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Park Farm
Truro
TR1 1SX

+44 (0) 1872 885779

Inspiring and educating children about sustainability and the natural environment through exciting hands-on experiences including school camp, summer camp, workshops and forest school. Based in Cornwall, our focus is green education, and our mission is to reconnect and engage children with the natural world, inspiring them to live more sustainably. 

Blog

the latest news, events and happenings from camp

Adventures in Spaghetti Squash

Claire Coombe

This year in the food garden we experimented with a bunch of different squash varieties - some old favourites like Butternut and Jack O'Lantern as well as a wild card - Spaghetti Squash, so called as it's flesh, when cooked, is a dead ringer for it's namesake. 

spaghetti squash

We harvested the squash in October and stored them in a cool dark place. Given the size of the monster squash we grew (over 4kg!) boiling them whole, as is often recommended, was out of the question so we opted for a baked squash recipe found here.

spaghetti squash recipe

We chopped the Spaghetti Squash in half and popped it in the oven for the recommended time (and then a bit longer again as it was so large!). We might have overcooked it slightly but we were still pretty impressed with the spaghetti like results!

A few recipe instructions later and we were enjoying our very first taste of Spaghetti Squash - ta dah!

spaghetti squash recipe complete

Surprisingly the squash tastes a lot like turnip but less watery and the spaghetti like texture is a winner. Overall it was pretty delicious which was fortunate as we're going to be eating it in various incarnations for the next couple of days!

Why not give it a go this summer? - we have saved a few seeds - if you would like some just let us know.

3 Day Environmental Adventure Day 2

Claire Coombe

We awoke this morning to camp shrouded in mist and fog which made for an atmospheric start to the day. Breakfast was a relaxed affair with bacon and egg rolls around the campfire. During breakfast Dena arrived with her team and turned the dining tent into a print studio where the group were able to design and cut their own stencils which they laid on their t-shirts and then silk screen printed. 

After lunch we split into two groups. Half of us headed over to the forge to work with a local Blacksmith making our very own toasting forks for marshmallows while the others tested their head for heights on the climbing wall. We had some incredible climbers with one even reaching the top of the purple route - the hardest on the whole wall with the smallest, most spaced out and awkwardly shaped holds!

After a short break we swapped activities before coming together for a delicious BBQ dinner. In the evening we headed off to the woods on a wild woodland walk where we met the Woodsman who was out for an evening wander. We joined him on his walk and were treated to lots of long forgotten facts about the trees and plants before taking a rest by the lake where he told us the story of the Moondog of Moresk.

On our return to camp the campfire was lit and we christened the newly forged toasting forks with some marshmallows before heading off to bed.

 

 

3 Day Environmental Adventure Day 1

Claire Coombe

Our environmental adventurers had an action packed first day today - after a brisk walk up the hill to camp they got stuck straight into archery with Charlie and then headed out on the river to explore the creeks off the Truro and Tresillian rivers. After a hearty dinner of bangers of mash we were treated to a visit from Nancy the Noctule who even demonstrated her echolocation for us which we were able to pick up with our bat detectors. We then headed out on a dusk walk along the hedgerows to see if there were any bats in the wild brave enough to venture out on this damp night! Turns out they were all tucked up in their roosts so we headed back to camp where we got cosy round the campfire and reflected on what an amazing first day we had enjoyed. Tomorrow we have silk screen t-shirt printing, climbing, forging, campfire cooking and a BBQ to look forward to followed by a Wild Woodland Walk. 

6 day environmental adventure days 5 & 6

Claire Coombe

Today we awoke to the smell of bacon cooking on the campfire and after egg and bacon rolls we were ready to begin the day with climbing, t-shirt design and silk screen printing. In the afternoon we prepared our pizza dough and harvested raspberries and rhubarb from the garden to make fruit crumbles for afters. Later on that afternoon the cob oven was fired up and the group rolled their dough and topped their pizzas with their favourite toppings before bringing them over to the food garden where they went into oven and emerged minutes later, wood fired and ready to eat! Empty plates all round were testament to how delicious they were!

After some last minute rehearsals we were treated to an evening of performance - dance, drama, singing, comedy, magic.... lots of hidden talents were revealed and we were all thoroughly entertained! Marshmallows round the campfire rounded off our last full day at camp and just as the children were nodding off, the meteor shower began and CK staff and volunteers were treated to the most spectacular light show! 

