It’s fair to say that summer’s on the way at COCA, after some beautiful sunny weather over the past few weeks (though with some high winds thrown in at times too). The month got off to a great start with a special Good Friday activity, planting up some raised beds with wild flowers, to help improve biodiversity on the farm. With no woofers to help this month, Caz and the growing team volunteers have been flat out trying to get everything done. Missions have included clearing out the polytunnels, planting tomatoes, cabbage and other seedlings, the row crops and potatoes, as well as 3,000 onions. Other jobs have included laying out the black plastic sheeting around the crops, and getting to grips with the plans for our new irrigation system. After last year’s incredibly dry summer, there’s a determination to reduce the amount of time that has to be spent manually watering the crops in the peak of the season.
This month also saw COCA hold its Annual General Meeting, where the members came together to share some food, watch some short films on the subject of community agriculture, and of course discuss the general management of COCA over the coming year. We have some exciting developments ahead: Cartref COCA, the project to construct a new store shed and indoor space for COCA members; a new paid part-time role to look after membership, admin and marketing; our second summer of UNA Exchange volunteer working fortnights; our annual Harvest Party get-together and fundraiser; and of course lots and lots of growing!
And on the subject of growing, here are some words from one of our younger members, a four-year-old (with a little help from Dad), on volunteering on the work day this month:
‘It was decided that we would plant up some Swiss Chard, celeriac and onions. I helped by getting the seedlings out of the plastic box and gave them carefully to the people planting them in the soil – I had to be very gentle with them to make sure I didn’t break their roots.’
All the hard work clearing the rows and planting the crops was broken up nicely by visits to the horses and the new piglets at Caerhys, and of course a hearty COCA veg inspired lunch.
”A good day’s work and a day to remember.’