SEAG’s first Soup-A-Thon took place in Shedquarters at the Community Garden. For the first time putting the newly fitted kitchen by volunteers to the test!
Following an appeal for donations of homegrown and locally produced vegetables plus using the Olio app making use of vegetables that would otherwise soon be wasted, volunteers made lots of free soup.
We had many visitors enjoying a warm cup of free fresh hearty soup and bringing members of the community together. Surplus soup was donated to Monyash Community Centre in Cotmanhay for their lunch club.
Warburtons kindly donated bread rolls and we made use of previously donated insulated paper cups from Sainsbury’s.
We wouldn’t have been able to do this and many other events without the support from Co-Op, which enabled us to purchase solar panels for the roof of Shedquarters so we have green electricity.
Another first but absolutely not the last! A free fermentation talk and demo for the community was put on by two of SEAG’s garden’s fabulous volunteers, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for all things fermentation.
This was an opportunity for people interesting in fermentation and the many benefits to learn something new, share produce and skills.
We have held this event every year since the Garden came into being. Each time it has a slightly different format but always with the theme of having activities around the environment and sustainability. This year we were fortunate to have the sunshine on our side which made the day all the more special in the surroundings of the beautiful garden in summer.
In May 2022 the Garden hosted its second Greenfolk Festival and members of Shipley Eco Action Group and volunteers were interviewed for a feature in the GreenSPring Project about green social prescribing. Hear from those involved about how and why the Garden came to be and how the space is used for green social prescribing. The weather couldn’t have been better for filming and we had a fantastic event that day. It is hard to believe only 2.5 years before this was filmed, the area was just a field and now it is a beautiful productive space, bringing the community together.
We held our first Wassail at the Community Garden in January 2023. A Wassail has its roots in pagan rituals, we blessed the trees in the food forest for a good harvest. The wonderful ceremony involved welcoming the good spirits and scaring away the not-so-good spirits to keep the trees in good health throughout the year and produce a good harvest.
Everyone embraced the traditions and made plenty of noise, banging pots and pans to scare away the not so good spirits. Wassailers sang and soaked stale toast in apple cider to hang from the dormant trees, which is considered to be a way of attracting the friendly spirits! The atmosphere was very special with our very own Graham Kearton leading the procession through the garden, lit up by lanterns, beautifully made by volunteers.
Shedquarters provided a cosy and welcome shelter from the rain where Wassail outfits and headdresses could really be appreciated and Wassailers enjoyed a Morris Dance demonstration. Volunteers had supplied homemade cakes and biscuits, mulled cider and apple juice, which all went down very well!
Thank you to all those that came out in the rain to bless the trees and be merry together.
One thing is for sure, Wassailing will now be an annual event!
In 2021 SEAG volunteers came together and made up hampers that were delivered to local care homes. This year volunteers put together an amazing 60 plus hampers, which were distributed to residents in the most need in Cotmanhay and Ilkeston by the young people from The Pod, Action4Cotmanhay and East Midlands Housing.
Over a number of weeks volunteers collected boxes, gift bags and materials to decorate the hampers, made crafts and preserves and donated items. Our fabulous friends at Warburtons and Co-op also donated food items to the hampers.
Donations of items that can be used for Christmas hampers in 2023 are always welcome. Some great items include:
We recently realised a vision we have had for some time and held our first Wellness event at the Community Garden. Volunteers led a small group in Yoga, QiGong, Ecstatic Dance, Meditation and Mindfulness practices. Guests also enjoyed Reiki treatments and massage with the beautiful Weleda products.
Thanks to volunteers, handmade Tipis were put up around the garden for treatments and areas for quiet contemplation. Blankets, throws, cushions and books were placed around the garden and added to the relaxed vibe of the day.
Christina’s base for providing Reiki treatments
Wonderful Weleda products in Lisa’s Tipi tent for hand massages
The group were treated to a delicious homemade plant based lunch made by volunteers Lynsey, Christina and Kay using some of the produce from the garden.
Our first Wellness event couldn’t have gone any better and the feedback was fantastic. Just some include:
Just to say thank you for a wonderful day. I enjoyed every minute. Great relaxing sessions, delicious food and lovely company. No room for any improvement!
I wasn’t sure what to expect on booking but certainly wasn’t disappointed. I found the whole day relaxing, informative and had lots of ideas to take away and use for myself. Journaling – a good reminder on benefits and nicely laid out booklet that I plan to use. Relax/yoga – lovely intro to the day. I had reiki and massage, both of which were a lovely addition to the day and relaxing. Lunch – what an amazing spread! Delicious. Qigong – fab intro to it. Would have liked to do more. Meditation – lovely end to the day, I’m sure I heard some snoring! The group size was comfortable and everyone was lovely. Thanks for letting me know about it, it felt that a lot of thought and planning had gone into the day.
We are already planning more Wellness events for 2023 and will share information once details are finalised.