We did have our doubts about starting up Taster Days in Jan and Feb but the weather and people were very kind to us. The weather kept its worst face hidden away giving us good and even glorious days like today to get on with the work and the joy of meeting together. People seemed hungry to start up the plot days and turned up in great numbers despite the chill of the first two days. Those who came today felt the sun take care of them as if it was Spring already.
Tony from the Youth Offending Team was the first to arrive today to introduce himself and tell us about the community allotments being started up in Norwich Avenue allotments site. They are there every Tue 9-12 and if you see a big Connexions van then you are certain they are there. Sounds like an ambitious project and we will make a visit to them as well. There are a number of plots in this area now moving us towards the dream of having a community allotment on each big allotment site and in every residents walking distance. Only in this area we have the St Lukes Community Allotment, Eastern Avenue Figure of Eight allotments and now Norwich Avenue joins the ranks. Great! Tony enjoyed and we will be support each other in developing our sites.
Then came Janice and did not shy away from the wheelbarrow and heavy soil to fill in some holes in the paths and then started working with Nella on weeding the strawberry patch. It is great to see the little on developing confidence and skill and you could hear her tiny voice asking “this one?” when picking out weeds from among the strawberries.
Fiona whizzed around with the cordless sander (courtesy of the Essex Community Foundation grant) preparing the shed surface for the layers of paint we hope to get from the kind folk at Homebase.
We put on the storm kettle to heat up the soup prepared for Alicja and had some fun with keeping the fire going and drawing using the burned sticks.
The lunch was gorgeous as usual – thank you Fiona for the bread and Alicja for the soups. Dessert was bread with slow gin jam or Hamstel Road honey bought from the Trade Hut. Flushed down with plenty of coffee and tea.
Vanessa visited us to chat about gardening and we exchanged gardening tips and tricks.
I continued digging up soil from our neighbors compost heap as they kindly agreed for us to use it for our hungry raised beds. A few more sessions and we will have them ready for planting.
Fiona was preparing the strawberry saplings and seeds for the Seed Share next week and we have closed the day very happy with a little sunburn.