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So my first official day as a volunteer…and it snows! The idea of ‘spending the day outside’ becoming increasingly unappealing. However, I wrapped up and headed north to the hawkward nursery run by OrganicLea for their volunteer induction day.

The morning was spent with Jo, the volunteer organiser, learning about how OrganicLea is run (a permaculture and recently soil association approved organic site) followed by a lovely if chilly tour. With 12 acres surrounded on 3 sides by Epping Forest, OrganicLea has a mix of terraced field, kitchen garden, orchard, vineyard, salad beds and lots of space under glass. However, as you can see from the photos, it’s hard to see what’s what under all the snow!

One of the glass houses with fruit trees (not sure what kind yet).

One of the glass houses with fruit trees (not sure what kind yet).

Strawberries in the snow.

Strawberries in the snow.

Salad crops are a key part of the OrganicLea box scheme.

Salad crops are a key part of the OrganicLea box scheme.

After a lunch break, it was down to work, volunteers are able to choose from what tasks are on the go. Obviously not much fruit or veg preparations were going on yet, and I chose to help Ru and the others in one of the glass houses to prepare a new bed (the falling snow outside might have had something to do with this choice of indoor activity).

This new bed has been built using reclaimed materials. It's been filled with wood chip and will have a top layer of compost before green manure is planted for it's first year.

This new bed has been built using reclaimed materials. It’s been filled with wood chip and will have a top layer of compost before green manure is planted for it’s first year.

Ru has many years experience as a grower and being able to discuss some of the questions i’ve had during my first year on the allotment was useful. I’m looking forward to returning next week to continue working with the team in preparation for this years growing season.

http://www.organiclea.org.uk/

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2 thoughts on “OrganicLea: Day One

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