Monday 28th August 2023
Report written by Nicky Woodall (she/her)
🥳 21 excellent GoodGymmers joined our bank holiday group run-social bonanza this evening.
🍹 We named, numbered and warmed up while discussing our favourite soft drinks. Elderflower and Irn-Bru (not together) were our slightly unexpected winners, alongside some classics (water and tea) and other interesting additions (anything with rhubarb in and homemade lemonade). Feeling slightly thirsty thanks to that, we set off on our run to Holgate Community Orchard.
🌺 It’s still incredibly exciting to see the transformation that we’ve been part of there. The plot we worked on originally is no longer mud but a grass and wildflower haven. There’s still plenty of work to do though, and speaking of mud, our talk today was to start digging over another patch of soil, which will also hopefully be transformed soon, this time into a wildflower meadow, with some bee-friendly additions.
💪 Alongside the digging over, we were also digging out brambles and anything else we could find. This required some hard work and a variety of techniques, including the classic jumping on the spade. Some of the brambles had particularly large roots, giving quite the sense of achievement when they finally came out. Alongside this were some other unusual finds, including what looked like a very old steering lock. Pete was also tasked with digging out “random metal items”. Having shown his penchant for it, he was requested by Helen to dig out two large metal poles that may or may not have been used for growing raspberries at some point 🤷♀️
🌳 Our diggers were so efficient that we soon had to expand our area, which Helen was delighted about. We also had a small group “branch” off to do some stick-sorting. A big pile needed stripping and sorting by size, the larger ones being put out for reuse, the smaller ones being used for compost.
🧩 With 10 minutes to go, Helen from the allotments suggested we start covering the soil over. We weren’t satisfied to leave a wonky line though, so I attempted to draw a straight-ish line to work towards. This was done with aplomb and efficiency, with the coverings being reapplied effectively. This required a bit of covering Tetris as we attempted to piece together the assortment of coverings of various shapes. There was a tense moment when Michael and Nick thought they’d found the perfect spot for their piece, only to learn it didn’t quite fit with the rest of the puzzle! Fortunately, Michael quickly found a substitute spot for it so all was not lost.
🎭 After all that drama, it was time for a group photo on our slightly less picturesque soil, in front of the beautifully-converted area behind. A short blast of fitness “enjoyed” (endured?) by most, hidden from (in a bush, literally) by others meant we were ready for the next part of the evening.
ℹ️ We also noticed that we got a mention on the new information board about the orchard, which is pretty exciting.
🍻 Steve and Mitch has kindly brought down some alcohol-free beer, courtesy of Athletic Brewing (one of GoodGym’s sponsors), which we enjoyed in the surroundings of the Community Orchard. Others had brought snacks to share, including some homegrown figs and apples, and homemade raspberry cake (and not to forgot the ever-so-important Red Leicester Mini Cheddars for Abigail!) A jolly time was had by all, until we started getting eaten alive slightly by various biting insects. That was our cue to leave so we parted ways and there ended our evening.
👏 Thank you everyone, see you again soon!
Holgate Allotment Association are a volunteer group of allotment holders who try to make Holgate Allotments a great place to socialise and grow veg. We have an allotment plot on the boundary of our site which is unused and completely overgrown but which we think will make a lovely orchard and wildlife area with seating for the local community to enjoy. Clearing the site will be a massive task, but it's one we want to embark on this Autumn. Can you help?See more