September Competition Winner

Congratulations to Steve Anderson of Northwich on winning our September Competition. Steve correctly found that our sneaky fairy had hidden herself on our home page, in the background of the Visitor Comments section!

Steve wins a gift voucher, donated by Redslade Communications, along with a selection of fresh produce from the Garden.

Unfortunately Steve couldn’t collect his prizes in person so his partner, Val Joy (who had also submitted a correct answer!) accepted them on his behalf.

Val receiving the selection of fresh produce from Libby Hughes, Garden manager.
Dave Jacobs, owner at Redslade Communications presenting Val with Steve's prize
Dave Jacobs, owner at Redslade Communications presenting Val with Steve’s voucher






Recipe of the Month – With Spaghetti Squash

We’re now harvesting our Spaghetti Squash at the Garden – pop in to see us, buy one and then try our latest Recipe of the Month!

Spaghetti Squash has solid, bright yellow flesh and is similar to other raw squash but when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti – hence the name!

SpaSq 275

Thanks to Pat from Split The Difference, the Vintage VW Camper Hire Co. for this delicious recipe

Meatballs with ‘squash’ spaghetti (Serves 4 people)

1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil for rubbing on cut surfaces of squash
Salt and black pepper

For the sauce: –
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon mixed herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ red pepper, cut into thin slices

For the meatballs: –
½ small onion
500g good quality minced beef/steak
Salt and pepper

Grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves

Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and rub the cut surfaces with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper
Place the two halves on a baking sheet, cut surfaces down, and bake at 200C for approx. 20 mins

Make the meatballs by mixing the onion, salt & pepper and beef, by hand.
Shape into small balls and dry fry until cooked all the way through

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and heat gently for 20 mins (may need to add a small amount of water)

Once the squash is cooked, the flesh will come away in spaghetti like strands (run a fork lengthways through the flesh)


Place the ‘spaghetti’ on a plate and top with the tomato sauce and then the meatballs.

Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves, serve & enjoy!

Visit to Oaktree Farm – 17th September

Thanks to funding from the Federation of City Farms and Gardens and from the Community Land Advisory Service, 31 students, volunteers and staff members were able to enjoy a visit to a similar project called Oaktree Farm, in Staffordshire.

A few of us had travelled there before, so we knew that we would be welcomed by David Moreton, the manager, and his enthusiastic team members, who help run a rural project, based on a farm. Everyone was excited about our day out, made even more enticing by the recommendations of being able to stroke the farm animals, and eat lovely sandwiches and cake in a recently constructed café and training kitchen there. (Washing our hands in-between, of course!)

James stroking the tame goat
James stroking the tame goat

We arrived safely at 10.45am, and then were shown the hens, goats, guinea pigs and ducks. Just before a delivery of hay, we were able to look at 4 young calves, which the farm had recently acquired.
They were very tame, and didn’t mind being stroked. Then some of our group went to see the green and glass houses, some of which had tomatoes and dahlias growing inside. Some people went to see the small orchard with the medlar tree, and the growing plots, which had some lovely flowers and vegetables ripening there.

Others were keen to see the shop, to pick up some lovely pottery work, which is produced by their team members under the guidance of a potter.

Ray buying a lovely pottery pagoda in the shop
Ray buying a lovely pottery pagoda in the shop
The Pottery shop at Oaktree Farm
The Pottery shop at Oaktree Farm







Others were keen to eat up their sandwiches, as it was getting on for that important time of the day.

Dilys, Chris and Jean enjoying a lovely lunch
Dilys, Chris and Jean enjoying a lovely lunch

Everyone paid a visit to theOaktree Tea Room, which was built about 5 years ago with National Lottery Funding. David and his volunteers told us that this had proved a big success, drawing people to their project, who could buy some plants or crafts and enjoy tasty light refreshments, all prepared on site. Geoff and Ian were particularly impressed by the food, as were Jean and Chris. Dan liked the lemon drizzle cake, and Avril bought a piece of cake to take home to her carers.

We could see that the team members there were involved in many tasks either in the café, the kitchen, the farm and the greenhouses,
and gained many useful life skills.

Sylvia and James by the medlar tree
Sylvia and James by the medlar tree
On the way to lunch
On the way to lunch







Kay, Ben, Jane and James admiring the guinea pigs
Kay, Ben, Jane and James admiring the guinea pigs
Bartek enjoying himself
Bartek enjoying himself

Everyone had a good time, and some of our students were so tired, they fell asleep on the way home.

It has been agreed that we will definitely go on another day trip out soon, and the visit has generated lots of ideas for us to consider as we go forward in our own growth and development.