Here’s a stream of conscious thought:
Well, I’m not sure if spring is here yet or not. It certainly feels that way at times, and the sap sure is rising in many of the fruit trees. In fact, the pear blossom is almost ready on the tree I have here, but the rootstocks I bought from up country are definitely not budding yet. Which actually meant that my recent fruit grafting might have been done too late.
There are thousands of seedlings in the greenhouse, bursting to get outside as soon as the risk of frost passes. Onions, leeks, beans and rhubarb germinated by my new friend Pete, and loads of cauliflower, celery, tomatoes, aubergene, peppers, in fact too many to remember at this time of night.
The biggest milestones this year, have been putting the polytunnel skin on the frame (finally – thanks to Pete, Mike, Karen, Pete, Vivienne, Rhiannon and Jim), and digging an irrigation pond and wind-protection mountain (bund?), and sorting out the veg delivery vehicle! It’s an electric tricycle, and I’ve built a box on the back out of some reused signage from Eden Project (thanks Jim). It feels like things are looking up for the season, but I have to be honest, I’m a little daunted. Last season, at this time of year, me and Sophie were working flat-out, but she’s back in St Austell. I saw some posts from March and April, and much more was in the ground than right now. So, rather than get stressed, I’m accepting what is, and realising that I can buy in veg if there’s not enough, and also – I can ask for help!
So I put a call-out the other day for help fruit-tree grafting, and Lucy and Pete came! And tomorrow, some others are expected to come too, lightening the load, sharing the journey, passing on the skills, and having the chance to make connections. It’s a humbling experience. I have been reminded many times (thanks Elaine, Lucy and many others), that lots of people would love to get their hands dirty, connect with nature, and be part of a CIC like this one, so I’m going to open up more this year, and say when I need help. I’ll even put a sign up on the gate. This weekend is fruit-tree grafting. Next weekend, might be weeding and prepping the beds for the storm of upcoming planting. I’m not sure I have the time to do all of this myself, especially as I’m doing part time care-work to supplement the income, plus plenty of upcoming peaceful environmental activism stuff, so I’m going to put out the call and hope some wonderful people answer. If there’s enough people helping in Spring and Summer, we can grow a much larger amount of veg for the year – it’s as simple as that. With more people longer term, we can prep and plant more beds, and expand, and do more things.
A few weeks ago, I linked up with the wonderful CN4C – Cornwall Neighbourhoods 4 Change. They’re such a great CIC, doing fantastic work in Redruth and beyond. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share, and they were very supportive, and like Grassroots Garden. I took them a few trailer loads of veg, and I’m hoping we can work together in future. I also met Jack from Grow Cornwall, and we have some exciting ways we’re wanting to work together soon -watch this space in case it pans out.
And I have to tell you of a friend Aaron, over at https://www.cnccraft.co.uk/ – his laser cutter made hundreds of millimeter-perfect holes, and helped me turn some sheets of perspex I saved from landfill, into a dibber board, and a drop-seeder! These would have cost probably way over £500 had I bought them, but with some time invested and Aaron’s magic, I should have these ready to go before long. I do love a project.
A little too much at times actually – I don’t know how I fit it all in. In fact sometimes I don’t. I’ve had to pause many things, and drop the electric-van project, and will be turning it into a quirky volunteer accommodation pod instead! It’s still a project I guess, but no more money will be spent – just some TLC, when the time arrives in my lap.
So there you have as much stuff as I can remember right now, and I know it’s a lot to update on, but I had to get it out as I’ve been wanting to blog for ages.
Oh, and we might start a Youtube channel! First things first though, I just keep planting seeds and filling up the greenhouse. Perhaps a few days of pricking-out and potting on little seedlings might be a nice easy volunteer sesh -another callout is on the cards.
Recent times have reminded me of many wonderful things. One being, I’m not alone. Another being, my food-community are awesome. Also, I’m living the dream. And, I can do this, We can do this. In fact, we already are doing this. And I’m incredibly grateful to serve my community and this beautiful planet. I get to watch the miracle of life with every seed I plant, and I get to nourish my community and my soul in so many ways. This life is blessed, and it’s often only with hindsight that I remember this. I’m working on being more present in this reality, and to appreciate each day, each seed, each breath and each drop of water.
I’d better get that pond lined and guttering fitted before the drought happens then. Wanna help?