COCA got a big helping hand in June, when we were joined by six volunteers who came to take part in one of the summer’s UNA exchanges. Along with the regular growing team, the volunteers helped with planting and transferring of hundreds of plants: 500 brassicas including cabbage, kale and broccoli, as well as pumpkins, bean sprouts and 200 sweetcorn. Not to mention getting up to date with the weeding, always a challenge at Caerhys! And they obviously enjoyed it, as two of the volunteers decided to stay on as wwoofers, one of whom, Thomas, is now leading the next UNA Exchange.
I think it’s fair to say last year’s UNA Exchange volunteers had a good time too, as a COCA member recently came across this fab video made on the farm last summer, set to the tune of Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’.
After each UNA visit the core group discuss how to make the experience better for everyone involved next time, and a smart suggestion that came out of this visit was for there to be multi-lingual picture guides of the tools used on the farm for all of the volunteers to reference, and those are being developed at the moment.
Outside of the UNA Exchange, there were also a lot of helping hands present for this month’s volunteer work day, which was a little different to usual, as it saw the foundations going down for our new sustainably built store shed and community building. Nearly thirty people in all arrived at Caerhys to successfully help lay the tyre foundation, which consists of used tyres filled with 16 tonnes of clean granite chippings. The next step will involve getting the wooden frame up, before building the straw bale walls with this year’s harvest in August.