weeks 8+9

Sorry for the delay on the VPA blog we have been working so hard we haven’t got round to it. You’ll be excited to know that your blogger this week is Ben again (save cheers until the end).
This week Steve was working with the practical countryside skills team, at Irkside, where they have made a great headway into creating a habitat wall. They have also been working on replacing the fence that will protect the completed hedgerow. The team are very close to finishing their portfolios so not much paperwork left for them.
Gleice wrote a report covering the outcome of training on energy efficiency. She also worked on parts of her CVQ portfolio.
Dan (the shoester) has also done part of the report as well as working on the energy efficiency project in Smallbridge. Dan has been catching up with folder work and working on improving Irkside with the countryside skills groups. All this on top of getting older this week, happy birthday Dan!
This week our VPA team leaders Gemma and Jo have been busy marking folders and planning projects for the next VPA team. They have also been setting up a community food growing project with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing called Q Gardens. This project will see the next VPA team delivering workshops and activities to encourage local residents to get growing.
I have had a busy two weeks both office and out of the office.
For the past two Wednesdays I have been with contracts department of groundwork working with the two Mikes. This is has meant getting up in hours I had yet to discoverer in life in order to get in at 8 o’clock (I know it’s an inspiration to all). The first week saw us braving the arctic conditions at Delph primary school moving stone for the renovation of the playground. The rest of that week was a more quiet affair mostly office based writing up notes made from the Boarshaw Clough visit on the Friday before. I also ran a session on pond dipping for the other VPA’s which meant we could find all the beasties that Irkside pond had to offer.

The whole team have been on a team trip to offshoots in Burnley. This trip was useful as it showed us how an area of previously unused land can be transformed into a public friendly area where people can learn to perform sustainable agriculture techniques.
We also had a team meal where everybody brought in a dish to create a buffet. The buffet consisted of wraps (plain and garlic), beetroot, hummus, tomato rice, mustard potato, vegetable chilli, carrot kofta and crisps. I can confirm it was delicious and deny all rumours that it caused any illness!

Finally here’s good news as well as our office vegetables are growing thick and fast although very unlikely we will have a salad soon.
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