Kitchen Table Stories
Anyone who has visited Trevenna knows we love homemade food and enjoy good times gathered around the kitchen table. We always have! There has always been an extra space at the Kitchen Table and a plate of food to share with anyone calling in to the farm, anytime.
"The table in the picture above is my Grandmothers pantry table for rolling out pastry"
As farmers of Trevenna, we are fortunate to be apart of one of the oldest necessities of life, growing & producing food to feed people.
PLOUGH TO PLATE
Simply, we have lived from plough to plate and celebrated each and every harvest along the way. The Kitchen Table could tell hundreds of stories of planting and growing, new born lambs & escaped chickens, broken down tractors, not enough rain then too much mud, new babies in the family, exam results, tales from travelling, and village events.
Farm House garden 1972
SENSE OF PLACE
The unique sense of place experienced at Trevenna is a constant thread in our history. Approaching down the farm lane and overwhelmingly on arrival, everyone visiting Trevenna is greeted with exceptional 360 degree views of Cornwall. I can never get enough of this view, changing with the seasons, there is so much to take in, trees, seasonal crops, farming action, sheep & cows, deer & buzzards, valleys and Berry Tor, ...
Our naturally calming & reassuring Cornish location provides the backcloth to Trevenna’s story.
Play group lamb feeding 1985
The 142 acres of Trevenna Farm land have been in my family for 100s of years. In true Cornish style, we diversified! Staying true to our farming heritage, delicious authentic food and gathering around the Kitchen Table remains central to everything we do.
Seeing our couples, their families and friends celebrating at Trevenna since opening the farm gate in 2007 has provided a life time of happy memories, stories and new friendships.
WWII evacue returning in 1964
INFLUENCED BY GROWING VEGETABLES
Being put outside to work from an early age is the norm for any child growing up on a farm, either way off in the fields or closer to the Farm House in the Kitchen Garden.
Picking ripe vegetables from the garden is one of the first jobs a farmers child can do without parental supervision. I would be ordered down to the garden alone, dwarfed under towering Runner Beans whilst wading through wet Potato leaves to find Rhubarb growing at the far side by the stone wall, and to return with produce in time to be prepared for dinner. Garden to plate could some times be measured in minutes!
Growing vegetables can be a marathon and a sprint, taking hours of working the soil, planting seeds and watering with apparent little growth of a sprout or single leaf, to suddenly having a glut of fresh produce to harvest where there is hardly enough time to eat it, and frantically sharing with family and friends. Growing vegetables is a commitment, it takes time and love but the benefits are worth it.
New tractor & Threshing Barn 1975
I have been hugely influenced by two important ladies who love fresh home grown produce and providing homemade cooking!
My paternal grandmother who farmed at Trevenna, loved gardening to grow ingredients and always lived with war time frugality making do, planting, growing and homemade cooking. We spent days and days together, bringing in bales of hay on the trailer, stacking bales, walking out baskets of crib (pasties, cakes and kettle of tea) to which ever field was being harvested, gardening, decorating and eating her delicious baking.
Harvest Crib in the field 1970s
My own mother who eventually took over the Farm House kitchen and also prepares all meals from scratch. Apart from a cupboard full of home made cakes and biscuits, there was never any "shop bought meals" around, only fresh ingredients to make dishes for the family, or at an instant for anyone who called in. There is always space for another guest at my mothers table.
A farmers work is never done (although I have never heard my father ever moan about the realities of farming, life or us)! This constant transition between seasons, preparing for the next season while coping with the present, carrying flaskets of freshly dug, picked, peeled and sliced vegetables influenced how I saw my life taking shape. (Flasket is a Cornish word for a basket to carry clean laundry to the washing line, and also a very handy item for carrying freshly picked broad beans, runner beans and peas from the garden to the kitchen!)
Farm dog puppies outside Shippon 1985
ADVENTURES BEYOND THE FARM
Traditional farming, as portrayed in children's books with a range of farm animals to fill Noah's Arc, ducks and a pond, was never going to support 3 grown up sons in a modern world. I was naturally reluctant to get into intensive farming methods at Trevenna. Encouraged to University, my curiosity with ecosystems as nurtured in our garden and farm was expanded as a white lab coat wearing biology graduate. I followed my tribe to London and went onto qualify as a commercial lawyer in the City with a specialism in Biotechnology. Another transition, from welly boots to pin stripe suit!
With City life came the greater opportunity to travel and see, taste and experience the world. It was during these great journeys that it really dawned, that on balance, the good life of Cornwall is really good! Good food, views and an honest connection with the land. With eyes wide open, stories to share of food, far off places, sciences and law, combined with an inbuilt sense of obligation to Trevenna, I returned to restore and diversify the farm for the next generation.
RESTORATION OF THE BARNS
Modern farming machinery had over time under utilised the original stone barns at Trevenna, where larger single span metal sheds proved more practicable.
Before Diversification in 2005
In 2005, Trevenna Farm Yard was a collection of Barns, metal sheds, concrete yard and Farm House.
My aim was to restore the original stone barns, some older than 400 years, and put them back into productive use as luxury accommodation, where family and friends would gather for good times in Cornwall. Just as we had in the Farm House, I had already tasted the pudding!
