This is my first blog post for the Regather website. I am Kristin, one of the three new EVS (European Voluntary Service) members at Regather. I moved here from Estonia in the beginning of October and now I will be closely connected to Regather throughout the following year.
Before moving to Sheffield for my amazing EVS project, I was also offered a chance to start volunteering at Wortley Hall Walled garden. As being very closely related to food and finding it relevant I immediately said yes. Wortley Hall Walled Garden is an organically certified kitchen garden about half an hour car ride from Sheffield to North. They have been supplying Regather with the fruit and vegetables since the beginning of the Veg Box scheme.
I’ve started volunteering at Wortley on Wednesdays since October so the learning process about farming and gardening is a bit backwards. This time of the year I mostly help with the harvesting. For example some of the things we still have left for harvesting are leeks, kale, squash, swede, beetroot, different sorts of salad and some apples. The amount of crop left in the fields is getting smaller with every week. I can feel a change in the air, mornings are getting colder and the days are getting shorter. Exciting times ahead waiting to see what and how we will start growing the next season!
There is definitely something magical about Wortley, like it was also said by another volunteer Helen who I am always happy to see and work together with. She said it is something that she feels when coming through the big old stone gates to get to the garden. Maybe it is something to do with the history that a very old place like Wortley has. It is entertaining to think and imagine about how people used to live and work here decades ago. Jonny pointed out how beautiful it is when it is the time of the day when the sun is slowly going down and you see the last bits of sunshine reflecting from the leaves of the trees making it look like golden. I find it very entertaining while pushing the wheelbarrow and passing some bushes with pheasants running around in panic and hiding. I carried my phone around with me trying to get at least one good snap of them but no way this was going to happen. The next time while harvesting some leeks there was a charming male pheasant with its fancy feathering posing on top of the gate post just a few meters away from me. Of course he was mocking me for not having my phone with me this time.
I think every person that comes here finds something special and very enjoyable for themselves that makes them want to come back again. In addition to the learning process about farming and growing it is also nice to just spend the full day outdoors, enjoy the surroundings and have nice chats with our ‘’Wednesday-volunteering’’ gang.
Working at Wortley also helps me to understand more about the connection between our weekly Veg Box scheme at Regather and how it is connected to the local organic growers where our fruit and vegetables come from. The same crop we harvest at Wortley is organised the next day to the veg boxes and delivered to our splendid customers around Sheffield.
PS! We have some lovely rosemary growing at Wortley and just sadly waiting to be used if you are interested. No pressure but it is an amazing herb for seasoning, focaccia bread or even tea, just saying.