“Turned Out Nice Again…”: Barbecue, 5th July.

The “events committee” plan ahead, producing a provisional calendar of events that is passed on to all members during the fee-paying sessions which kick-start the plot year.

An event for July is so easy to decide on in November (when the plan starts to take shape); there are always requests for “a bit of a barbecue” and the weather in July (when you’re in the darkening, frost-threatening month of November) is always going to be glorious. Isn’t it?

Fast-forward to the reality of Saturday-gone. Weather reports threatening a continuation of the heavy Friday downpours (welcome because it meant no need to water the plots perhaps) and cooler temperatures too.

But we’re a hardy lot. We’ve got the gazebo (and the right people can put this thing up in no time) so it went ahead.

And once the decision had been happily made the sun came out, temperatures soared and clouds that had looked like gangsters became friendly instead.

Good decision team!

Thanks to the plot holders who contributed the flowers and the energy of the organisers in getting the charcoal, tea bags, burgers, sausages, bread rolls and sauces (no expense spared at these shindigs folks!) and cheerfully chef-ed and served them up.

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“Best burgers ever!” was one of the comments – all compliments gratefully received of course.

But more than just a chance to let someone else do the cooking this was, again, about people getting together. Sorting out the details of the trip to Tatton Park Flower Show, tasting home-made wines, sharing tips (about gardening or visiting New York) and – of course – for a little gentle banter.

It also gave people the chance to take a look at the raised beds behind the community area. A long time in the planning and construction these five beds are now being gardened by a couple of community groups: M.I.N.D. and Rockspur House. And are turning out very nicely with a range of crops on the go. A new and forward-looking part of the site that is something for all of our members to be proud of … if you haven’t seen these yet, take a moment and have a look. Certainly the people who wandered around the beds on Saturday (with a burger and a brought-from-home beer) were impressed.

Having the community area at the sheltered bottom-of-the-slope end of the site meant we could sit as the sun went down, enjoying a chat and the site in full-burst bloom: a time when we are starting to get the harvesting done … and wonder how to deal with the surpluses.

Anybody need gooseberries for a crumble, for wine, know anybody who wants some or has got a gooseberry shaped space in a freezer?

Be a shame to throw ‘em away …

(Thanks to everybody that supported the barbecue.)

(Thanks to photographer Mike Jones.)

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