Here we GO in 2006!
In 2006, we took down the modern metal sheds erected by my Grandparents and Parents (heartbreaking few days, weeks, actually took months!), dug up the concrete yard (which had been laid over many years by my father mixing concrete on the back of the tractor load by load), to reveal the original stone barns standing alone alongside the Farm House. The farm had been zoomed back by 120 years.
The demolition of the modern sheds opened up breathtaking views of Cornwall straight outside of each barn door, never seen before in my life time!
Restoration works started. Every original roof slate was removed and placed in rows for reuse as the roof structures were restored. Roof Timbers were either fixed, or replacement trusses constructed at the farm by skilled carpenters. Hardwood windows and doors were ordered from a local joinery, each with unique heights and widths! The stone walls were re-pointed using Cornish Lime, a traditional construction method. Gradually the barns began to stand proud, finished off with underfloor heating and luxury bathrooms. The builders described the long deep baths as sheep dips!
More than one!
When my mother moved to Trevenna on marrying my father, we had one outside toilet. By September 2007, Trevenna had 15 luxury bathrooms! My Grandmother could not believe her eyes when Trevenna opened for guests, and commented on who was going to change the beds! Where cows had once slept, a deep bath and drench shower now stood!
GATHERINGS & WEDDINGS
The Early Years
Even before the barns were finished, those visiting the project were excited to see the restorations taking shape bringing the barns back to life.
Essence of a Trevenna Wedding
Since our first wedding in 2007, the essence of a Trevenna wedding has always been the same – Authentic homemade food enjoyed with family and friends, and the Cornish views!
Over the years we have opened up the Farm House for Welcome Dinners and Full Cooked Breakfasts, and built a bigger Farm Kitchen to keep all our homemade baking, cooking and serving in one place. Personally, it is an amazing feeling to see young apprentice chefs learning traditional cooking skills in the Kitchen, (my mother makes surprise visits to check on the scone mix!).
The Barns, Yard, Farm House, Kitchen and Garden Venue are well bedded in, hosting events our couples and guests love, forever.
Improving the Farm Land
We continue to evolve the farm for the future with multiple projects on the land, the bounty of which you will find on your plate!
THE TREVENNA FAMILY
Since 2007 Trevenna has been dedicated to developing young people from our Parish & local community to work along side our permanent Team of chefs, Gardeners, skilled Builders, Event Hosts, Wedding Desk & Bar Team.
The most important attribute of any application to join the Trevenna Team is attitude.
Many of our younger team leave Cornwall for University returning in the Summer with stories of City Life. Our graduates return for a season full of ambition.
Working at Trevenna is not for the faint hearted! Team Trevenna are hard working, on their feet all day meeting many new faces from around the world.
PARISH OF ST. NEOT CORNWALL
Our village and Parish of St. Neot is a thriving rural community with a Village Pub, Shop and Primary School with over 40 social clubs & societies! The village may look sleepy but behind the cottage doors is a hive of community life!
Our village nestles in a sheltered valley on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor in south east Cornwall, enjoying the mild Cornish climate and the outstanding warmth of our community spirit.
Back in 2004 we were voted the Calor Village of the Year. We were delighted to receive Calor Village of the Decade in 2006 of which we are still very proud!
See our village website for more information.
In 2008, Trevenna was awarded a Gold Eco Tourism Award for our commitment to sustainable tourism.
The Eco Award assess the operations of a business on buying local & staying local, using seasonal ingredients, energy efficiency, contribution to community to life and positively working towards being sustainable.
Raising Funds & Being Involved
Every year Team Trevenna do our bit to raise funds for local charities.
Liskeard Girls Rugby
We are proud Kit Sponsor for the Liskeard Girl's Rugby team who are exceeding at every level, with a member of our family training and playing each week.
St. Neot Church
Trevenna is located within the Parish of St. Neot, and regular takes part or contributes to community fundraising events. Fund raising events have included “Fathers Day Fish & Chips Lunch”, “Wear Something that means Something to You Dinner”, and a "Midsummer's Evening Garden Party".
Little Harbour Children’s Hospice
Until a few years ago, terminally sick Cornish children would travel 100s of miles for respite care. As a result of an enormous countywide initiative a brand new centre, the Little Harbour Children’s Hospice was built and opened. Trevenna raised over 5,000 through a Charity Dinner & Auction towards building of the hospice. See www.chsw.org.uk/little-harbour
Cornwall Air Ambulance
Cornwall presents some unique challenges in the provision of emergency medical care. The widely scattered population, rugged landscape, isolated rural communities, secluded beaches and poor road network can make the use of land ambulances difficult. Cornwall Air Ambulance is on duty 365 days a year, delivering fast, effective medical care to patients in their time of need, wherever they are in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. See www.cornwallairambulancetrust.org
ShelterBox was started in Cornwall to provide emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis. ShelterBox deliver the essentials people need to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a disaster. ShelterBox aid is tailored to a disaster but typically includes a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack. See www.shelterbox.org
Your Charity Event
In addition to supporting our chosen Charities, Trevenna is a popular venue for hosting Charity Events on behalf of other organisations.
Please see our Events page for more information and get in touch.
Enjoy your stay at Trevenna, Jonathan Rowe