Our Wivey Growers working group met up on 14th December to celebrate the wonderful times we've had together during our first year as a community growing project. We reminisced over our highlights, and the people we've met, shared how we felt personally impacted by this project and dreamed about the year to come.
In no particular order, here are some of the highlights that were mentioned:
- Langley House - beautiful site and home to Wivey Grows, wonderful opportunities from veg growing to woodland, getting to know residents and staff.
- The eco potential and fertility of the area demonstrated by our bountiful courgette, pumpkin and pattypan harvest!
- The lovely swirl veg patch - designed by the experienced gardener, Joe Lodge.
- The bridge we built as new access to the meadow, now used and enjoyed by Langley House residents.
- Being welcomed, feeling known, belonging, feeling sense of purpose within the community, support in recovery from mental health struggles.
- Learning new skills
- Hedgehog Wildlife Safari - real interaction with hedgehogs, lots of kids, quality education and hedgehog boxes to take home.
- The Wildlife Safaris in general all brilliantly organised by Rich Lawrence - bug hotel building, education from moth and bat experts, building bat boxes which now cover Wiveliscombe, and starting an annual Wivey bat survey.
- Our wonderful sunflower garden - kids grew from seeds, marked their spot in the sunflower garden, planted the seedlings at the launch and they grew into giants!
- The age range of people who come - toddlers to wise old owls.
- Our launch day! 315 people attended with sunshine, music, pizza, cake & soup, planting, kite-making, playing with clay and picnics.
- Learning to cook pumpkin soup with our own pumpkins, which fed the wivey growers for a few weekends!
- Watching families from children to grandparents - all enjoying the site and coming to just be.
- Meeting new people - opportunity to meet people we haven't met or may never have met in our community. This then carries into town when you walk around, can wave, smile and recognise more neighbours.
- Mid-morning group coffee and chat
- Coppicing days with homemade soup
- Team Flowers - Jayne's seed to flower diary, beautiful flowers grown from seeds, bouquets given to those receiving food from the Wivey Food Project and also gifted to Ukrainian refugees living in Wivey.
- This year was an experiment - enjoyed finding out what works and would be worth repeating or scaling.
What a fab year we've had. Thank you to everyone who's made this community project possible.