Today was the culmination of a huge amount of planning and preparation from Tracey and the volunteers, as we hosted the "It's SOW Green" conference, to mark the end of the Climate Friendly Gardeners project at Windmill. It was also the launch of our new Resource Pack, which shows a lot of the lessons we have learned and ideas we have tried at Windmill over the last 3 years.
|Delegates at the New Art Exchange
|Tracey gets support from
Claire Hale of Groundwork Greater Nottingham
The day began in the New Art Exchange next to the Forest. We welcomed "The Queen of Green" - Penney Poyser to set the scene for the day, then Tracey gave the main presentation about Windmill and our work. After a tea break, and the chance to enjoy the wonderful beetroot and chocolate brownies from Beccy's Global Kitchen, we then had presentations from Phil Knott from the Charity "Send a Cow" (we pinched many of our best ideas from them), and long-time friend of Windmill, Anton Rosenfeld from the Sowing New Seeds Project, who taught us all we know about new exotic crops, and what to do with Shark's Fin Melon!
|Penney and Phil getting ready for their gig
Following a spectacularly good lunch from the New Art Exchange kitchens, the volunteers rushed to Windmill to get ready for the afternoon visit to the site. We set up information and workshop sites all around to showcase lots of things that we have done. When the conference delegates arrived, they were able to have a try at scything, building bottle beds, seeing how we made our hugelkultur and tyre arc, how rivers work and how we save water, where our crops and food come from, how we run our polytunnel and how we help wildlife on the site. That was followed by a cooking demonstration from Tracey, showing how we use our hay-box to cook pumpkin risotto, with Lynn Taylor from The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens on hand to make sure that lots of tips for cooking hygienically outdoors were passed on. Most of the delegates kindly brought their own mugs for the event, so we didn't have too much washing up to do!
|Chris gets a hand making a bottle bed
|Tracey shows how rivers and flooding work - or making mud!
|Mark shows how to save energy - with tools.
|Well done all who brought their own mugs!
|Cooking the risotto
|Everyone got a taste of the risotto to prove the hay-box works!
The volunteers were just amazing - confident and knowledgeable, and we got great feedback from the visitors. Tracey managed not to cry (just) when several nice things were said about her and she got given a beautiful bunch of flowers by the volunteers! Massive thanks to everyone who helped out, especially our star volunteers Chris, Mark, Rosy, Jade, Carrie, Hassan, Lizzie and Joyce. Steven also lent great support, and Shona was a huge help behind the scenes. You are all stars and should be very proud of yourselves.
|The finished resource pack
|Kath's beautiful map
The Resource Pack is also a joint effort, brought together by Tracey, but with many contributions from Rosy, Jade, Matt, Claire, Andrew and Kevan, with a fabulous new map of Windmill created by the talented Kath Hamper. Credit should also go to Diane and Adrian from Print Revolution who toiled long and hard to make it as pretty as it is!
Well done all!