Good afternoon blog followers and welcome to yet another insight into the voluntary pursuits young Alex Ashworth commits to throughout the Preston district.
Today marked another session with the Bill's horticultural class which takes places every Wednesday between 12-3pm.
I arrived at the pavilion base HQ bang on cue ( 12noon to be precise) and it was a nice welcome return to see Paul Greenwood back once again with the Let's Grow Preston team. I was also delighted to find out a new volunteer to Bill's class was a former volunteer of Chris Taylor's group of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust so it was really nice to see her after so long.
The rest of team followed suit and Bill and I no doubt felt a little outnumbered at times as the crew included an all female cast ( a little like the new Ghostbusters reboot). Despite this we all diligently got on with this weeks task which, perhaps was arduous and, perhaps not we'd love to do but, it proved it was essential and the area that we worked on did look better three hours later. The work I am referring to is weeding.
Myself and the new volunteer worked on the path at the community fruit garden whilst the remaining three (including Bill) worked on the fruit garden beds and careful not to uproot any bulbs and, if they did find any they put them to one side.
Bill and I engineered a good depositing system which involved collecting the weeds into the wheelbarrow then off loading them, to begin with at the compost bins then Bill felt the skip was more appropriate so took the weeds there.
By 1.30pm the sweat was pouring from all our brows, myself especially as per usual I was wearing my big waterproof coat. Bill called time for the end of part one so it was time for a much needed brew break followed by treats in the form of biscuits and pastries.
During the break Bill outlined what the original plan was for the horticultural class which involved at some stage painting pots. He made us all aware that we are at least 6 weeks behind but he reassured us by saying it's long term project so there's plenty of time.
It was here also where Paul Greenwood stipulated the history of Let's Grow Preston and how it was at one stage Preston Environmental Forum but the name wasn't infectious and how now we have the opportunity in developing Let's Grow Preston into a sustainable, educational and beneficial platform for people who want to progress into eventual paid employment.
By 2pm the coffee had been drunk and the biscuits were getting dry. We had 60 minutes to conclude the area we were all individually weeding at. One particular volunteer had a great brainwave. She had some cardboard in her car and she thought it would be ideal to place them over areas where the weeding took place with a covering of soil to prevent further weeds from taking place.
This was a great idea and we all took the initiative in making this happen. After that the last few barrows full of weeds were off loaded to the skip. Tools were then returned to the pavilion base HQ and a final goodbye was required before we all went our separate ways.
I'll be back for Let's Grow Preston on 29th June but for now this is Alex Ashworth signing off for another fun and productive afternoon with Bill and friends.