The vegetables we harvested.

Grinning Amongst the Artichokes

Guess what I did on Thursday?

It was the first day of my volunteering placement with HASL, a local sustainability action group in my city. One of the many awesome things they do is the community vegetable garden. I rocked up to the garden at 2:30 in the afternoon, and was greeted by one of the more committed members, who I’d met once before. I started by moving lots of potted plants around, before getting roped in to mending a large wooden tool box. Let me just say now that I’ve never learnt even the simplest DIY, so sawing and hammering away like that was a small miracle.

Next we got stuck into some ”proper” gardening: we harvested sweetcorn, potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes, and dug the soil ready for some hardy winter veg. This was really fun. The potatoes had apparently grown there uninvited, so it was a magical surprise every time I dug one from the ground. By this point I had forsaken all attempts at cool interest and was squealing with excitement every time I struck edible gold with my oversized spade – grinning, sleeves rolled up and Converse covered in mud!

Me showing off the artichokes

After all this excitement it was high time for lunch, and quite a few other people had turned up at this point so we ate together at a picnic table. I’d brought a packed lunch, but it seems the custom with these guys is too bring food to share with everyone, which is pretty cute. The other volunteers were all really friendly. Everyone else seemed to know each other so I did get a few ”um, who are you?”s from various people. They were all very impressed when I said I was doing a volunteering placement for a module of my degree. Everyone was at least ten years older than me, which is cool, but I do think it’d be awesome if more students and young people got involved with this kind of stuff.

The vegetables we harvested.

The vegetables we harvested

After a quick seed-collecting mission, I left the garden at sunset, feeling satisfied and proactive.
I’m so keen for next week. Someone promised they’d bring pumpkin soup to share…

What a result!


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