Monday, May 30, 2011

Green wood-working and willow-weaving day.

Sunday 15th May saw the latest in a line of countryside skills workshops take place on the farm, and proved very popular, with 37 people attending. The workshop was run by Greg Humphries and Kate Beckly, with support from several regular farm volunteers, and was offered free to locals and visitors alike.
Workshop under way in the green courtyard.
The ethos behind these workshops is to enable people to learn new skills in a friendly relaxed environment, where they are free to come and go as they please and stay for as long as they want, and without the barrier of a set fee (just a bucket for donations). We are only able to do this due to the hard work and commitment of our team of volunteers, who give a lot and expect nothing in return but words of thanks.
Learning how to weave a bean-wigwam.
Everybody was encouraged to get stuck in and "go with the weave", with hands-on learning of bean-wigwams (to be used on the farm this summer), a willow-hurdle (already in use as a windbreak for the courgettes), a carved wooden spoon, basketry, willow wands and stars, charcoal burning (bags of artist's charcoal are now selling at the farm gate stall for £1.50), and corn-dolly making. Not to mention the obligatory tea and cake!
The willow hurdle getting under way.

Greg and Toby chuffed to bits with the finished product.
Most of the willow used on the day came from our own stands of willow, and was cut during a coppicing workshop back on February 1st. Our next workshop will be raku pottery, this Sunday May 5th, as part of the farm's "Sunflowers and Sundials" event and open day, from 12 till 4pm.

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