Visit by Lesley Griffiths, AM.

Last Friday 26th May, we welcomed Lesley Griffiths, our Patron (and long time friend) to the gardens. Lesley had not visited for a while, and was shown around the nearly completed projects that have been carried out in the West Garden.

Lesley was impressed with the raised beds, which have been built by brick-laying apprentices from Bersham Road, Coleg Cambria. Lesley was also shown the new cedar shingle roof on the roundhouse, which Ray and Carlton have skilfully been working on, with the help of others, over the past few months. It is hoped that when the roof is completed, with new windows too, many visitors and community groups will be able to use the facility to keep dry and for rest breaks.

Lesley was able to take some asparagus with her, and we are still cropping asparagus, along with lettuce, rhubarb, herbs, and broad beans.

Last week, Avril and everyone said ‘goodbye’ to Samantha, who is a trainee Social Worker from Glyndwr University. Sam has been with us since April, and has joined the team in all activities. We will all miss her! Good luck in your future studies, Sam.

Coming soon….The growth of a giant pumpkin…..(By Nick of Just Seed, www.justseed.com)

 

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.