Thanks very much to Jane Thurlow (RHC for the North East; South Yorkshire and Derbyshire) for organising a regional gathering for her area and sending us this report.
On a beautiful sunny day – possibly the warmest Halloween on record – some hosts and WWOOFers met up at Greave House Farm. I had set up the event and was delighted that three hosts and four WWOOFers could make it.
We had a good look around this really interesting project, which is not far from Sheffield on the edge of Stocksbridge. The views from the farm are fantastic, and if you want to learn more about permaculture this is the place for you. There are loads of interesting projects taking place, including mushroom growing on lime-soaked straw (which we helped with), and Christmas tree rental. Sustainability is the focus here, and you will learn a lot – we certainly did, even from our short visit.
Greave House has a trust that owns some of the land and offers opportunities to people with learning disabilities too. We had a lovely bring-and-share lunch together, and all got stuck into some WWOOFing too. As the weather was so good we were even able to eat our lunch outside in the sunshine – not bad for the end of October.
Jane from Fairfield Nursery Cottage, Matlock brought some of her delicious fresh apple juice for us to sample, and we (Jane and Tony from The Nursery in York) brought a range of apples to eat (juicing next week). We were also treated to some great celery grown at Greave House by Barbara and Graham and other produce.
Greave House are planning a mass tree planting soon, and arrangements were made for some of those present to return to help. We (The Nursery) got some useful information from Graham about growing mushrooms and very importantly his mobile number as a helpline when we try it!
So regional meetings can be both enjoyable and useful, and help bring together and link up the varied people who make up the WWOOF community. Why not try one in your area?