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Getting ready for Christmas and Park Community High School

Last Friday was a hub of productivity with lots of our lovely volunteers coming in to assist with making items for the Christmas Market. We made the first of our willow wreath rings in preparation for decoration later. The ‘fedge’ provides us with an all year round source of willow (fedge is a cross between a hedge and a fence), however, is used most heavily in the run up to Christmas. The girls also made some of our much loved traditional willow stars, a truly sustainable Christmas decoration if you leave it in water and then plant out in the garden next January. It is surprising how many past customers come back to tell me how their willow is coming along, having been a TB willow star originally.

The kitchen was brimming with smells of jams and chutney, bean and coconut relish, pickled red cabbage and rhubarb and ginger jam being the latest creations. We are making Christmas orange slices for wreath or home decoration and will be doing some seasonal pine cone firelighters as created by Christine last year.

Sue, Abi and myself had an inspiring trip to Park Community High School this week, primarily to see the progress they have made in their vegetable plot and polytunnel on the smallholding they maintain a few miles away from the school. We met their goats and Saddle Back Pigs that are kept there, all of whom looked happy and extremely healthy. They also have bee hives near to the vegetable plot, so much to showcase to the school children where their food comes from and a great opportunity for hands-on skills. Whilst at the main school, we were shown the ‘Community Fridge’, a free food facility for those families in need and promoted by the local church, who also run a local food bank scheme. We are continuing with hosting some of their SEN students on a monthly basis and last Tuesday, they were making vegetable soup and kale crisps with Abi after a session on composting.