On our final morning we headed deep into the woods where the group were challenged to construct shelters in teams which would be able to withstand torrential rain and wind and enable all members of the team to stay dry. Some teams stayed dry when the rain (bucket of water!) came while others got a little soggy but everyone had great fun and we were all relieved it wasn't a real survival situation and we were able to head back up the hill to camp and a delicious lunch. After lunch there was just enough time for the awards ceremony and the presentation of the wonderful handicrafts which the group had created over the course of their week at camp. 

 

6 day environmental adventure day 4

Claire Coombe

Today was another jam packed day with kayaking or climbing, wild food foraging and climbing on the menu. Everybody in the climbing group, without exception, got to the top of the climbing wall and did amazingly while those who went kayaking made great progress along the river and showed some excellent teamwork in their double kayaks. 

Marcus, a local wild food expert came along in the afternoon to share with the group all of the unexpected foods which you can find in the hedgerows before cooking up a delicious nettle tortilla in the camp kitchen. 

We were visited in the evening by Nancy the Noctule bat, Timmy the long eared bat and a couple of little pipistrelles - the children got to see them up close and quiz Chris their carer on all things bats before heading off with some bat detectors on a dusk bat walk. 

6 day environmental adventure day 3

Claire Coombe

This morning we woke up bright and early and began the day with some 'make your own muesli' with fresh berries followed by french toast with bacon and maple syrup. While one group of children wriggled into their wetsuits and headed down the hill to sunny corner where they launched their kayaks and headed out to explore the river, the rest continued with whatever activity they had not experienced the previous day - either stone carving or forging. We all came together for a hearty lunch of homemade tomato soup, fresh bread and sandwiches and then continued with our activities including animal tracking and green woodworking.

This evening the newly forged toasting forks were christened with some marshmallows toasted on the campfire which were made into s'mores and tasted amazing! Everyone all tucked up in bed now and ready for a busy day tomorrow of kayaking, climbing, archery and wild food foraging. Night all!

International environmental adventurers unite!

Claire Coombe

Yesterday morning an intrepid group of environmental adventurers gathered on platform 1 at Paddington ready to set off for Camp Kernow and an action packed 6 days far from the concrete jungle! Some were reuniting from the previous year's camp while for others it would be their first experience. Meanwhile children from as far afield as Berlin, France and Spain made their way to Truro and we all came together at Malpas from which we made the final ascent up to camp. 

After a tour of camp with Charlie to discover how we live off-grid, the group found out who their tent buddies would be and were challenged with crossing a toxic river using 'stepping stones' in order to decide who would get first choice of the sleeping structures! Lets just say it got quite competitive as the groups battled it out to ensure they got their first choice of tent!

A few more icebreakers to get to know one another and then it was time for dinner for which the first cooking crew made the most delicious homemade burgers. After dinner it was time for team challenges, some deluxe hot chocolates around the fire circle and then bedtime!

This morning we woke up to the most beautiful sunshine and a cooking team got to work in the kitchen while a harvesting crew headed to the garden to pick the day's produce. We harvested the most enormous (and delicious) moonstar watermelon and 5kg of tomatoes which were later made into tomato soup for tomorrow. After breakfast we split into 5 groups and during today have enjoyed forging with a Blacksmith, stone carving, green woodworking, leatherwork and animal tracking. We're headed off to the woods tonight for a Wild Woodland Walk and then an early night in order to be up and out on the river in our kayaks tomorrow morning with the high tide. 

An environmental adventure day 3

Claire Coombe

Day 3 was our busiest yet with a jam packed schedule of activities. While half of us headed off on a kayak expedition, the rest of the group remained at camp and scaled the dizzy heights of the climbing wall. We learnt how to belay one another in teams and were able to progress our climbing skills with some even managing to tackle the purple route - the hardest on the whole wall!

