Volunteering at Grizedale

Fri 3 Aug 2012

My five or so days at Grizedale were filled, for the most part, by working in the garden. My activities included mowing the grass, turning compost, and a tremendous amount of weeding.

On a few occasions I accompanied the Grizedale group to the village, to help out at the Coniston Institute. Consequently, I was able to gain a little insight into this project and the relationship between the people of Coniston and the Grizedale staff.

Overall the week was enjoyable and I came away with a clearer idea about the way Grizedale works. Another perk was sampling the delicious home baking, which was really welcome after a long day in the garden.

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Just thought a word re the bracken. I returned from the Coniston Japenese-cum-Lake District food party very excited about being able to make something of the bracken shooting up on the hill. Went bracken gathering and prepared it. My hosts not so keen on eating it - and after consultation with sheep veterinary book and Richard Mabey (Guide to Edible Wild Plants) they confirm that it contains carcinogens. Admitedly the blindness in the sheep is caused from eating large amounts over time, and raw, but not sure that the boiling removes the carcinogens. I think that we'll be alright from Saturday, but export business perhaps not such a great idea. Shame!


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