The months seem to be rolling past very quickly and we welcome the good weather. As usual we have been super busy with the project, here's a quick run down of what we have been up to:
Garden & Resources
In the greenhouse it is really satisfying to watch the progress of the seedlings, of the 2 greenhouses we have the one in the yard is full and the one in the back yard will also be full as we continue to plant for the upcoming season. If you would like to see what we have planted you can have a quick look here
You will notice that I have added a section about edible weeds and I can confirm that we happily eat "wild garden salad" regularly.
2 of our volunteers have also collected dandelion flowers and are attempting to make dandelion wine so that's something to look forward to :-)
In the herb garden the mint and chives are growing fast and I have already started harvesting. I would like to start a mint patch also in the garden so I have tried to transplant some this week.
In the garden we have also started to plant things directly even though I am holding back a bit on this given the bad experience with the frost last year.
The strawberry plants are also invading the paths and so we are digging up the rogue plants and giving some to our friends and created a new strawberry patch near the bench on the south side of the garden.
The tulips and narcissus planted in Autumn last year are flowering and it is such a pleasure sitting on the bench enjoying the sun and looking at the bumble bees going from one flower to the next. The garlic from last year is also coming back and so is the Rhubarb, we had the first Rhubarb crumble already and it was delicious.
We are recording the harvest and will embed a result of the harvest log in the coming weeks.
The plums and cherries are also flowering and I hope there will be no frost so we can have lots of nice fruit to eat.
It is exciting to think about all the produce and preserves to enjoy all year round.
We now have 4 ducks which we have named: George, Daisy, Kiwi and Phantomias, they are 2 males and 2 females and we have been eating delicious fresh duck eggs almost daily, they are a funny bunch and share the summer mobile coup with the chickens without issues. They love water and a light shower under the hose pipe. The automated chicken coup door is open source and can be replicated for your own projects.
Funding, Finance & Services
As the weather gets warmer we have stopped heating which means we rely on the sun for hot water showers in our fantastic outdoor shower. This means we stop for a while hemorrhaging money for wood however we will continue to bring in wood from the forest in order to have a ready supply (not for this coming winter as this needs to dry).
We are yet to sell our services and so we have to work for companies to help ourselves. Please continue to promote our services when you can so that we can make the project self sustainable.
Visiting the mill
I like to have you around and understand that sometimes our planned events don't match with the dates you would like to visit but I would please ask you to consider keeping your visits to event dates as much as possible as it is socially exhausting to have a large amount of people coming and going every week/end. :-) We plan to have 4 volunteer spaces this summer and so that makes the total people permanently here up to 8 and also plenty of events for you to come to so you won't be short of dates to visit I promise.
If there are special themed events for example the IT Meetup it would be great if we can keep this to the theme and welcome people who want to come and hack during this time. The weekend deceleration weekend is where we have more open non specific tasks and is more suited for people who just want to hang out / help out in a general sense. You will also see that we organise some paid weekends for retreats, visiting during this time without attending for the retreat is subject to discussion, we want to find if possible a happy medium where we can be welcoming, provide a good service and be financially sustainable.
There was a discussion here whether we should close for one weekend every month, I would like to think that after this email we won't have to do that. What I wouldn't like is that I have social burnout before even starting the busy season. To help you out we will publish the event dates well in advance so that you can plan accordingly, I can also let you know upon request whether there are volunteering spots available during your visit.
For a reminder of our visiting policy please go to our wiki
If you visit regularly during weekends and therefore fall under the 2 night limit, please please please consider supporting us with a regular donation to cover the costs of your visit and something extra to support our many hours of unpaid labor to keep the place going.
freeCodeCamp: 1st , 15th & 29th May - 4pm till 6pm - no booking needed
IT Meetup: 4th to 6th May - please book
Weekend deceleration: 11th to 13th May - please book
Silent Meditation Retreat: 18th to 20th May
IT Meetup: 8th to 10th June - please book
freeCodeCamp: 12th & 26th June - 4pm till 6pm - no booking needed
Weekend deceleration: 15th to 17th June - please book
Free Market Sundays: 17th June - 1pm till 4pm - no booking needed
Silent Meditation Retreat: 22nd to 24th June