A couple of weeks ago I visited Barley Wood with the Malago WI. You can read all about it here. During the course of our conversation with the gardener, Mark Cox, he mentioned that he welcomed volunteers to help out with tending the plots. Now my elder daughter has spent a good deal of her university summer holidays WWOOFing all over the country and was very interested in the possibility of spending a day working in a walled garden and picking up tips to take back to Glasgow where she hopes to become involved in a local community garden.
So the week before last we caught the bus from just round the corner and traveled out to Wrington. Mark welcomed us warmly and, passing up on his offer of a cuppa, we got straight to work uprooting blighted potato haulms which Mark carted away to be burned. After a short tea break we were set to harvest two crates of beans for the following day's vegetable boxes.
We'd brought our own picnic lunch but Mark insisted on making us a cheese sandwich with locally produced cheese and a salad of freshly harvested onions, tomatoes and cucumber. Mark is an interesting person to talk to, a mine of information on growing all manner of fruit and vegetables, yet anxious to hear about our limited experience of gardening.
After lunch we planted four rows of salads and finished the day's work by loading the truck up with dead vegetation destined for the compost heap.
Mark not only insisted on giving us a lift home but also on making up a vegetable box for us to take with us.
It was an altogether enjoyable day, even allowing for the fact that I woke up the next morning feeling every muscle in my body!