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Hedgerow party, first school visit of 2018, and upcoming talk by Charles Dowding

The hedgerow volunteer party, as guided by Sarah Hughes, has done a sterling job on our Eastern boundary, laying the hedge and incorporating new binders and stakes coppiced from the West Dean woods. Although looking a little stark at present, it will fill out in no time with leafy foliage and stronger hedgerow shrubs, having benefited from this hedgerow management.

On Tuesday, we welcome 57 pupils from Westover Primary School, our first school visit for this year. Abi has been working hard preparing for school visits this year and in particular trying to encourage new schools that haven’t visited before, as well as welcoming back our regulars. If you know of any school that might might benefit from a day at Tuppenny Barn, please do get in touch and we can send them the necessary literature. We are trying with our marketing to encourage more High Schools to visit. Most outdoor providers for school education would agree with us that these are the most difficult age group to get to site due to all of the pressures teachers are under fulfilling the curriculum criteria. We do know, however, that Tuppenny Barn provides an excellent outdoor classroom scenario and ticks most of the boxes for the National Curriculum. With a little innovation, all subjects, from English to maths, can be cross-referenced with the outdoor classroom and what it provides. We are passionate about teaching children about their environment and all aspects of sustainability, it being our number one charitable objective, also being aware that it is so needed in schools today.

Last week, we had 3 new families join our veg bag scheme and also a returner, so a very warm welcome to you all and look forward to seeing you all. We still have a little extra capacity for a few more customers so please do tell family and friends about us and also the twice weekly pop-up produce shop.

Looking to the forthcoming month, we are really excited to be able to host Charles Dowding on Friday 16th Feb when he comes to give a talk about ‘no dig’. As reported previously, Charles has now a huge following in both this country and internationally on his way of gardening. He has some excellent YouTube videos on his website about vegetable growing, some of which have reached over one million views. He will be explaining why his method of ‘no dig’ has proven results of increasing productivity and in the long run, is less work for the gardener. He has been on Gardeners World, and on Tuesday this week, he is featured on Escape to Somerset at 3pm on BBC1 introducing a couple to ‘no dig’ as part of their search for a new home and garden. Book tickets here. For more info on Charles, his website is at charlesdowing.co.uk.

If anyone is following a plant-based diet, you might be interested to know that there is a very cool little cafe now operating between Tuesday and Saturday within Drapers Yard in Chichester offering tasty vegan food. It is all made from fresh and the owner is really keen to offer a healthy alternative to the many chain cafes we have locally.

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