lovely Welsh hills.
Curry Night

Friday 21st October saw our first Moelyci Supper Club in the Barn.  Fully booked too in record time!  Elen provided a curry evening to suit all tastes.  There were mild kormas, tikkas and firey baltis, both vegetarian and meat dishes too.  Plates were piled high and topped off with bahjis and samosas, steaming naan bread dotted with onion seeds and chutneys.  We all got to try what we liked and also sample all the dishes.  There might of been the odd few red faces to those a bit sensitive to spice trying new dishes and then the traditional fight over the after dinner mints.
 
The atmosphere was so warm and friendly.  A lot of regular faces but lots of new ones and their families, experiencing the kitchen for the first time.  The Ffarm Moelyci staff team also joined in and had a really great time too.
 
The supper club here was a trial to see if it worked and it did!  So we'll be running more of them very soon with a variety of different tastes and themes.  Keep an eye on the website and facebook and book early!
 
Can't wait for the next one.
 
The Wildlife Group
 
The Wildlife group are really keen to see farming return to Moelyci, a good thing in itself, but also essential for establishing more sympathetic management of the farm's pasture. Sympathetic farm management is the most important factor in restoring the farm’s habitats and building environmental resilience. The first steps were taken last Thursday with a meeting of the new Task and Finish Farm Group which wildlife group members attended. Glyn Jones, who grazes his sheep on the mountain, very kindly offered to write a basic farm plan. This will provide a really useful starting point for discussions with stakeholders and consultants
Blas Lôn Las
 
A busy month has seen new local producers making a range of delicious offerings for the shop & cafe. We now offer pizza, vegetable chilli,& cottage pie alongside our existing offering of soups, pies & tempting cakes. Many thanks to Becws Brain, Pantri Helen & Gethin Sherrington for their willingness to develop new products for us.

All staff are now easily identifiable thanks to the aprons made by Crefftau Howgets Bethesda, & very smart they look too!!

We had a great fun filled educational day during our recent Apple Day with Ian Sturrock. Many thanks firstly to all the staff & volunteers who made the day possible, & to all of you who supported & joined in the fun. I'm sure the children attending slept well after burning up so much energy producing apple juice using the traditional hand juicer. It was great to see so many of you bringing your apples to be identified, to turn into juice & to discuss & learn about the heritage trees Ian has on offer in his range of trees. All the trees within his collection have fantastic names, probably the most famous being the Bardsey Island tree. The range also includes; Nant Gwytheyrn Apple, Cox Cymreig, Gwell na Mil ( better than a thousand), Deimwnt apple which are all fabulous eating varieties along with a russet apple named Croen Mochyn( pig skin). If you’re looking for a cooking apple how about Pig y Golomen (pigeon beak) Trwyn Mochyn (Pig Snout) or Tin yr Wydd (Gooses deriere)!!

We are now taking orders for Christmas hampers. Contact Carol for details & to discuss options.
October on Moelyci allotments
 
Here's a very good excuse not to over-tidy your allotment or garden now: help wildlife by avoiding cutting back borders in autumn. If you leave them as they are until the end of winter, you’ll provide plenty of cover for insects and birds in mild spells.
 
Everything on the Moelyci allotments is drenched, leaning ,browning decaying or becoming tough – the  runner beans  are pushing out their  stringy,  inedible seed cases ready for the  chubby beans to be dried and kept for next years planting; courgettes ,now morphed into marrows, have grown skins like rhino hide;  pumpkins skins are thickening and darkening ensuring their keeping properties into 2017. However, whilst many veg still in the ground are toughening , rusting and reaching old age ,the late flowers shine out now. Deep mauvey purple self -seeded malvas, scarlet Rambling Rector roses that will go on til December scramble through the still flowering honeysuckles; those Cosmos that are regularly dead-headed behave as though its still high summer ;the gorgeous starry blue of  Borage flowers nod through the decaying mess of their long now-slimy flopping stems; Calendulas` stunning oranges look like half buried neon lights; Nasturtiums are sprawling and glowing through the silvered effect that a much lower sun casts on the wet leaves. In the herb gardens, lavender is still flowering away as are the sedums ,the feverfew daisies the marjoram and the camomile flowers. Lemon balm clumps are still displaying their tiny little flowers that the bees love and somehow access.
 
Sunflowers have finished flowering now and look decidedly wonky on their giant stems . Don't cut them down yet as the seeds attract birds and insects even as the whole thing rots . Robins are friendly again having largely settled territory disputes . Weeding and digging on the plots now always lures at least one busy red-breasted  wonder with the possibility of an easy meal.
Woodlands & Conservation Group
 
Himalayan balsam pulling is now finished; we managed to clear an area near where the stream enters Moelyci land and hopefully we will be able to expand this next year. We have re-opened the gate to the Moelyci gate archaeological site (No.7) and steps leading up to the public footpath which goes to Pentir. We then crossed over the track and established a new path over Sundial hill. With spectacular views over Anglesey and the Menai Straits, we think this would be a good place for a bench. We have identified a few cases of ash dieback on the farm. Although it cannot be stopped, in order to slow it down, we have cut and burned the affected saplings and notified Forest Research through tree alert (an app is available for anyone to use). Any mature cases will be left as standing deadwood for habitat and managed for safety. We have also experienced more squirrel damage on the young broadleaves. On a more positive note, 2 of our group attended the Tree Fair (1st Oct) at Treborth botanical gardens, where we did pole-lathing and green woodworking demonstrations. Despite the heavy rain, the event was visited by over 300 people and we had a very successful day. We also had a member of the group represent Ffarm Moelyci and Llais Y Goedwig (Welsh Community Woodlands) at the Scottish Community Woodlands (CWA) gathering in Forres. This was an inspiring and educational event with lots of discussion about how communities can own woodland and ‘learn and earn’ from them. And in mid-October we hosted a Bangor University visit to Moelyci by forestry, conservation and geography students, who we showed around some of the 30 acres of Moelyci woodland, and gave them a green woodworking demonstration / taster session. As always, anyone is welcome to join our volunteer workdays on Wednesday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm.
The Biomass Zone
 
You might of heard the name biomass zone being mentioned about the old compost site.  Cwm Harry is part of a pan-European group called REDIRECT, a group of 4 countries and 18+ partners.  REDIRECT has just been funded under the INTERREG program for NW Europe to take marginal biomass to make products from.  What does that mean?  Marginal Biomass are plants which have no nutritional value and are often considered invasive or detrimental.  In our case we’re interested in plants which take over pasture when not controlled, such as soft rush, bracken and gorse.  The REDIRECT process takes this material, squeezes the juice out and makes end products like gas, fuel briquettes and a variety of materials like woodchip, composts and activated charcoal.  REDIRECT wants to do this on 2 scales; on a citywide scale (in Barden-Barden, Germany) and to look at a much smaller process on a farm scale.  Doing it on farms can mean farmers can regenerate and recover land whilst also providing new sources of income.  A possible boost to rural economies.
 
What does this mean for Ffarm Moelyci?  In the Biomass Zone we are looking to demonstrate part of the farm scale process.  Like many Welsh farms, we have a lot of biomass available and want to improve the farm pasture at the same time.  We can demonstrate each stage on the farm and provide ourselves with new sources of income and also better land for grazing.  Because it’s a farm we’re doing everything as low impact as possible.  When we harvest, we do so in a way that maintains the pasture and environmental benefits we enjoy.  We also build a set up which is more suited to farms we all live alongside of.
 
If you want to find out more about REDIRECT, get in touch with davee@cwmharry.org.uk
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