There's a nip in the air

News article

There's a nip in the air
There's a nip in the air

There’s a nip in the air

And the first frosts are hardening the ground in the Larchfield gardens. The garden group have gathered the apples and beetroot to send to Botton Village for pressing delicious juices, for sale in our shops.

Although summer is over and the harvest is in, there’s still plenty to do. Larchfield’s garden group have been milling the compost and leaf mould. The finished product is rich and crumbly, and will be perfect for the springtime sowing and mulching.

Keeping busy over winter

Some jobs have a more immediate benefit. ‘We take apart old pallets and saw them into lengths to chop into kindling’ explains Sarah. ‘Some of the kindling is sold in the shop and we use the rest in the woodstove in our tea room over winter.’

Meanwhile Kevin has been making paper briquettes to keep the fires going too. This involves ripping up the paper and soaking it, before packing it into the press. It takes a bit of muscle to get it all packed down, so there’s a real sense of satisfaction when the job’s done! It’s one good way of keeping warm on chilly days - or, as Kevin says, ‘just put on a thick jumper and get to work!’

Getting ready for Christmas

Making the Christmas wreaths is the next priority. ‘They’re made of woven dogwood bases wrapped in newspaper and then straw, and then we put greenery and holly berries in’ says Sarah. The wreaths are sold in the Larchfield shop on the edge of Middlesbrough, and were very popular ‘We must have sold over 30 last year’ says Sarah.

If you’re looking for original handmade gifts this Christmas, why not call into one of our community shops? To find your nearest community, visit or call us on 01287 661238