Having had a few lovely days of spring, this week returned to more predictable February weather. Nonetheless, I managed to get out a fair amount, including to the Woodhouse Moor allotments, Killingbeck and Bedford fields. I also submitted an application to Leeds Council to use an area of wood in Primrose Valley Park.
On Tuesday, at Woodhouse Moor, we worked with a group of about 10 young people planting and clearing, as well as making pancakes. I focused on weeding a bed and then planting onions, while others rediscovered a very smelly pond and cleared brash. I was working with four young people who were predominately autonomous in their work. Saying that, some were more confident than others and more proactive in their approach. Others required more structured guidance and support. Overall, the activity ran extremely smoothly. The only minor issue being that some of the young people became a little impatient and wanted to start planting before we had fully finished weeding. As I was slightly distracted working with another person, I failed to fully notice this and so the onions were planted regardless. No matter, onions are hardy.
On Thursday, at Killingbeck, as the weather was better than last week, a handful of young people turned up and we finished wood-chipping the path. Unfortunately, Luke’s beetroot brownies were received less well.
Friday, and I did as much learning as teaching at Bedford fields community forest garden. Unfortunately, the weather had turned for the worse, and so turnout was rather bad. Thus, I focused on learning from one of the people who runs the garden. He explained how to identify certain roots by smelling them and maybe more importantly, how to best plant a plum tree. While I have previously done a lot of tree planting, I have rarely planted fruit trees, so this was a valuable lesson. He also explained how best to teach planting fruit trees to others.
Finally, less interestingly, but no less important, I submitted an application to Leeds Council to use a small area of woodland in Primrose Valley Park. The application involved explaining what we hoped to do and achieve as well conducting a risk assessment on the activities we planned on running, and other document evidencing such as safeguarding.