Sowing by The Moon & Planets


We have planned our seasons sowing using the Thun biodynamic sowing calendar. Many seeds are already in trays in the hot box & the polytunnel. Whilst we aim to sow using the advice of the calendar, if the weather is wrong, or we’ve got too much on then the dates will shift. We have to work within our practical limits!

The biodynamic sowing calendar takes into account a number of aspects of moon & planetary influences on different parts of the developing plant. This originates from a time when our consciousness was less individualistic. A time when we lived much more closely as a part of our natural surroundings & were possibly more aware of our group / tribe needs than our own personal needs.

It is well known that the moon has a big influence upon life forms on earth. This is largely through the water element within us, animals & plants. As the moon travels around the earth it passes through a different constellation every 2, 3 or 4 days. These constellations historically have been recognised as having different characteristics which can be related to fire, earth, air & water. Studies in Germany for over 40 years have looked at how these influences effect plant growth. It is largely accepted within biodynamics that as the moon passes through various constellations it wil have beneficial effects on different parts of plants as follow;

Fire – Fruit

Earth – Root

Air – Flower

Water – Leaf

So we aim to sow for example potatoes, carrots & parsnips on a root day. Or peppers, tomatoes & aubergines on a fruit day.

However, theres alot more to it than that! There are other considerations to take into account;

  • Ascending / descending moon
  • Perigee / apogee moon
  • Planetary oppositions & conjunctions

Personally I find it a really useful tool for planning the seasons growing. I’m more interested in getting a feel of how the moon & planets are moving & keeping this in mind as we go about our daily tasks. I’m not really stuck on getting things done on the ‘perfect day’. Theres already so many different activities to co-ordinate through the early season. I find it a great awareness building exercise thats brings another richness to the work of growing.

Seed sovereignty for Cae Tan & the UK


Our crop planning complete for 2018, we have received our seeds & packed them under my stairs ready for this seasons sowing.

The majority of our seed this year is open pollenated & bought from The UK Seed Co-operative. They are a company seeking to bring seed growing back to the UK & back to the growers who buy their seed.

Seed is a critical element of a sustainable food system. Traditionally growers would have saved their own seed each year as a part of the seasons jobs. As we have moved away from saving our own seed, specialists have taken this over & much seed growing is now done abroad & the seed imported. This means that crops are not adapting to our local climates & a potential source of income for local growers has been exported.

Cae Tan are currently joining forces with The Gaia foundation seed sovereignty project. We will be joining other professional growers in April to train with ‘The Real Seed Catalogue’ in Pembrokeshire, where we will learn seed growing techniques & start on a small scale to grow commercial seed crops.

This adds another small income stream to Cae Tan, whilst preserving both traditional seed saving techniques & locally adapted seed varieties that are available to other UK growers!



The godfather of UK organic growing spends the day coaching Cae Tan.


It may look like Captain Jack Radish training up new young pirates, but in fact its Iain Tolhurst who spent the day with a group of us from Cae Tan sharing some of his 40 years of in depth knowledge of organic growing.

Key learning for Cae Tan was around;

  • 8 year crop rotations with fertility building underlays
  • Soil analysis at both sites
  • Fertility building through planting short rotation willow & alder coppice
  • Effective machinery use

This was funded through FCFCG as a Welsh initiative to support the development of CSA in Wales. We hope to have Tolly back once a year to give continued advice & support.

2018 Trainee posts filled!

Welcome to our RDP trainee for 2018.

IMG_0023Abbi Mason has spent the past five years working at Camas outdoor centre for young people & disadvantaged groups, offering them the opportunity to engage with the wild elements on The Isle of Iona off the West Coast of Scotland. Abbi worked here initially as the gardener & then took on the role of centre manager.

Previously to this she worked as a freelance gardener, helped in a school in India & worked on a larger scale organic farm community in New Zealand.

11393726_10204557518634730_3191292346884506633_oIsabel Vasquez Valero is from Spain. She is joining us via the European Volunteer Scheme. She studied her degree in biotechnology. She has been a professional track athlete & coached in this area. She has worked on environmental, youth & growing projects in Taiwan, Iceland, Germany & the Canary Islands.

We look forward to having Abbi & Isabel as part of the team this season.




Rural Development Programme supporting Cae Tan

2017-07-07 11.11.44

A big thankyou to The City & County of Swansea Rural Development Programme (RDP) who are supporting a number of social & educational elements of our work between now & 2020!

The RDP is a European initiative to support business, farmers, countryside & the rural community.

We are working with Swansea City Council to help deliver the following activities;

  • Engaging local schools in our pizza project
  • Running volunteer days for both members & non-members
  • Making a short film to outline how the project functions through the 4 seasons
  • Making a series of very brief ‘how to grow / cook seasonally’ film shorts
  • Supporting other groups across Wales to develop similar initiatives
  • Funding a trainee placement for 7 months each year

Thankyou to the team at RDP Swansea…..

