Tag Archives: Rhubarb Farm

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – February Update

Just at the time Storm Doris hit Rhubarb Farm and demolished our old heated polytunnels we had some fantastic news!

NT Killingley Ltd, the award-winning commercial landscape and earthworks contractor based in Chesterfield, has made Rhubarb Farm their voluntary organisation of the year for 2017. The company will support us with landscaping and building materials over the year, and this will be a great boost for all our different activities.

This support came about because Killingley, like Rhubarb Farm, will be having a show garden at The Chatsworth Flower Show from 7-11th June and they wanted to support a local organisation also doing the Show.

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Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – January Update

The cabin for the Rhubarb Farm Men in Sheds Project was successfully delivered to the Farm on 12th January.

Tim the driver was brilliant. He used all his ingenuity and skill to get the cabin in position. It took a couple of lifts and the uncoupling of the trailer to achieve it. Volunteer Dave Allison really got stuck in and worked alongside Tim, hands on help and also encouraging him when it looked impossible!

Our thanks and gratitude to all those who helped us at Britcabs and Hutchinsons. We also have to thank Cllr Joan Dixon for finding us the funding for the Men in Sheds Project from the DCC Community Priorities Fund. We have also met with the Director of the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Jenny Jenner, her deputy, Liz Patterson and the Show Operations Manager, Amy Foster, at the School of Artisan Food to continue the planning for the Artisan Kitchen Theatre, to be run by the School of Artisan Food, and the Edible Feature, to be run by Rhubarb Farm.


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Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – November & December Update

In November we welcomed three new members of staff to Rhubarb Farm.

Diane, Nathan and Di are Buddy Workers who support our ever increasing band of young people who are referred to us by Bolsover Support Centre. The youngsters, who have had problems in mainstream school, attend Rhubarb Farm one or two days a week and have settled in well.

In December we were fortunate to receive a charitable donation of 23 tons of road planning’s from Bowrings Transport! This enabled us to re- lay all our pathways between the poly tunnels, providing safe access for staff and volunteers.

On Saturday the 10th December we organised a Christmas party for the children in the local community. We held the party at a local pub, The Longwillows Institute who gave us the room for free.

We had a fancy dress competition, traditional games and a crafty corner where the children enjoyed making cards, tree decorations and even crowns. No Christmas party is complete without a visit from Santa and he came along to take orders from the children and give them each a gift.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – September Update

 dsc00808_smallWe organised the fifth Langwith Show on Sat 3rd September. It takes place on the adjacent Rec ground and on our site.  We have a traditional Produce Show with 56 classes in a big marquee, a Fun Dog Show, lots of craft and bric-a-brac and public health stalls, archery, brass band, rock band, bouncy castles, pizzas from our outdoor ovens and lots more.  It gives our village a great community event and people look forward to it. Sadly this year it rained a lot and so some people stayed away, but even so it was a lovely event.  39 volunteers ran it and made it the usual success.

We also had two corporate days in September for DWP Job Centre workers. Our good relationship with DWP means we can easily get support for some of our volunteers who struggle with benefits sanctions and pressure to apply for jobs when they might be illiterate or suffering with their mental or physical ill health.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – August Update

Rhubarb Farm’s main focus in August was preparing for the Langwith Show to be held on our site and adjacent Rec ground on 3 Sept.  But there was also a great deal to do in harvesting and marketing our crops and supporting our volunteers.

But our best news was that when the Welbeck School of Artisan Food learnt that our crowdfunding appeal for a minibus would not achieve its goal, they offered us their 16-seater minibus for use as and when we need it.  This has been brilliant for us, and we have been using it throughout August to collect volunteers from Mansfield, Staveley and Chesterfield, many of whom have mental ill health, substance misuse or learning disability issues.  It is making a big difference to the numbers of people who can come to us and improve their lives, because we are in such an isolated rural position.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – July Update

Rhubarb FArm held two big events in July.  On 10th we opened for the National Gardens Scheme and did 3 guided tours of the Farm for visitors.  It helped promote our work as visitors came from several counties.

2 volunteers and 2 staff had attended a course on Edible Flowers at the School of Artisan Food and so at the NGS Open Day we were able to sell Marigold Scones and cornflower cream for the cream teas!!

On 19th July, we held a Volunteer Celebration to recognise the contribution of all our volunteers.  45 volunteers received certificates presented by Alison Parente, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, for their work, and attendance on our courses.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – June Update

20160601_140800_thumbHarvesting of crops comes into full swing in June and we now have peas, salad crops, rhubarb, strawberries, broad beans, wet garlic, potatoes and courgettes to fill our veg bags and supply to Welbeck Farm Shop.  With the addition of our new field we are hoping to generate more income this year from our vegetables.

Operation Soup ended with a Soup Competition on 1st June. Local people brought in eight different soups.  Madame Zucchini, a vegetable entertainer, did a quirky show for the families who attended, and then she judged the soup. June, aged 81, won the competition for her mushroom soup.  Everyone had a great time tasting all the different soups and eating tasty real bread.  It was a great way to show that soup is easy to make and can be so delicious and nutritious.  Then the children all made vegetable animals with Madame Zucchini.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – May Update

May is one of the busiest horticultural months of the year, but this year has been cloudy and wet, so has held back our growing progress. Nevertheless crops have been sown and planted out, even if we have lost some to damp and cold.  We have discovered a new market for “wet” garlic and leeks – picked green they fetch a premium price so we have been supplying our local Welbeck Farm shop with these.

We have had two corporate days, one for DWP and one for BT, with company employees coming to work at the Farm. For office workers to spend a day outside in the open, working alongside people with multiple and complex needs has a powerful impact on them, and opens their eyes to some of the issues our volunteers face in being accepted by society.

Operation Soup ran weekly throughout May with a different soup cooked every week to inspire people to make delicious, cheap meals. We’ll report on the Soup Competition held in June next time.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – April Update

13119038_1028459427220158_6658641964958562071_nApril sees the stepping up of growing and sowing activities, and more new volunteers coming to the Farm.  The weather was still cold and wet this month, but we heat one of our polytunnels so seedlings can come on.

Our big event was the visit of the Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham, to the Farm, to learn about our work with ex-offenders.

Women staff and volunteers took a course on awareness of domestic violence and staff and volunteers also did a course called “Money So What” about financial budgeting and management.

Every week a group called Knit and Natter meets to develop their sewing and knitting skills.  It’s a wonderful group with participants’ ages ranging from 20s to 80s.

Operation Soup took off on 27th April. 6 weekly soup-making sessions culminating in a soup competition on 1st June will help people make delicious and economical soup.

Community Fund – Rhubarb Farm – March Update

March was the wettest March for 8 years and we struggled to get much outside work done.  However, the hot polytunnel, for raising seedlings is now in action, bringing things on early in warmth, so we can generate income sooner from the sale of these veg.

One of our volunteers, Dot Grieveson was nominated for an award as Volunteer of the Year, in the local Radio Elastic FM awards ceremony.  She was runner up, but 2 staff and 2 volunteers had a lovely evening at the ceremony enjoying good food and razzamatazz!

Volunteers and staff did a tree grafting course to learn our to make new apple and pear trees from root stock.

Rhubarb Farm did a stall at Welbeck Easter Fair, selling crafts made by volunteers during the winter and eggs from our hens.  It was a good way to raise a little money and our profile.