A first Timers Account

Last update: 13.06.19 First posted: 13.06.19 by in

A first Timers Account

A few Sundays ago was my first ever time at Incredible Edible Todmorden’s Volunteer Sundays, it was about 2 weeks after me and my partner Georges moved into the area from Manchester.
Georges and Laura
We were a little nervous to go not knowing anyone, we weren’t sure how it worked, but we were also eager and excited for the experience after having seen the sites across town and read about it a lot before moving.

Upon arrival we were welcomed, and saw a camera crew and told someone was filming today but not to worry. We smiled awkwardly and tried to make ourselves useful asking for tasks and were offered along with warm smiles lots of tea, coffee and biscuits. After putting down our names for the group lunch we exchanged some friendly intros, where we discovered many people who were our neighbours, we noticed a movement in people as they began to separate and make their way to different areas of the town.

We asked a person who gave the tasks out,
volunteers being given jobs
were pointed towards John who obviously saw we were rather eager beavers, and assigned us our first task which was a fun one indeed. We were planting trees with a couple of other people we hadn’t met before in the Unitarian church grounds.
tree planting at the Unitarian

The area we were planting in was super steep, and the trees we were planting would be helping to make the landscape more resistant to large water runoff, therefore reducing flooding and leeching of the soil. It felt like a rather noble pursuit for a Sunday morning, but I’d never planted trees and had no idea what equipment to use or where to start. I asked the people we were with and was shown some pointy garden devices for digging, how deep to go and just to whack it in. We ventured a few tentative steps onto the steep hillside and digging our first holes when before we knew it we were slipping and sliding down the damp muddy slopes on our bums covered in dirt, and in fits of laughter. I want to make clear at this point, we could have easily not got this muddy, it was totally up to us but we were really excited to give it a go and make sure we got to every part of the slope possible. At the end of the two hours, we had begun calling it ‘extreme tree planting’ (a new adventure sport haha), had made new friends and had planted around 30 trees!

We had worked up a bit of an appetite after all our outdoor adventuring which was lucky because as we turned up to the church a bountiful lunch was getting underway. We just wandered in, asked if things needed doing, got some plates, chairs, forks and then went up to help ourselves to an amazing bounty of food!

While waiting in the queue to fill our boots with all kinds of delicious delights we chatted with people and found out all the food was provided by lovely people and businesses in the local community.
eating incredible lunch
As we sat down together on long tables and shared food you could look out and see relaxed smiles on everyone’s faces, we had a great time enjoying conversation and food and felt part of the community surrounded by people we might never have spoken to others wise. When we were finished we all helped clear up and wash up like one big family and said our goodbyes! We really enjoyed our first day and have been back many times since to enjoy food, gardening, chats and smiles, 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month every month!

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IET facebook page

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