Browsing Posts tagged childrens

What? No rain?! 05/01/13

Difficult to believe, but today the clouds have not opened on us!  Okay, it was very dull and grey, but as I said last night, there was no rain, and today we were blessed by loads of volunteers, all happy to get ‘stuck in’.

At this time of year, what with there being virtually nothing growing, no weeds to pull, and the ground being so wet, there wasn’t much we could do ground-wise, but that didn’t stop volunteers getting their hands dirty with ‘infrastructure’ jobs.

While Jordan, Diane and I carried on clearing fallen leaves from the banking, Derek carried on building a bench above The Orchard Plot.P1000942

Double click on the image to the right here, and you’ll see it in all its glory.

Last year, Ian (no relation) and I had done some work up there, and remarked on how those longer stumps to the rear of the bench would be great for some kind of seat.

We’d envisaged just some humble planking strung between those two uprights.

But Derek had other, much grander ideas!

Diane and I got a chance to sit on it before it was painted by the kids, and I can certainly say that this bench is going nowhere!P1000940

To the left here is one of the girls applying the first of many coats of ‘our’ standard coloured external, water-based, wood preservative.

During all the excitement of trying out the new bench, I slipped away down to my plot 34, right down the lane.

Now, towards the end of last year, I was tremendously busy doing other, far more boring, stuff.  Who would look after my Plot?

Luckily, Gary, one of LEAF’s longest-serving volunteers said he’d keep it for me whilst I was away.

And keep it he certainly did!

The man really is a ‘Human Digger’!P1000934

To the right here is just one of the beds he’s dug over and carefully weeded.

I know I don’t like using the word, but the only one that springs to mind is: ‘Awesome’.

But where was my favourite olive tree?

I looked around, panicking that he’d somehow mistaken it for a weed and it was now dying in a compost heap somewhere.

But I needn’t have worried!P1000931

I just did a quick 180, and there it was, safe and sound, right by the side of the sitting area, and with more leaves on it than ever.

Phew!

After a hasty lunch, work continued apace with Matt and Pam arriving and getting straight down to work, and as I left late this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice that Pam had already moved most of the chrysanthemums out of their ‘summer bed’ into the greenhouse.  Here these will safely winter, so in early spring she can take cuttings from them ready to replant out in late spring.

Hopefully, this year they’ll have some decent weather in which to bloom!

All too soon it was time for me to head home, but as I left, there was the happy sound of laughter and banter across our plots.

Now, after the inevitable snow, could we PLEASE have some decent weather?!

Of course, I could say you’d have to turn up to find out, but that’d be pretty mean, so here’s a quick ‘taster’…

Seed planting on the new worktop by the greenhouse.We’ve been working pretty hard over the last few months to get our plots ‘up to scratch’ and ready for visitors to see, but because it is a ‘working allotment’, as you walk round, you will see areas that look untended and unloved.

Well, let us tell you, they aren’t!

They’re work in progress.

What you will see are many more beds than last year with crops growing.  There are many different varieties of onions, garlic, shallots, spring onions, radishes, potatoes, leeks, oca, sweetcorn, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers…  The list goes on!  But how could we forget the now-famous ‘LEAF Strawberries’!  This year you’ll be encouraged to go and ‘Pick Your Own’.  Not merely strawberries, but actual strawberry plants! We’ll lend you a hand fork, and point you in the right direction, and you’ll be free to dig up as many as you want to take home and plant in your garden or even in a pot on your balcony!

On other ‘fronts’, we have a newly-and-greatly-expanded seating area up by the metal shed for many more volunteers and visitors to relax under a couple of our gazebos.  The 'Zen' seating area.We also have a new ‘Zen’ seating area on the patio you can relax in.

More ‘hardware’ to show off this year is our now fully glazed, fully functional, and ‘fully full’ of young plants greenhouse!

A gentle wander up to our ‘Orchard Plot’ and you’ll be able to see our five, fully functional beehives kindly supplied by ‘Groundwork Sheffield’ and the ‘Bee Buddies’ project last year.

Further up The Plots, up by the wooden shed, there’ll be a new area for our new ‘electric bicycles’ and you can try for yourself and see just how much fun it can be to generate your own electricity, and as the evening light draws in, you’ll be able to see the power generated earlier in the day actually lighting up the gazebo under which the bikes will be sat!

Then, there’ll be a selection of young, ready-potted plants in exchange for a donation for your own garden; you’ll be able to drink the now world-famous (…well, nearly…) Plot Tea we rave about so often on our Website; you’ll be offered a taste of ‘proper’ home-cooked food, and if the weather’s fine, we may have a fire lit so you can taste for yourself the awesome baked potatoes we often cook on a Saturday evening after a hard day’s work.Mitzi, shouting at us!

