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The Garden at Cole Street Farm

When the Threshold Centre pioneers arrived on the scene, there was very little usable land, as the previous owners of Cole Street Farm had over the years sold off about 300 acres of the land, leaving us with a triangle of land between the buildings, which eventually became our beautiful Village Green.   It was part of the planning permission for our ‘sustainable community’, however, that we should grow as much of our own food as  possible, so our pioneers managed to rent an acre of the farmer’s field across the road.

Then followed the construction of the large polytunnel and 20 raised beds, all of which have been in full (organic) production ever since.  The land is on very heavy clay more suited to dairy farming, so the raised beds were essential, and the fruit trees planted in our orchard struggle in the wet soil and the cold wet westerly winds, but nevertheless we have had a good crop of apples every year (perhaps thanks to our annual Wassail!).   Each resident, either on their own or in a group, takes ownership of a bed (or two) either outside or in the polytunnel, and undertakes to produce at least one crop which is then available for all to eat.

However, in 2015 we decided to make some changes.  Some of us are keen Permaculturists and we wanted to make the garden more integrated and biodiverse, and also the wooden bed edges were rotting out and harbouring slugs… on a Gardening Weekend in May, we did away with the rectangular beds and their straight edges, and created pleasing curved shapes with woodchip paths throughout.  We also took out the “rabbitproof” fence that had previously cut the space in two, so that now the veg garden blends gently into the fruit bushes and orchard.  Now the keen gardeners amongst us can have more of an allotment space where we can create our own bit of diversity. 

And it’s not all hard work (as we say of our Gardening/Work Weekends) -  the field is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike for its beautiful view of Duncliffe Hill,  as a quiet space for contemplation, practising Qigong in the yurt, chatting to the chickens, or just watching the reflections in our beautiful new pond or sitting round the bonfire with a drink.  We have also created an improved camping space next to the yurt for all you willing volunteers….!

Gardening/Work Weekends 2017
18-19th March

Visitors invited to arrive Friday evening 17th for dinner and leave after lunch, or at 4.00pm Sunday (accommodation and all meals provided £50 donation requested to cover weekend costs). Weekend includes erecting yurt, with creative / play time and Vernal Equinox celebration Sunday 2.00-4.00pm to which local people are also welcome to join afternoon activities.

Friday - Sunday 14 -16 July Gardening/Work Weekend including Willow Workshop on Sunday 16th.

Willow Workshop with local basketmaker Cath Pratley on Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - make your own garden trug!   Cost £65 for the workshop including all tools & materials. Visitors are invited to arrive on Friday evening in time for dinner at 7.00 and leave after lunch on Sunday, unless participating in the Willow Workshop. All food and accommodation provided (Donation of £50 requested for the weekend to cover costs).

Community Work Day/Harvest Festival celebrations
Sunday 17th September 10.00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bring & Share Lunch 1.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. Visitors welcome to join either morning, afternoon, or both.

Gardening / Work Weekend (to include Permaculture Workshop with Stephen Nutt)
Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd October

Visitors are invited to arrive on Friday evening in time for dinner at 7 p.m. and leave after lunch on Sunday. All food and accommodation provided (Donation of £50 requested for the weekend to cover costs).

Please contact the office to find out more and to arrange visiting on one of our Gardening Weekends.





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