Manual Labour

“I never thought digging in the garden would bring such joy and peace into my life.” 

As well as doing hospitality and resistance we garden. Adam’s temptation to disobedience as well as Jesus’ temptation to “fight or flight” took place in the garden. For us it is a place of deep prayer and contemplation. A time to get in touch with the joys and sorrows of living with the poor. When the disciples saw that the crowds were hungry, they came to Jesus who said “feed them yourselves”, and this is what we endeavor to do. We grow Broccoli, Lettuce, Courgettes, Pumpkin, Garlic, Kale, Spinach, Corn and Tomatoes. “As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matt 14:15-16.

Organic Vegetable Garden

As former city dwellers it has not been easy to manage the vegetable gardening and we thank local experienced folk for their much needed advice – you know who you are!!

The Poly Tunnel

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During the Summer of 2008 we decided to double our vegetable production. To this end we purchased a second-hand Poly tunnel (the Poly tunnel party was great and many thanks to all who helped).

This will enable us to extend the growing season and keep the cabbage white butterfly and pigeons off our plants and hopefully the rats & squirrels too.

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Often good friends come around and help us to dig more areas for vegetable growing. Our poly tunnel has allowed us to produce tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergines without blight. Yeah!!! During the winter we are growing cabbage, carrots, turnips and radishes. Below is a picture of the completed poly tunnel and digging party crew, Nov 2009.

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Dumpster Diving aka Skipping aka Freeganism

skipping_produce Some of the things we never seem to resource easily are dairy products and meat. The winter is a great time to glean from the ‘outdoor refrigerators’ called skips at the back of big supermarkets. This photo shows some of our recent salvage.Some call it skipping, dumpster diving or freeganism. We believe there is a spirituality associated with the practice and hope to do deep reflection and further writing on the subject.

GREAT WESTERN MARKET

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Bernt and Margarita find some amaizing stuff. Yum.

Donations and begging

Living with and taking care of 21 people outside of one’s own family is a tremendous strain on personal finances. In fact, it’s impossible to do without help. It’s difficult to ask for food, money, etc…, but impossible not to. It is a very humbling experience – it forces us to deal with issues like personal rejection when people say ‘no’ and persistence or else the bills aren’t paid and people aren’t fed. There is a deep relationship between poverty and God’s providence. God wishes to show his care for our guests and we are quite aware that he loves them much more than we ever will. Therefore, in as much as we beg others to meet the needs of our guests, we also beg God continually for the help we need in sustaining our work.

We are so grateful to all the many people who have given out of their excess and their need. May God bless you all.