Growin' and doin'- A word in your ear. Remember that hot spell when gardeners were praying for rain? It may already seem like a distant memory to you now but that's what April was like, and yet through the heat our volunteers were working like Trojans. I have this from Gdaffy the duck, who was on site at our new growing land in Walsden the whole time. (Yes, our hardened veg-growers have developed a soft spot for their new ducklings and bantams). Pictured right is our Nick risking life and limb for the sake of a new polytunnel. And below, see three images showing our work towards self-sufficiency by grafting apple trees.
Find here, at the beginning of the month, news of our volunteers planting some of those trees on the Pennine Housing estate at Ashenhurst. See here, a little later in the month, how many volunteers joined us a-digging and a-planting, it's a joy to have so many working together. And then, more recently, more raised beds were being built and bedded in while our Nick spruced himself up (his hair made good compost) to go and meet Land Settlement folk in posh Harrogate who kindly gave us five grand towards this project.
She loves me, she loves me not - Rumours have reached the republican stronghold of Your Editor's attic that there's been some sort of kerfuffle about a royal romance in the popular presses. We've been romantically remembering blowing dandelion seeds on the wind, thanks to herbalist Sue's latest herb of the month: find out just how many uses there are for dandelion. Check out too how the apothecary garden is growing.
Sue also features as a tutor of herbalism in reports of our latest courses. Yes they had fun, guy(s) - and gals. Eddie Bull was there. No, no more puns, it's all Inspirer Debbie's fault for saying there wasn't mush room at the Edible Fungi course, agh! Read her account here. Plus, she wrote for our local paper the Todmorden News about the concerted work, including courses about cooking and growing, she and fellow-inspirer Pauline are putting into the Longfield estate, with support from the local growing group.
Our two Queen Bees - It's a rare hive that has two queen bees but here we are. Busywoman Mary (blog here) has been to a hilltop village, enjoyed the company of the ladies of the Trefoil Guild, been wined and dined by our Lady Mayor and signed on. Oh, and celebrated the relaunch of Calderdale Council's licence-to-grow for small groups with a tree planting. (Read here how others planted a few things in her garden to show off to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph!) (And read here about how we're supporting Calderdale tourism) Meanwhile Queen First-Equal Pam has been extolling the green route of Tod and debating with the Transition Towners of Bath how local you can grow. (The Bath talk is on film here) Both busy as bees.
For a final buzz, Wes provides here a detailed insight into the workings of the Unitarian apiary, including how to revive dozy nurse bees, the actual kind with wings we mean now. (STOP PRESS: the bees have just been swarming, read about it here) Leaving us with an apt metaphor to finish: we are still a veritable hive of industry, and hope you enjoy our honey-coated words...