With three of the core members working on other projects, it was just the two of us for this weeks meet up. Fiona and I resisted the urge to skimp on the days work, with no one to report on us, honestly!
Once I had dealt with emails associated with the allotment insurance research ( the excitement was unbearable ) Health and Safety statement….blah blah… but Confucius say; Better to be safe than sorry! Meanwhile on top off being an excellent info gatherer for my form filling, Fiona deliberated the pros and cons of joining The Trust for ConservationVolunteers
TCV have a host of benefits of joining for community based projects, the free bag for life hit a soft spot for both of us:-)
“Extreme Picnicking” (my kind of sport!)
Rules for Extreme Picnicking
1. Windbreak/shelter blown down at least twice
2. Hold onto your food at all costs
3. Bonus points if your basket blows away
4.Never run out of tea (note to self, pack a bigger thermos)
On a serious note it was great to visit the plot and indulge in a spot of creative visualisation. There are signs of spring; burgeoning blossom in the trees along the back edge, rhubarb coming through on other plots, I am so excited to think what our plot will look like this time next year.
We had productive meetings both 18/01 and 26/01 and an online Hangout on the 21/01
18/01 we started off on the with a quick run through reflecting on the process of setting up the community allotment: what worked in 2013, what did not work/frustrated us in 2013 and what do we want to continue with/address in 2014. For example what worked were regular meetings, diversity of ideas and good division of tasks, what was frustrating was technology not always working or too many tools used. At the next meeting we will discuss what to continue with and how to address issues for 2014 to keep the work going and and ensure we are having an enjoyable experiences.
That gave us plenty food for thought and we discussed some of the points in more detail.
We used cut outs with some of the actions suggested so far and grouped them into Research charity structure, Design, Implement, Maintain and Review/Evaluate. We added actions and prioritized to keep things simple and effective and then people took ownership of actions.
Some of us are starting with near zero knowledge on the topics but by researching them and supporting each other we will soon have built up knowledge and skills just like we have built up the shed:) on the plot. Out of an empty space a structure will manifest itself just be patient and put one foot in front of the other.
Hello, Alex here. I am new to the group and new to Southend, having only just moved here two week ago. Knowing no one in the area, I was keen to meet like-minded people and find locally active groups through which I could put my spare time to good use, and seem to have hit the jackpot already!
My love affair with the natural world has been a long one. I love the Great Outdoors and have clocked many hours volunteering for environmental charities. My attraction to this project is rooted in my strong belief that connection with the land does wonders for the mind, body and soul, and that working with and in nature offers therapeutic benefits, whilst protecting a resource of intrinsic and incalculable value.
Last Saturday’s planning day was a thought-provoking experience. It was great to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about each other, as well as about ourselves. Appreciative inquiry is a new concept to me and the motivation and positivity it provoked means I am already looking out for chances to apply its principles elsewhere in my life. Good company and good food was also a big bonus! Thanks to Duncan, Fiona and Kamil for keeping me well fed and watered and making me feel so welcome 🙂
Looking forward to getting my hands dirty!
Today’s planning day was spent on working out what type of organization inspires us and we started brainstorming ideas and actions.
We started with the Appreciative Inquiry interviews on “what makes a great organization/team” and started to brainstorm the goal and reasons why. We will be adding to it on the next meetings and Skype calls so people who cannot come to all meetings can still contribute and I am figuring a way out of doing it online so even if you cannot attend a meeting you can still log in for a few minutes and add your points.
Hopefully next meeting that Adriana and Ian can attend they can also do the Appreciative Inquiry interview.
Fiona and Alex will meet up for a skill share teaching each other WordPress blogging and use of Google Docs.
We are having a Skype call this week coming Wed 20:00 or 20:30 for an hour.
I enjoyed working with you guys and gals today, it felt energizing and friendly. Thank you Fiona for offering to do the write up and for the lovely food, the chili was just fine to nourish us and the apple dessert a winner.Next Actions:
Meetings to continue working out the plan for Setting Up the Organization or work days for Preparing the Site for Growing. We will adapt according to the weather and our fancy:)
Watch out for future dates and contact us if you want to get involved in the Work Days or Planning Days.