Welcoming Visitors

Cooking and filming at LEAF
Cooking and filming at LEAF

Last  week at LEAF we were visited by a film crew who were making a documentary all about local food production and community approaches to food. It was a good opportunity to show why I in particular enjoy being at LEAF so much when I get the opportunity to be there – it’s not just about the food growing, important though that is, it’s also about being community.

Now being a community, just like being a family isn’t always easy, and there are times when people fall out – sometimes over little things that are easily patched up, and sometimes over things that are much harder to heal and move on from, but the mark of any community (and family) is in how much it is able to forgive each other and move on. Now forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, and it doesn’t mean the hurts will always disappear but it does mean that we learn to understand each others faults and failings and therefore try to find ways of moving on beyond them. In the bible it says “…love each other deeply, because love makes you willing to forgive many sins.” (1 Peter 4.8 ) – obviously this isn’t the slushy romantic love of cinema screens and soaps operas, this is a deep unreserved love for our fellow human beings that has almost limitless powerful opportunities to heal and build.

But back to the film – the crew we there all day doing interviews with people and filming as Kadeja cooked a wonderful Iranian style omlette all made with ingredients from the plots including the eggs from Garys chickens – all in all its about as local as you can get, and delicious too!

You can read more about the film project at: https://www.facebook.com/LocalFoodRoots?fref=ts

In addition to the film crew, PXI also welcomed visitors from the Anglican Diocese of Manchester last week who are currently travelling the country to gather stories about how the governments “austerity” politics is adding to the effects of poverty in communities up and down the nation. They paid a visit first to the “food bank” we run at Mount Tabor and then in turn came to visit LEAF before spending time at St Leonards church in Longley.

Runner Beans on offer at LEAF
Runner Beans on offer at LEAF

This week as the sun continued to bear down on us we opened up two new beds to plant some Yacon and Okra – but before we did it was time to harvest a decent yield of runner beans and offer them to the public. We’d had at least one taker before I left at lunchtime – I do hope they enjoyed them.

After the morning at LEAF, I moved on to the quiet garden at Cross at Yew Lane, where the raspberries this year have done really well. Another two pounds almost today to add to the full tub we’d already picked and shared on Sunday with visitors to “The Gathering” which is a small christian group that meets regularly there.

There were more Raspberries on Plot107 when Angela was up there today – lots of weeds still to cut down but as the site for our main fruit crops its been doing well this year at least as far as the raspberries and gooseberries are concerned. For some reason the rhubarb has not done as well, and the strawberries have largely failed due to us allowing them to get shaded out by other stuff – a new plan will be needed next year for them.

Signs of New Life

Raspberries and Rhubarb on Plot107

Well it was nice to get out on the plot in sunshine and relative warmth this week, and also to get some planting for the new season done. At the weekend we managed to get the raspberry canes that we’d bought from Loxley Valley community Farm, who by the way have a really excellent set up and are really well organised – so much so that alongside the usual fruit and vegetables you’d expect, the volunteers there are able to look after chickens, sheep and pigs!

As well the raspberries, it was good to see the rhubarb doing well still, and signs of new life on the gooseberry bushes.The herb bed was also showing signs of growth with the chives, and rosemary both doing well.

We also managed to set down some more bark chippings to mark out the paths between the various beds, and so now the whole of one half of the plot is laid out and ready for planting.

Rosemary & Chives on Plot107

 

This last Sunday a small group of us started to meet at our house as church, for us, church is a community of people not a building and so we choose to meet together in each others homes, sharing bread (and a meal), praying together, worshipping together, loving and caring for each other, and sharing each others faith journey. The idea is not a new one and dates back to the earliest ideas of church as described in the book of Acts and elsewhere in the New Testament. As part of our time together this Sunday some of us (me and the children, Imogen, Blake and Dora) planted up some of the broad bean seeds into peat pots ready to go out this week (we’ve used an early variety Imperial Green Longpod) and Angela finished the task of planting them on the plot this morning – so now we will wait and see and watch for those first signs of new life.

Planting Imperial Green Longpod (Broad Beans) on Plot107

 

Over the next few weeks there’s much more work to be done on the plot, we’ve got lots of potatoes that will need planting and even more to start chitting, and digging over the other half of the plot to get that into full use this year for the first time. We also got a letter this week telling us about a “Tenants Meeting” at 1pm on 14th March at Parson Cross Pavillion – this meeting will be looking at ways of continuing to develop the allotments in Parson Cross Park, and in particular at setting up a new allotment society all of which is very exciting. It’s also a bit sad as the same letter has confirmed that Fay who’s been a big help to many of us, and has been part of the Parson Cross Allotments from the start will be losing her job as “Growing Together Project Ranger” at the end of March – I just want to say, we will miss you fay and want to thank you for all the help you’ve been over the last year – God bless you.