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Welcome to our Huxhams Cross June newsletter 
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In this edition

Who we are and News in Brief

Green Manures 
 
Huxhams Cross Farm Design Course

Summer Courses from The Apricot Centre
Who we are
 
The Apricot centre is set in a small organic fruit farm in Essex that demonstrates Permaculture or sustainable  design. We are working towards taking on a lease at Huxhams Cross Farm in Dartington to create a biodynamic farm. 


We deliver Therapy and Well being services to families and individuals - The Apricot Wellbeing Services.  


Where these two worlds overlap is a rich vein of work that we do offering visits to schools,  short creative courses of all age groups around the themes of local food, wellbeing and creativity. 
News in Brief
 
Final negotiations are taking place to secure the sale of a 999 year lease by Dartington Hall Trust to the Biodynamic Land Trust. The Apricot Centre will take on a (much much) shorter term lease to create a community connected Biodynamic Farm designed using permaculture design methods. We hope to take on this lease in the next 4-6 weeks. 

Meanwhile we have been busy building soil fertility on the land, planning, design work, and increasing our activities at our Essex site to generate funds for investment at Huxhams Cross Farm.  More information below. 
Green Manures 
We have had the land ploughed and put down a green manure mix to begin the process of building soil fertility at Huxhams Cross. We visited the land over the weekend and were delighted to see green shoots starting to emerge, which you can see in the picture below. In the mix were 5 types of clover, two grasses, and herbs (Sheeps Burnet, Sheeps Parsley, Yarrow & Ribwort Plantain). Local seed people Tuckers supplied us and gave us some great advice. The fields will be 'topped' or mown several times over the summer. The Cocksfoot grass grows very tall and is deep-rooting, adding organic matter to the soil to improve the its structure. The clover does the same and also adds much needed nitrogen to put the soil in better heart before we start planting over the winter and into the next couple of years. 
Huxhams Cross Farm Design Course
We have just completed our series of design courses. In a lively and thought-provoking weekend we visited the land, discussed in detail some of the important design considerations and laid the groundwork for finalising a first draft of the design over the coming weeks. Many thanks to everyone that came - a very engaged group of locals, students of Schumacher College and biodynamic experts looked at veg crop rotation, choice of tree variety and positioning for agroforestry rows and orchard design and layout, and made wonderful contributions that added to our own thoughts and ideas to produce a very rich design. We had no idea that it is possible to grow lemon trees in polytunnels in this area, so we might experiment with this for fun. The commercial crops will be amongst others the more humble gooseberry and blackcurrant, strawberries and raspberries

The design will be shared publicly over the summer and we are aiming to host an ev
ent in the Autumn, inviting the public to feedback before completing our design. The pic is the design for Billany Field where we plan to locate the buildings and grow  vegetables. Our friends at the Biodynamic Land Trust created this blog for more information and pics, 
Summer Courses from The Apricot Centre
Over in Essex, we will be busy during the summer months harvesting fruit and running courses, raising vital funds to put into the development of Huxhams Cross Farm. Here is a selection of courses - click on the links to see our full list.  
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