A Truly Sustainable Enterprise





Cae Tan was set up with the help of some grant funding to support the social elements of what we do. Our dependence on grant funding has been reducing dramatically in recent years. We are now supplying around 110 households and income from veg shares generates just over £4k per month. We believe we have almost reached a level of membership where Cae Tan is now financially sustainable without reliance on grant income. In other words income from veg shares is sufficient to pay growers a fair wage and cover other farming costs and overheads. In setting up Cae Tan the aim was always to establish a business model that will ensure long term security for growers and members. These graphs show how our income has grown, and the percentage of grant income reduced, and how direct expenses have grown in line with increased production.

The Gleaners


The Gleaners / Des Glaneuses

Cae Tan’s ‘Gleaners’ are as stylish as the French gleaners of 1857. We presume the French gleaners were allowed to follow the main harvest & collect left over crops for their families.

Cae Tan’s gleaners are collecting & trimming down split & damaged crops from our fields to take to Matts Cafe in Swansea.

Matts Cafe use waste & donated food to make quality meals on a pay as you feel basis. This makes meals affordable to all. Everyone is welcome.

All of our uncollected veg shares get dropped there on a weekly basis too! So nothing goes to waste!

Merci a nos Glaneuses de Cae Tan.



Trainees for 2018

We are taking on two trainees for the 2018 season.

We have just selected our EVS applicant, Isabel Vazquez from Galicia, Spain. She will be working alongside a UK trainee. We have had a number of really good UK applications already. These trainees will be working as part of the team to develop crops on our current site & the new land at Furzehill. They will also be involved in schools projects & will work alongside our volunteers.

Applications are still open until Jan 19th…. Just email for more info.


Cae Tan partners Ecological Land Co-op

Cae Tan CSA are working with the Ecological Land Co-op (ELC), to support the development of sustainable farming on Gower.

The ELC have purchased 18 acres of land in really good heart, ready for Cae Tan to start cultivating for the 2018 season. Access to this land ensures the long term sustainability of Cae Tan being able to supply 100% to its members without having to buy in any produce. It creates more training & volunteering opportunities, as well as the possibility for the expansion of sustainable land based enterprise on the wider site in coming years.

Furzehill, Lunnon

Furzehill, Lunnon

Follow the link for more information about the Ecological Land Co-op 

Harvest 2017

Cae Tan CSA Harvest and fundraiser 2017

Saturday September 16th, 6pm until late, The Gower Heritage Centre

Join us to celebrate our third successful season growing food, training new growers, providing learning and play activities for local schools and families.


Duck racing, Ale, Raffle, Games, Promise Auction (see below), Millhouse Cider, Talks, Great Food and back by popular demand…


£7.50 on the door. £5 in advance.

Tickets available from: Gower Heritage Centre (01792 371206) or Tom Okane ( / 07791 696848) or Laura Faucett ( / 07423415180) or online through Eventbrite


Please contact Tom on the above email / phone number if you would like to bid in advance

  1. Pleasure flight in a small plane over The Gower Peninsula with Alex.
  1. Sail around Swansea Bay with Tony O’Kane.
  1. A Coasteering session for 2 people with Rip N Rock. (To be booked in August 2018).
  1. The ‘Landladies’ come & cook an exquisite meal in your own home for up to 6 people.
  1. A massage with Sue Kent. Qualified body massage therapist who will massage you with her feet.
  1. Sunday lunch for 2 @ the Bluebelle Coffee kitchen. Contemporary cuisine & excellent coffee.
  1. 4 hours gardening by our hard working highlander Brodie, in his kilt or maybe just his sporran?
  1. A box of our finest quality organic vegetables from Cae Tan.
  1. 1 night B&B with Francesca’s mum, for 1 or 2 people in Machynlleth. Cake on arrival & tickets to The Centre for Alternative Technology.
  1. 2 nights B&B for 1 or 2 people in a self contained cosy cabin with woodburner on the edge of Three Cliffs Valley – Tom & Pascale
  1. A traditional bill hook, ideal for hedging.
  1. A weekend at Jacks lovely holiday cottage in Penally, Tenby. Sleeps 10. Walking distance to Tenby town & beach. Stay Friday to Monday this November. Starting bid £100.
  1. Breakfast or lunch for 2 with coffee at newly opened Station 86 café in Gowerton.
  1. A homemade breakfast hamper with brownies for elevenses, a sourdough loaf & Welsh homebrew! By Lara
  1. Gower wild wood foraging session with local chef & wild food enthusiast Colin.


Tickets available from: Gower Heritage Centre (01792 371206) or Tom Okane ( / 07791 696848) or Laura Faucett ( / 07423415180) or online through Eventbrite