Finally, there’s ‘our’ allotment cat, Mitzi, who may well make an appearance.  From this photo, she may look fierce, but she really is just a Big Softie, unless you try and tickle her tummy!

Who could want for more!

So, get out your diary, make a date and we’ll see you then!

Tonight was our AGM.

An evening of celebration of everything and everyone that is LEAF.Vegetable fun!

And who better to help us celebrate than Madame Zucchini and her amazing vegetable show?

After we’d finished all the ‘serious business’ (…details in a bit…), she came on stage and showed us the fun you can have with vegetables, including her rendition of the film ‘Jaws’, complete with the main characters, and an evil looking shark with big teeth made from an aubergine.

She then handed out paper bags, each filled with an assortment of vegetable ‘chunks’ and matchisticks, and told us we should all make our own vegetable ‘creations’ and there would be a prize at the end.

And what fun we had!Proud Mr Potato Head.

Here’s Elaine showing off her ‘Mr Potato Head’.

Of course, the children were in heaven.  Getting to ‘play with their food’ without mum telling them off!

This shot is of one of our youngest ‘Plotters’, Lisa, proudly showing off her creation.Proud Lisa!

All in all, everyone had fun with Kyle eventually being declared the winner.

He won a prize of a limited edition hand-made ‘Madame Zucchini’ greetings card.

As it was our AGM, we had some serious ‘official business’ to get through.  Recently our chairman, Mick informed us that he wished to stand down, so the post was open.

Initially, both Julie -a long-standing committee member and I had put our names forward, and it would have gone to a vote of the LEAF members, but in the end, Julie decided to withdraw her application.

The rest of the committee were standing again, so after a ‘block vote’ of all LEAF members, we were all duly elected to the committee, with myself as chairman.

Madness?  Possibly.

But it will be fun…

 

 

Halloween Bash!

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Come on down to LEAF Saturday the 30th for Halloween and celebrate with us!

As usual, we’ll be there from 10.00am for a normal Saturday Session, but in the afternoon, the fun starts for the kids, culminating with food to share and the official unveiling of ‘Plot Power’ as we electrify our allotments with power an light supplied by pedal power.

You can download a poster to put up here.

See you then!

More painting and artwork. 25/09/10

Tomorrow marks the annual ‘Allotment Soup’ open day, this year held down in Rivelin Valley on the allotments there.

There’ll be loads going on, and we decided to take our growing scarecrow ‘family’, and a load of painted cardboard ‘gardening paraphenalia’, so artfully painted by our ‘Plot Kids’.

The owl and the butterfly.

The owl and the butterfly.

Here, you can see an owl and a beautifully painted butterfly.

A beetle and a ladybird.

A beetle and a ladybird.

To the left here are more painted cardboard cut-outs.  This time a beetle and a ladybird.  These are ‘sat’ on the fence leading into the childrens’ plot by the main entrance.

Soon, yet more artwork seemed to ‘magically’ appear in the shape of gardening tools, a spade and a couple of forks, a watering can, and here’s Jo holding the butterfly from the photo above.

Jo and the gardening tools.

Jo and the gardening tools.

Of course, I couldn’t finish this entry without reference to a cat!

The black cat.

The black cat.

Here is today’s splendid effort:-

Now Mitzi, our Plot Cat is a grey tabby, and yet this one is black.

My cat is black.

Are people trying to say that I should bring Young Alfie down with me one Saturday?

Are they ready for the kind of chaos this would cause?  I think probably not, so for the time being, he’ll continue to be the ‘Local Terror’ round here, thankyou very much!

Last Saturday we had a lovely creative day at LEAF. I arrived late in the day as usual, and to my delight Jo had organised a fantastic painting activity for the children, and I was very impressed with the larger-than-life self portraits they had painted.

Jo putting the finishing touches to Lisa's fantastic colourful self portrait

Jo putting the finishing touches to Lisa's fantastic colourful self portrait

Jo and Matt were busy constructing a shed out of cardboard, and were constantly interrupted by children trying to climb in and out of the shed whilst it was still under construction! You just can’t beat a cardboard box!

Matt and Jo working on the fantastic cardboard shed

Matt and Jo working on the fantastic cardboard shed, a hit with the children of all ages!

I got stuck in and started to make some large cardboard garden forks and spades –  all of these things are going to be part of LEAF’s creative contribution to Allotment Soup at Rivelin allotments this weekend. We will also be taking some of our fantastic scarecrows so hope to see you there!


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