It was a great day - the weather held and loads of folk attended, which was lovely as many of those who have visited us since we started this project came back to see how things are getting on, and they were all delighted to see how much progress has been made.
The day began with lots of work to do the finishing touches to the tidy-up and setting up, with lots of help from the work team from Groundwork - Dan, Dale and Rish - which was great as they were officially on their day off - many thanks guys. We also had had help from Ray, Khaled, Imran, John, Ellis, Rukia and Lisa who all worked like trojans.
|Ellis adds the finishing touches to the feast
The food all arrived on time, with some fab veggie food from Ecoworks, some burgers and sausages from Harker's Farm Shop in Clipston on the Wolds (which came from animals on the neighbouring farm, so very local), and some things Tracey made from produce we harvested from Windmill itself - summer puddings using our berries, vegan beetroot and chocolate brownies, courghette and lemon cake, and filo parcels with rainbow chard, shallots and feta cheese. We also cut fresh salad from the raised beds where we've used it as a living mulch around the courghettes to reduce water loss (thanks Imran for being salad master for the day), so the table looked amazing.
Pulp Friction, the smoothie bike folk, arrived to help everything go with a swing, producing delicious smoothies using pedal-power. Thanks to Jill for agreeing to come at short notice - Pulp Friction is a great project, as well as having the coolest name! Find out more about the project here - Pulp Friction Facebook Page
One of the New College artists' fantastic murals
|Trying out the Pulp Friction Smoothie Bike
We were also delighted to have Matt from the Cadbury's Spots vs. Stripes project who brought along lots of games for people to try.
|Matt from the Cadbury's Spots vs. Stripes project with the giant Jenga
|Visitors start to arrive
The celebration began with a short summary of the project so far and vote of thanks for all the volunteers and groups from Tracey, followed by a ribbon cutting to open the polytunnel by local Councillor, Mohammed Saghir. He then cut a cucumber for us which quickly got added to the salad!
|Councillor Saghir opens the polytunnel
Councillor Saghir also presented certificates and garden gift-vouchers to our two longest-serving volunteers, Ellis and Daniel, who have been key to the success of the project.
|Congratulations to Dan...
|... and also to Ellis who have both been fantastic!
Then everyone dived in to the food - which was pronounced delicious! Even die-hard veggie avoiders enjoyed the cakes with hidden beetroot and courghette, and the beetroot hummus from Ecoworks was also a huge hit. We'll try to get the recipe off them and put it up here. Dan, Rish and Dale battled gamely with some slightly dodgy charcoal, and managed to provide the meat eaters with plenty to get their teeth into as well.
Everyone was invited to take part in a harvest of the produce ready on site, and happily set to, so peas, carrots, lettuce, courghettes, cucumbers, rainbow chard, shallots, onions, leeks and callalloo were all collected by delighted visitors, many of whom were picking what they had sowed earlier in the year.
|Rukia and son Adam harvesting peas
|The meadow area is still looking pretty good and got lots of positive comments
|Our visitors from Acorn appreciated the new seating circle
|Members of the Breathe Easy group harvest lettuces they sowed during their visit in Spring
Thank you to everyone who came to help on the day, especially all our volunteers who made the day run so smoothly. A special mention to the work team, who not only helped on the day and ran the barbeque, but have also put in a lot of hours to help finish off the polytunnel doors, and even found time to work out how the small shed should go together!
Well done all and I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.