After lunch we were either stone carving, green woodworking, forging toasting forks or silk screen printing our very own designs inspired by camp onto t-shirts. The cob oven was fired up for dinner and everyone got to make their own pizza with their favourite toppings which were then stone baked in the oven - delicious! We were fortunate enough to have some very special guests join us in the evening- Timmy the brown long eared bat, Nancy the Noctule bat and Peso the Pipistrelle. After the seeing the bats close up and learning lots about them from Chris the bat carer, we headed out on a dusk walk with our bat detectors to see and hear bats feeding along the hedgerows. 

We returned back to the campfire and some delicious homemade crumble and custard for dessert before turning in for the night. 

An environmental adventure begins

Claire Coombe

The first environmental adventure summer camp of the year began yesterday with the arrival of twenty super excited and raring to go young people from across Cornwall ready for the great outdoors!

After having a tour of camp to discover what it takes to live off grid, a spot of lunch and a chance to settle in to their new homes for the week it was time to get stuck into their first activities. Junk band jamming and pond dipping to discover which creatures lurk beneath the depths! 

A group of eager children were chosen to be the first cooks of camp and prepared us all a delicious dinner of homemade burgers which went down a treat. After dinner we headed off on a wild woodland walk and were lucky enough to bump into the woodsman who has a wealth of wisdom and knowledge about the forest to share with those fortunate enough to encounter him. We returned to a blazing campfire and a singsong before retiring to our tents to get a good night's sleep ready for the following day. 

This morning we fuelled up on make your own muesli & fluffy pancakes before breaking into groups and heading to our first activity of the day. We welcomed Peter an incredible stone carver to camp for the first time to share his skills with the children and teach them how to turn a block of sandstone into something beautiful. We also welcomed Tristan back to instruct children in the ways of Blacksmithing. This afternoon the children will head down to the ancient Woodland where a huge Beech Tree and a technical tree climbing instructor await!

Spring volunteering day

Claire Coombe

Today we were fortunate to be joined at camp by a team of nine enthusiastic and eager volunteers from FXU - Falmouth and Exeter University's Student Union group which organises opportunities for students to volunteer with local organisations. 

In the run up to children arriving for the first overnight camp of the season mid April there is much to do and the sight of a team of volunteers arriving was a welcome one as was the sun shining!

We split into 3 teams and got stuck in. One team headed to the orchard where our apple and plum trees needed some attention. Winter pruning had already been carried out by our regular gardening volunteer Becky and she had prescribed removal of the grass growing around the trees, a good feed of blood, fish and bone, new stakes and ties and the laying of weed proof membrane around them so they would no longer be competing with the grass for nutrients and water. As long as the deer don't beat us to them, children visiting camp should enjoy some delicious apples fresh from the orchard this Autumn!

Meanwhile Charlie and his team headed to the twelve year old woodland which borders camp to carry out some woodland management. While Ash has been deliberately planted as part of the desired native woodland mix, it is a prolific self seeder and if not kept in check can prevent much needed light reaching slower growing trees. Fortunately, it is also one of the best firewoods - burning green (freshly cut) and brown (seasoned) and is an essential resource at summer camp for campfires, heating water when the sun isn't shining for solar thermal and for firing up the cob oven to cook wood fired pizzas. Using pruning pull saws and lopers they cut, processed and bundled wood ready to restock the timber store. 

The remaining team rolled up their sleeves and got to work planting fruit bushes kindly donated by Trevena Cross Nurseries. In addition to Blueberry and Gooseberry bushes they planted a Japanese Wineberry (similar to Raspberry with small very sweet red fruit), Boysenberry (a hybrid mix of Blackberry, Raspberry and Loganberry which is itself a hybrid of Raspberry and Blackberry!) and Lonicera caerulea - an edible honeysuckle which produces Honeyberries. These look and taste a lot like Blueberries but are longer in shape. We can’t wait for children to try these soft fruits in addition to the bumper crops of strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries and Tayberries which we enjoy through the summer. We’re also hoping to get our hands on some Chuckleberry Bushes before the season starts - as aside from the novelty of eating something called a Chuckleberry they are rumoured to make great jam, juice and ice-cream!

We’d like to say a huge thank you to today’s volunteers for choosing to spend their Sunday helping Camp Kernow in it’s work and another big thank you to Kristy and Sam at FXU for getting such a great team together.

There will be further volunteer days throughout the year - you can find out more about volunteering at camp here: www.campkernow.org.uk/get-involved/