190 hours of work by volunteers in one month

Looking over the log book we keep each day on the farm, we see that May and June were a bit breath-taking. So many significant changes and new things. What do you think of all this?

Summary of May

  • A record 190.5 hours of work done by volunteers on the farm. We’ve had 51 different people come to help since April 2014. We also had our first Saturday volunteering session.
  • Give and Gain Day 15 May. Organised by Business in the Community, we had 25 volunteers for the day from a company called Morgan Sindall. This was a day of big, big changes:
    • the greenhouse frame became a polytunnel
    • we gained a terrace for growing sweetcorn
    • 21 tonnes of rubble was put into 3 skipspolytunnel cover on
  • Chances4Change Food Festival: We were funded to provided a tomato-planting activity at this event in the centre of Southampton. Fifty people passed by our stall and planted up a seedling to take home and grow their own tomatoes.
  • Open Morning – Bank Holiday 25 May: Six of our members hosted an open morning and many local people came to see how we’re getting on.
    • 40 guests signed the book – lots of positive comments!
    • 3 people asked for eggs when available
    • 3 people offered to volunteer
    • we made a profit of £45 on plant sales.

Summary of June

  • Our first three pigs were slaughtered and meat distributed.
  • Irrigation – we installed a water tank at the top of the hill, which is filled by an electric pump. This provides a steady daytime flow of water into swale 1 which overflows via a small stream and goes on into swale 2.
  • 31 tomato plants installed in polytunnel
  • 120 sweet corn plants are now out on the land
  • “3 sisters” bed created (sweet corn, beans and squash growing together)
  • we made the doors for the polytunnel and fitted them
  • we began harvesting mange toute, peas and strawberries
  • our area for growing cabbages, cauliflower and Brussels was prepared in the area above swale 1 and a tunnel for netting constructed over it
  • we had 115 hours of voluntary farm help and 157 hours of volunteer farm management.
  • we received some funding so that our managers can be paid 3.5 hours per week for the next 80 weeks for permaculture design of the farm.

Looking ahead, we have more Saturday volunteer sessions on August 1st and 15th, and another open morning on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August.

So, after such a productive start to the summer we really want to say thanks for your involvement and support! And don’t forget the members meeting, Tuesday July 21st 7.30pm at the farm.