Happy Birthday to us!

Hello everyone,

One way or another it’s been a hectic January so that fact that it’s our FIRST BIRTHDAY this week nearly passed me by.  That’s right, we first officially opened our gates to volunteers on Feb 1st 2012.
This month’s Saturday open day is THIS SATURDAY 2ND FEBRUARY 10-2 and will be a work day and a celebration meaning (as if we needed an excuse) THERE WILL BE CAKE (and parsnips).
And what are we celebrating?  In the last year…
190 people have come together and volunteered in groups or on our Wednesdays, Mondays or Saturdays
90 children have pond dipped in our glorious new refurbished pond
13 community groups have benefited from the site
In one way or another we’ve had over 975 people through the gate and sharing the joy 
A total of 3483 views on the website 
In the worst gardening year in 30 years (some say) we managed a wonderful and varied harvest
We’ve weeded, barrowed, shivered, laughed, shared, shoveled, harvested and grown together on over 80 gardening sessions. And amazingly -considering the weather- I managed to get badly sunburned twice.
I’ve sat down and thought about favourite moments of the year.  They are usually the times I look round the garden and see everyone busying away on different tasks, working together, sharing skills and learning new things and I really feel that together we have created a fabulous place where everyone is welcome and valued. I also loved the wildy pink, tasty and exotic oca harvest, the building of ‘Bob’ the bean structure, finally getting the polytunnel plastic on, winning the awards and especially the slow coming together of the tetra shack wall (nearly finished!).  
If you’ve a happy memory of the year I’d LOVE to hear it.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the garden in any way, here’s to another fabulous year in which we will be trying out all sorts of exciting new ideas to make the project financially sustainable (I’ll save those for the next email!). 
In the coming weeks we’ll be welcoming the Bishop Rd Afterschool Club, students from King Weston Special School, adults with learning difficulties from Silvacare, the Young Carers, and toddlers from a local nursery, students from the local college, teenagers volunteering for their Duke of Edinburgh Award and lots groups more to come and get involved.  
And in the coming year we’ll be building, planting, watering, harvesting, celebrating, eating, weeding and basking in a golden summer even if it only lasts a fortnight again. 
And everyone is welcome as usual down this Wednesday when we will return to the usual opening time 10-4 and Saturday 10-2- especially if you bring a saw or an eager sawing arm as our timber order should have arrived and these new beds aren’t going to build themselves.
See you in the garden!