Rhubarb, Sandpits and Wendy Houses

CanonFcantseeivyCan you see Ivy there??  Can you?  No, you can’t, cos she’s RIGHT AT THE OTHER END of the enormous walled garden playing in the wendy house!  And I am cutting pieces of rhubarb as big as a small child’s arm.CanonFrhuwheel

Welcome, friends to Canon Frome’s beautiful walled garden.  Veggies, fruit, a sandpit, a swing and a wendy house.  When the work you’re doing spans days and is somewhere like this, the emphasis shifts from ‘volunteering together’ to ‘she plays – I get on with it’.

We were lucky enough to hang out at a farming community in Herefordshire this Summer.  Our ‘helping out’ was small, but more was possible with a week to do it in!

The rhubarb task gets the prize for the absolute most drawn-out of all time.

Step 1: Ride the wheelbarrow to the garden.CanonFrhubarbhands

Step 2: Cut some rhubarb.  Ivy carries leaves as big as herself to the compost corner.

Ivy wanders away to the excitement of the Wendy House…  I follow eventually after filling a wheelbarrow with triffid-style rhubarb.  We both take a break for wendy house business.CaonFsandpit

Step 3: Chop rhubarb for freezer.  This part spanned at least two days, across mealtimes, at times Ivy did the important ‘lumps into bag’ job, sometimes I cut while she slept.

But hey – job done!Rhubarblunch

This Autumn we are planning a trip to Tinkers’ Bubble.  This is another  community,  off grid, a long way from home, back-to basics and pretty hardcore.  I’ve been nervous about it but I discovered in this adventure that one of my biggest issues won’t be basic living, lack of light bulbs, where to shower etc but the far harder task of spending an ENTIRE week 1-1 with Ivy.  Forty acres of beautiful land, animals and even wonderful neighbours can’t avoid the fact that being in sole charge of your kid 24/7 is hard work!

But to finish with the best task of the week – the afternoon chicken run.  Ivy got very good at scattering the feed while walking confidently through a throng of hens pied-piper style, and we loved collecting the eggs and counting them.

Bring on the off-grid community!  We can do it!CanonFwalking under arch

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