The big get together finally arrived and the whole gang minus Polly were in Sheffield for some serious work and to celebrate buying the farm. Sheila, Greg, Sheena and I stayed on the farm for the weekend.
While Greg and Joe visited the accountants on Friday afternoon, Sheena weeded in the courtyard and Sheila and I unloaded some pallets which would fence in the compost heap. Leo, Kate and the kids arrived in time for Leo and I to plumb in a new pipe and taps in the dairy. Then we all went down the pub for tea!
First thing Saturday morning Greg and I went to collect 20 scaffolding planks from a nearby company who were selling off old ones. Sheila and Sheena lit the bonfires which they fed all day with brambles and tree branches that I cut down. Joe arrived with our new and very powerful strimmer and set to work clearing the growing area. Sheila and Sheena built the composting bays and Leo and I began constructing the raised growing beds out of the old planks.
Greg brought his mother Molly, who’s one of the company directors, to the site to see the action. Lots of friends and colleagues dropped by and we cracked open the champagne to share with them. I then got a lesson in strimming from Joe, and Kate and Leo screwed the rest of the growing beds together.
We lit the bonfire in the courtyard and Greg set up a door on some pallets to make a big table for our first communal meal. Kate, Leo, Joe and the kids went home for the night and the rest of us sat in the dairy drinking tea and declaring it to be better than many bothies before getting an early night.
On Sunday we were expecting heavy rain but it didn’t happen so we moved the growing beds into line and staked them in. Sheena moved the temporary compost heap to the new one and at Sheila’s permaculture instruction the growing beds were covered with old carpet to kill off the grass. We called it a day when the rain really started to come down and declared it a good, but tiring weekend of work.