We dug, we cleared, we planted, we weeded. Strimmed, cut, laminated, mowed; painted and repainted and now the day was upon us!
Preparations complete, those of us present gathered into a small gratitude circle ahead of our official start time, to share thanks and intentions towards the event. And then, people came!
First, Nicole from Feed Avalon, who organises food education and training in the local area. She set up an information stand adjacent to our surplus produce stall that boasted fresh salad bags, preserves, lavender bags and more!
With impressive punctuality, Jon Cousins, deputy mayor of Glastonbury arrived on the stroke of eleven o’clock and waltzed away with founder and vision holder Juliet, to visit the site and converse.
Friends, neighbours and visitors drifted in steadily throughout the day. It was a joy to witness their reactions to the beauty and order that the gardens are expressing right now, thanks to hours and hours of team effort.
In a quiet corner of the field, Somerset Community Food delivered an awards ceremony for those completing food growers training, as other guests meandered around the circular beds, chatting with members and sharing their experiences and aspirations with regard to food growing. Anke and Sharon were both available and master grower Joe was much in demand for his opinions and suggestions.
In Fire Circle Richard and Kerry, Sue and Maia continued to weed and tend under the powerful solstice sun. Richard was full of enthusiasm for a permaculture method he is trialling, influenced by the traditional knowledge of the indigenous peoples of South America. Kerry was equally passionate; she stayed at the field digging and planting until 6pm!
Inside the house, a glorious selection of home made cakes and refreshments were enjoyed, offered for sale by donation and supervised by Regina. Sarita had been busy in the kitchen earlier that week, baking with flair and creativity using seasonal ingredients such as nettle, borage and rhubarb, while Zeyla had thoughtfully prepared a choice of gluten free treats. A share of proceeds is to be donated to support a local food charity, via Glastonbury Harvest Show.
As the day drew to a close, members gathered in the kitchen to rest, relax and nibble on cake, with a shared sense of excitement and positivity. Our hearts were gladdened that the event was such a success; that the gardens are delivering inspiration, beauty and community connection in abundance.
We are feeling tired, exhilarated and eager to continue the good work: to encourage and support the community in growing and sharing fresh, high quality produce; and to strengthen and integrate the local food skills network.
Further images on our facebook page
‘Breathtakingly beautiful’ Nicole Vosper, Feed Avalon
‘A perfect setting’ Caroline Lewis, Somerset Community Food
‘It’s really beautiful’ Robert Macbeth, Paddington Farm Trust
‘There’s a real wow’ Cathy Whitefield
‘It’s amazing! Compliments, well done!’ Francesco, Glastonbury resident
‘Its very nice to come down, it’s lovely’ Pennie, Glastonbury resident
Feed Avalon A workers co-operative promoting food resilience in Glastonbury, Street and surrounding areas
Somerset Community Food A grass roots charity promoting food growing in Somerset