COMMON GROUND GAINS A RAIN SHELTER (about bloody time too)

We’ve had a positive start to our new year, with a good turnout on our open day on October 2nd (not too many not too few) as well as for our first gardening sessions on the 5th and 8th. The main jobs so far have been to tidy the garden following the summer downtime, prepare the beds for the delivery of winter plants I have ordered (with trepidation), and also having a huge campaign of downsizing, mainly getting rid of stuff that has accumulated in the shed. It will take a while, but just chucking two bin bags full of rubbish feels good – can’t wait to do the rest.

We have also had time to organize a fire-lighting workshop on Wednesday, which we subsequently used to build a fire in which embers we roasted some chestnuts, kindly donated by our new member Holly, who had picked them in Hyde park. The embers were perhaps a bit too small to fully roast the chestnut, so they were a little underdone, but delicious all the same. On the Saturday we roasted more chestnuts but using the rocket stove and a hot plate (like they do in market stalls) which worked a treat, although the cooking area on the metal plate was quite small.

Work is also almost complete on the installation of a rain shelter for the garden – basically a tarp that can be put up in under a minute, should the heavens open. The prototype I installed on Wednesday protected us from a brief drizzle, so I must be doing something right. Rain in the past has on several occasions disrupted our activities, so the shelter will hopefully provide a place where volunteers can at least sit down in the dry and have a cup of tea.

After something of a solo summer, its great to see people in the garden again, getting to work and getting their hands dirty. Lots of new ideas floating about, and our regular Saturday slot has now been moved to Sundays, so changes are afoot.



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