Into the swing of things
Cat Laidlaw - 23 June 2011
I'm now three months into my apprenticeship at North Aston Organics and I'm starting to feel a little more useful about the place and fully into the swing of things. Although, of course there's always something new to learn. No sooner have I got to grips at harvesting leeks, topping and tailing them with swift, deft movements of the Opinel knife that could land me as an extra in a martial arts film, it's time to move on and harness my sugar snap pea spotting abilities and seek out all their hiding places amongst the leaves and tendrils. No matter how many times you go up and down a row more peas always seem to magically appear!
I first heard about the apprenticeship scheme a couple of years ago when a friend had just started as an apprentice here at North Aston. It would be really refreshing coming to visit David, catching up with what was growing, harvesting food for a meal, cooking up something super tasty and then of course eating it while usually putting the world to rights. Apart from some stints WWOOFing and a few goes at growing things in the bits of “garden” I've had, like David this whole world of organic farming and growing was fairly new to me. But watching David go through the apprenticeship made me think maybe I can do this too, that working on the land isn't restricted to just those from farming families or rural backgrounds... So here I am!
And why organic growing of all the multitude of things I could be doing? Well I guess I'll delve into and explore that more over the coming months but in a gist I suppose from general frustration at not having any real concrete skills to contribute to a more sustainable way for us to go about living. To know how to produce food that benefits both humans and the natural world seems like such a fundamental skill and I want to know how to do it! And also from seeing the lack of connection people have with where food comes from and what to do with it - I want to gain the knowledge and experience to help find better ways of feeding ourselves. I love being active and outdoors as well (I might have to remind myself of that when it's winter!) and so in various ways heading into organic growing ticks lots of boxes.
Meeting up with the other apprentices at Helen Browning's farm last month was also inspiring...and reassuring! It was great to share stories of sore backs, constantly dirt ingrained hands and the odd “weeding” mistake (ahem). But we were all in consensus that deciding to head into this sort of work has been a brilliant decision to make. There's something undeniably satisfying about working hard, standing back and seeing the results. And of course being outside in the glorious sunshine for the past few months has helped...although at last some decent rain has arrived!
In some ways it's also been some of the most stressful work I've ever done! At first being given the the responsibility of sowing thousands of seeds and having to water all the seedlings everyday left me constantly worrying about things not growing or killing off swathes of crops! But those peas and beans are tasting rather good and the cucumbers are looking great so under the patient guidance of Mark, who with his wife Ginny set up North Aston Organics, I'm feeling a little more confident of my ability to actually help things grow. It's great to be working with a group of people passionate about all aspects of food. I don't think I have ever worked so hard in my life (which isn't even close to how hard you have to work if you're running the place), but it also doesn't feel like “work” in the nine to five sense. I don't feel the need to clock watch, I sleep deeply, have beautiful surroundings to work in and there's no need to worry about having that extra piece of cake at tea break!
Thanks for reading this far and like James I've also got some pictorial treats to give you a taste of the my first three months at North Aston.
Cat is an Organic Apprentice at North Aston Organics in Oxfordshire. Having worked mostly on cycling and sustainable transport projects since graduating with an English Literature degree, she has mainly been utilising her lower body strength and pedal power. Her last job with the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, was on their Schools team providing advice and support to parents and schools. Now she has decided to build up her neglected arm muscles and make the switch from bicycles to plant cycles and learn more about organic growing.
(www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 90 87 95 TN 2012 Trainer Shoes free shipping sale
04 September 2012 15:24
Cheap Nike air Max 90 87 2012 97 TN 95 LTD Shoes free shipping online sale (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Nike air Jordan Shoes,Nike air Jordan Retro shoes,Nike Dunk Shoes 1) authentic shoes. 2) The wholesale price! 3) 100% safe, the best delivery terms! 4) Free shipping. Send to your house. 5) The best service! Wholesale Nike air Jordan Shoes,Nike air Jordan Retro shoes,Gucci Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Nike air Jordan Shoes from 1 to 26 (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Nike Dunk,Nike High Dunk Shoes,Gucci Shoes,Gucci Boot (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Gucci Shoes,Prada Shoes,Nike Free Shoes,LV Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale NBA_Jersey NFL_Jersey MLB_Jersey NHL_Jersey All team (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Jordan Shoes,Nike Dunk SB Shoes,Gucci Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 87 97 LTD TN 2012 2011 Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike TN Shoes,Nike Free Running Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike Free Running Trainer,Nike rifts Trainer (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 87 TN 97 LTD 2012 2011 Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 87 97 TN LTD 2012 Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max TN 2012 2011 LTD Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 90 87 97 TN 95 LTD Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Free Shipping on all orders ! 50%~70% off free shipping .We offer high quality,low price,best service and free shiping! We guarantee that seven days of door-to-door! Website: http://www.buycheapgoodonline.com
Cheap NFL,NHL,MLB,NBA jersey free shipping (www.buygoodjersey.com) 50%~70% OFF
04 September 2012 15:24
Buy cheap jerseys from china online with wholesale price！ We can supply series of Sport Jersey. welcome come to our website:=== http://www.buygoodjersey.com === everybody!sorry bother your time a min,we are serious and professional jersey supplier,we can offer NFL,NHL,MLB,NBA jerser,the NFL jersey 18usd each,the NHL jersey 38USD each.MLB jersey 18usd each,NAB jersey 18usd each.we have many jerseys of other players, so please contact us for more information if you are interested in . 1) More pictures available on our-=== http://www.buygoodjersey.com === 2) Perfect quality, small order accepted . 3) 100% safe door to door delivery, within 5 - 7 days air express for small orders . 4) We have lots of jerseys in stock 5) Letters and number are sewn on jerseys body,100% embroidery 6) Size: .48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 60 Delivery by UPS, DHL, EMS door to door 9) Delivery in 5 - 7 days NFL,NBA,MLB all are 18usd!!!! The jerseys in stock may be updated everyday ! come on,join us! ==== http://www.buygoodjersey.com ==== We are serious company we look forward to establish a mutual trust and long time business with you in the near future sincerely. We will do our best job for you!!! 50%~70% off ! We offer high quality,low price,best service.We guarantee that seven days of door-to-door! Free Shipping on all orders ! Website: http://www.buygoodjersey.com
12 July 2011 13:37
Thanks for all the encouraging comments. James - really enjoying reading your blog too :)
08 July 2011 08:40
Great stuff, more pictures of tomatoes please!
06 July 2011 17:26
Hi Cat, didn't realise you were doing a blog, and what a good one it is too, really captures the feel of those first few months. It's nice to eat guilt free cake isn't it!!?
05 July 2011 12:12
Lovely to read all about your first few months.
30 June 2011 16:27
What a beautiful inspiring blog! x
Post a comment