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Group Fitness Activities
A chance encounter with Saroj during our May Day gardening task at Flo's led to us being asked if we could help out with the garden at Littlemore Village Hall. The Hall is a community run space which receives no public funding, and is kept going by a dedicated team of volunteers. They requested a GoodGym flash mob to help blitz a few of the bigger garden jobs so that the space is a bit smarter for hirers.
10 GoodGymers packed their gardening gloves and spent a couple of hours helping out the village hall team. We had a task list including weeding, pruning, emptying out old planters, composting, planting out new plants, filling raised beds and cutting back an overly vigorous hazel tree.
At the end of the session we were treated to a delicious cake buffet, cups of tea and coffee, and an opportunity to chat with the hall volunteers.
Will garden for cake!
It was lovely to be back at the Children's Allotment for the first time since they opened up last autumn. It was quite a different sight than when we first came to help out back in the spring of 2019 - now there's a polytunnel classroom, mud kitchen, running water, loo, lots of produce thriving in raised beds, and barely a bramble to be seen.
This week we were back on wood chip duties...the play mound needed making safe by covering with weed suppressing fabric and a thick layer of woodchip. A few bits of glass and metal had been making their way to the surface so the nice thick layer of woodchip will ensure that the area is much safer for playing. Elsewhere Mark and Julia sharpened their carpentry skills repairing the mud kitchen work bench, a handful of GoodGymers were given a composing masterclass, and everyone else snapped on the gardening gloves and got weeding the polytunnel raised beds and around the raspberry canes. Watering was done, peas were eaten, and a generally wholesome evening was had.
Welcome to GoodGym Oxford Emily!
Thanks to Ben for the excellent pun/report title!
The Ark-T centre have a Summer Celebration event on Friday 15th July and have asked for some help getting the gardens ready.
They need some help sprucing up and installing some items in the playspace for the sensory garden, including putting together a solar-powered water feature. There are also some planters that need a bit of tlc, and some signs to be designed, painted and put up, a wigwam to paint in funky colours, plus we'll give the pathway a good sweep and scrub, trim the trees back, and tidy up the mud kitchen area.
As always, bring your gardening gloves, and if you're up for a bit of painting then wear clothes you don't mind getting some paint splatters on.
* Anyone wishing to run to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 6pm. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets there. It's a little over a mile to Ark-T from there.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm at the Ark-T Centre playspace garden.
Oxford City Farm are planning a Drop in morning and pop up cafe and have requested some help from GoodGym. There will be tea and cake, seed gathering, and other activities around the farm. We’ll help run the cafe, welcome visitors and assist with other activities around the farm.
This session will offer an opportunity for people of all ages to come and enjoy the farm, meet and feed the animals, and have a cup of tea.
Please bring your own gardening gloves just in case there are gardening jobs to do.
Directions: The City Farm is tucked away behind the Isis Court Care Home on the Iffley Road end of Cornwallis Road.
Marston Community Garden cooperative includes a community allotment, flower garden, the Forest Garden, a chicken coup, an orchard and a new Community Wood on New Marston Recreation Ground, plus much more. We have a few visits planned through the summer, so you'll be getting familiar with a lot of it!
This week we will be at the flower garden weeding existing beds and digging over more areas for planting.
Bring your gardening gloves. All tools will be provided.
If you would like to join a group run to the task location please meet at 5:45pm outside East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street, OX4 1DD. Please note the community centre is now closed for redevelopment so we won’t have access for toilets etc. It is approximately 2 miles to Marston Community Allotment from there.
If you prefer to meet at the task meet at the Boults Lane Recreation Ground entrance to Court Farm Allotments at 6:15pm. OX3 0NT
5-7.5km/3-4.5m walk in Uni Parks and along the Marston Cycle Path, ending up in The King's Arms for drinks and games. (With prizes for the victors).
Walkers meet at Keble Gate at 6pm for a 6.15pm start.
Pubbers/Gamers meet at pub at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start.
Pub Quiz at The Up in Arms. The quiz will start at 7.30pm but it’s best to come down for 7pm to get a head start in the picture round and grab your table!
£20 Bar Tab for first place dodopubs.com/locations/the-up-in-arms/
13 (unlucky for some, but not in our case ) GoodGymers ventured back to one of our favourite places, Marston Forest Garden. Its been a while since we last helped at the site and it was amazing to see the progess the team has made. As always we were given a very warm welcome by Isobel and we divided into weeding parties. The superstars Thomas and Sam also helped move wheelbarrows of woodchip onto one of the plots. Weeding in and amongst the gooseberries also gave Katie the chance to bring our the Seek app to make sure that no plants were harmed in the weeding process! We finished with some wonderful homemade lemon drizzle cake from Isobel!
One of the Trustees of Littlemore Village Hall met us when we were gardening at Flo's on May Day, and has subsequently got in touch to ask for help tidying up the village hall garden.
In exchange for some GoodGym weeding and pruning they will supply tea, coffee, and homemade cake. Surely that's everything we need to tempt us beyond the ring road?!
Please bring your own gardening gloves. Tools will be supplied.
I (Anwen) will be planning on running Horspath parkrun that morning if anyone wants to meet there first.
After a COVID-related cancellation of our planned task we headed to a hastily arranged task at the OxGrow Community Garden at Hogacre Common instead.
The runners took the shady route along the river, daydreaming of icecream and wild swimming, while the rest of the gang joined us at the bottom of the infamous steps of doom. Heading up and over (thankfully not carrying a tonne of woodchip or a sofa this time!) we arrived in the garden to find Simon and the OxGrow team all set with a list of tasks for us. No surprise that with the recent hot, dry weather one of the most urgent jobs was to give the whole place a thorough watering. To-ing and fro-ing to the water system with watering cans (and sometimes using the extra troughs around the garden for which we dug channels for the water pipes on our last visit) the whole place got a good drenching, which will hopefully keep the plants happy until the weekend rain.
Meanwhile a smaller group dug over a bed in the TAP Social area of the garden. Tap Social haven't been able to do much with their corner until recently and so it has got a bit wild. Digging over one of their beds should help them get growing again sooner rather than later.
Last but definitely not least, our final group raked up the cut grass around the community garden while they waited for the scythes to be ready. You can't keep a GoodGymer from a scything task, so as soon as the scythes were prepped and sharpened they switched tools and headed out into the main common to scythe the long grass in the orchard. A veritable masterclass in scyronised scything ensued (try saying that 20 times fast), with long grass falling and pollen flying. I'm always grateful to get through a scything task with everyone's toes still intact, so well done Poldarks!
New GoodGym rule - the only acceptable outfits are GoodGym Tshirts or Britney Tshirts.