Despite these strange Covid-19 times, Claver Hill community food project continues to run, albeit under stricter conditions. Its AGM was run via zoom for the first time, three new projects (Horseshoe Flower Farm, the Bee Project and Green2Achieve) are in the process of joining this community field and the site’s wildlife is flourishing. Deer, buzzards, a hedgehog, owls, bees and butterflies have all been spotted, and the call of the lapwing brings joy to all who hear her in these challenging times.
Fruit tree blossom, asparagus shoots and healthy chard leaves have all made a re-appearance, and planting for the growing season ahead is well underway, being coordinated by a rota of members. 6 people are allowed on site at any one time – with all working in different areas of the field. Onion, broad bean and pea seedlings, potatoes, parsnip and beetroot seeds are just some of what has been planted outside in the project’s no-dig beds.
At the end of May/ early June Claver Hill will see its first bee hive come to the site, with Jane looking after this ‘Bee Project’ under the supervision of Dr Fred Ayres of the Lune Valley Beekeepers.
To complement this Bee Project the Horseshoe Flower Farm will be growing flowers on site in a way that encourages the health and wellbeing of both people and nature. Laura Blakeley and Martin Hedley are behind this enterprise, with the vision of creating joyful paid employment whilst running a series of collaborative projects with others. ‘Healthy minds’ sessions, how-to-grow workshops, a Wildlife Watch club and a horticulture club with local schoolchildren (once we have returned to a more ‘normal’ situation) are all in the pipeline. They will also be offering florist services for weddings and events and will be selling natural confetti and bouquets at local markets.
Green2Achieve, coordinated by ‘Wildlife Charlie’, will also be running a program of activities for local youth during school holidays. Charlie works for WildAid and is in the process of planning activities for Summer 2020 which will hopefully run in school holidays through to May 2021. Claver Hill envisages this being the start of a longer term programme of activities for young people that will be developed in collaboration with the Claver Hill projects, Central High School and the Ridge Community Center.
Claver Hill is also raising funds to buy the 6 acre field and transfer it to community charity ownership for the benefit of all who use it. If you would like to make a donation (no matter how big or small) please send an email to Claver Hill’s Treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the end of April and say how much you would like to pledge.