Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Fabulous Fun at the Festive Fuddle!

Apparently a "fuddle" means a variety of things. For us, it's Nottingham's word for a "pot luck" meal where everyone brings something to share, so if you were confused, hopefully that's clarified things!

Today was our Festive Fuddle, so we fired up the clay oven, invited round a few friends and laid on some fun activities to keep people occupied in between noshing. Actually - Pete and Alex fired the oven, Alex is particularly necessary to the process, because he alone seems to have the knack of moving the fire to the back of the oven without putting it out...

Alex - now known as the "oven whisperer"
We were delighted to be joined by some of our recent visitors from Gateway to Nature, including some of the group that helped us make the clay oven base and roof. A few folk from the wonderful Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens also joined us (including Dan, a much-missed volunteer who is now working there).

Making paper chains
We began with a session making festive paper chain decorations out of colourful off-cuts from out of date magazines, as well as decorating CD's for a bit of bling. Whilst that was going on, a few of us prepared dough to make pizza and rolls. These went into the oven for a quick hot bake, which worked beautifully. The pizza disappeared as fast as it could be cooked, and the rolls were enjoyed with chestnut pate, roasted parsnip pate, and chutneys and jams which we made at other sessions during the year. Gateway to Nature provided veggie burritos and cakes - yum!

Pizza is served!

The food fully enjoyed, we moved on to making willow star wands. We moved this to round the fire outside so folk could warm their feet (it was still rather chilly!).

Now - repeat after me,  "Warm-me upus immediatus!"

Then we moved the magic back inside to create some marigold balm. This is actually really easy, beginning with soaking dried calendula marigolds in warm olive oil then leaving them soaking for a few weeks. Then you simply drain the oil into a pan, add about half as much beeswax as you have oil and melt them together. You could add a drop or two of a suitable essential oil like peppermint, lemon, orange or vanilla, but it's not necessary. Just gently heat the mix until it is all liquid, stir and pour into small pots. Make sure you run a patch test somewhere on the inside of your arm or leg before using it on your lips, just in case you have an allergic reaction.

Pouring out the lip balm
Everyone went away with lots of goodies - the balm, chutney and decorations. The paper chains went to decorate the room for a community group that had no budget for festive finery, so we hope we helped spread a little sustainability message along with the cheer.

Complements of the Season to you all!

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