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Volunteer post by Charley – 22nd January

Charley Pope

Upon visiting the Communigrow field for the first time the first thing that struck me was what a beautiful spot it was. David, our Horticultural Leader, said to me with a big smile, “It’s great, my job is to come and work in a walled garden!”, and I couldn’t agree more.

It was a brilliant, crisp January morning and one of the first jobs was to feed the birds. Something that I immediately admired was the way in which there is such a sense of working with nature, not against it. 

 

A veg box needed to be put together for one of our trustees so I helped assemble a wide array of different winter goodies. As a complete novice I was surprised how many things were still growing during these colder months. Salad leaves of different shapes and textures, brussel sprouts cut straight from the stalk and magnificent rainbow chard leaves full of colour in the winter sun. The veg boxes are one of my personal favourites at Communigrow; a real showcase of local produce and community supported agriculture at its best.   

We finally got to sew some early onions and a few other early seeds. These would be started off in the greenhouse and then eventually planted out. There was something quite relaxing about the process, topped off by being completely surrounded by the great outdoors. I’m very much looking forward to learning about growing, and hopefully being able to translate that into some home grown fruit and veg of my own!

-Charley (Social Media Volunteer)

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Meet the team – Donna – January 2021

Charley Pope 

Meet The Team – An interview with Donna Sellick, one of our hard working volunteers by Charley Pope. 

‘I’m particularly interested in not only the growing but what we actually do with it once we’ve grown it. How can we use it, and how can we use it sustainably?’

January 2021

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Meet the team Donna
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Meet the team – David – November 2020

Georgia Woolf 

Meet The Team – an interview with David Jeffrey, Horticultural Leader by Georgia Woolf. 

‘Everything is about sustainability. We are looking after nature, so it looks after us.’

November 2020

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Meet The Team - David Jeffrey Horticultural Leader
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Volunteer Post by Chloe – 12th September

Chloe Wing

Every time I have visited the field the sun is always shining – I am starting to think the sun only shines on the Communigrow field! Although, I am fully aware that winter is around the corner and under no illusion that it’ll last.

Nonetheless, the volunteers have started to prepare for the colder weather and keep the Communigrow field overflowing with produce.

Today, we only had a handful of volunteers in (even a new face which is lovely to see!), so decided to focus on capturing the work of the volunteers.

 

As you can see, everyone is extremely passionate to maintain the Communigrow field and love what they do!

After a couple of months of volunteering, I have experienced first-hand that Communigrow improves your wellbeing and provides an opportunity to meet people. Also, after a long week at work, there is nothing better than spending a couple of hours amongst nature especially at the start of the weekend.

-Chloe (Social Media Volunteer)

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Work Experience by Pauline – 26th August

Pauline

 

After joining the Communigrow Team on 23 June 2020 for 8 weeks, I was very apprehensive as this was the first time I had ventured out during Covid-19. Every day was a sunny one (apart from one day!) and I really looked forward to going to the field as this was all I was doing at this strange time.

I was shown how to plant and grow every possible vegetable. I never believed there were so many! The many tools used fascinated me as well, from the Pitcher to the Potato Planter and my favourite the Onion Hoe. Wigwams were made for the runner beans and the onions were put in a ventilated shed to dry out. I was taught how to make tunnels for the Brussels and took part in a soil test.

I really enjoyed making up the Veg Boxes which the public bought – the amazing colours of all the veg said it all, and so fresh.

 

A massive thank you to all the Team who included me in every aspect, and shared their knowledge. I certainly feel more equipped now for carrying on the next 2 years of my Commercial Horticulture Degree. I shall miss you all but will keep in touch. I would encourage anyone out there to Volunteer, as I have learnt so much and this was an experience I will never forget.

-Pauline 

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Volunteer Post by Chloe – 7th August

Chloe Wing

As promised, I have written about my second visit to the Communigrow field. Today, it was set to be the hottest day of the year – reaching a scorching 34 degrees! To avoid the heat, all volunteers including me arrived early so we could complete our tasks before the heat got too unbearable for us all. My first task of the day was to help David pick courgette, squash, and cucumber for our veg boxes, and I made sure that the process was documented with my camera.

I was very excited to be involved with picking the vegetables for the boxes as I had been planning to buy one for my family.

My next task was to help Nicky cut sage, parsley, mint, and chive and tie them into bunches which were also going to be placed in the boxes. I was a little apprehensive at first as I was not sure how much I should cut as I did not want to use up all the herbs. However, I soon got into it and was happy with what I had picked and enjoyed experiencing all the smells from the different herbs.

With the heat taking its toll, we all took a well-earned rest in the shade and, as an extra treat, we ate ice lollies. It felt very relaxing eating our ice lollies and chatting, but soon we had to get back to work! As a collective, we finished the veg boxes and they were soon ready for sale. I made sure I took several photographs of them in their full glory. For the last part of the morning, I explored the field some more and had fun with my camera taking photographs of anything that caught my eye.

Before I left, I paid for my veg box which contained: potatoes, beetroot, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, courgette, cucumber, chard, cabbage, sage, mint, parsley, and chive (plenty to experiment with). Also, I was given the challenge to cook a Crown Prince squash, so stay tuned for the results!

-Chloe (Social Media Volunteer)

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Volunteer post by Chloe – 15th July

Chloe Wing


On Wednesday 15th July, I took the opportunity to visit the Communigrow field after becoming a volunteer working with the social media team. With the sun beaming, I set off to the field not sure what the day would offer. Shortly after arriving, David took me on a tour around the field which allowed me to take in the beautiful location and get an idea of what Communigrow has to offer. The field exceeded my expectations and I especially enjoyed learning about the variety of vegetables – I could not believe the size of the onions! 

 

My first task of the day consisted of filming a short video with Naomi for Kent Wildlife Trust as Communigrow had recently been awarded with the Wilder Kent Silver Award. I therefore, had a second chance to wander around and take in the sights around me, whilst taking photographs and filming short clips. As a keen photographer, I immediately became inspired by the vibrancy of colours that the field had to offer. From the sunflowers to the vegetables, I was delighted to see many bees, butterflies, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. My favourite photograph from my visit was a bee pollinating in a sunflower, and I have already set myself a challenge to capture one of the butterflies that roam amongst the flower beds on my next visit. Or perhaps if I am lucky enough, I might get to meet the wren nestling in one of the polytunnels! After an hour of exploring, I had truly settled into my role and was ready to film David’s training session on semi-ripe herb cuttings. The training session was lovely to witness, as volunteers got stuck in and I personally, enjoyed expanding my horticultural knowledge too. 

 

One thing that stood out at Communigrow, was how lovely and welcoming all of the volunteers were. I really appreciated this, and it allowed me to quickly settle into my role of filming content for the social media platforms. Although I did not get the chance to get my hands dirty, I am definitely looking forward to getting more involved with the field work on my next visit. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the sun was shining which was an extra bonus. 

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