January 2015 – Volunteer Wednesdays began again. The first Sunday of expected bi-monthly Volunteer Sundays was cancelled due to snow. With access granted to the greenhouse, work began clearing and repairing it. Volunteer hours break the 500-hour mark. Facebook page reaches 100 likes mark. Running total: volunteers, one hundred and sixty-one; volunteer hours, five hundred and thirty. Between 1996 and 2014 the site had grown a young forest of trees, and had stored and gathered years’ worth of rubbish including over 250,000 discarded plant pots and seed trays: most have now been recycled. There were originally two greenhouses, one had collapsed. The remaining one was basically sound but dilapidated and overgrown with ivy. Once cleared, the frame was straightened, properly aligned and fixed to the base, all the cracked and broken glass replaced and new decking and shelving built.
March 2015 – The first sowing was of shiitake mushroom mycelia set into hardwood logs cut from trees cleared from the site. (See the slideshow for before and after photographs.)
May 2015 – The greenhouse is no longer in deep shade twelve months of the year. Bright sunshine is bringing on a range of unusual and tasty salads, herbs and fruiting plants. We are aiming to grow high value crops to tempt local restaurants to add local fresh produce and interest to their menus.
June 2015- Moving towards a more complete site ready for planting out and Open Day in July. Began construction of a new external raised bed. Loaded thirteen builders’ bags of plant pots heading south for recycling. Sold our first produce to Buxton’s Bar Brasserie.
July 2015 – Open Day enjoyed by all.
August 2015 – Summer recess for Volunteers but watering rota for glasshouse and mushroom logs maintained
September 2015 – Volunteer days resumed – attracting greater numbers. Anne Holloway took on role of (Voluntary) Volunteer Coordinator.
November 2015 – first polytunnel erected and covered. Funding secured for a composting toilet. (Courtesy of the Bingham Trust)
December 2015 – Celebration Event.