Monday, July 31, 2006

Another fine volunteer weekend

Another fantastic volunteer weekend is over and the farm continues to improve as everyone puts something back into it. As this was the first volunteer working weekend after reaching our initial target of securing the farm, there was a renewed sense of optimism and vision - no longer are we doing jobs just because they are necessary, but instead we are looking at the extensive future of the Initiative.

Once again, there was a great mix of volunteers and shareholders - new and old. People travelled from all over the country and stayed in local B+B's or camped in the garden. Everyone got on amazingly well and brought different qualities and skills to the weekend to share and exchange.

The different activities included painting gates and walls, building fences for the new pig pen, making gates, strimming, clearing concrete areas, sanding and varnishing benches, clearing scrap metal, tidying up the garden and making mini gardens in the car park. All these jobs went really well but a special YEAH goes out to those who slogged away at cleaning bricks. This has been an ongoing job since last October when one of the buildings was taken down by volunteers. Since then brick cleaning has been a job for most working weekends - we want to reuse the traditional bricks for future plans. A very worthwhile project!

The weather behaved perfectly. It was sunny with a breeze all weekend. Then at lunchtime on both days, it absolutely poured with rain forcing everyone to crowd under the jazzy gazebos in the garden. But all was not lost, with immaculate planning, the rain ceased the moment lunch ended, enabling volunteers to merrily continue with their jobs...lucky them!

Everyone left looking tired but contented and were keen to return. By the end of the weekend volunteers are counted as friends and they have all found their niche at Fordhall so it is always sad to see everyone leave.

The next volunteer weekend is September 16 - 17 although many have expressed interest in returning for the odd day before this space.

ps. A quick HELLO! to Dave - a valuable volunteer and database king who has returned to America for couple of weeks to see family. Your being missed!

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