So I turned up last Sunday, a lovely sunny morning, to a commercial estate just 10 minutes walk away. A few others were milling around the car park of the Alara factory and we contemplated the grassy verge that was to be our 'vineyard' (above) - it didn't look quite like the vineyards I've walked through in France or Switzerland...
Tools were dished out, lines drawn up and we all grabbed a space to dig (left). I LOVED the digging! Something hugely satisfying about throwing your whole strength into something and seeing this physical result accummulate...
(And refreshing too to have no Health and Safety rigmarole - I know it's a good thing, it's just boring. Somehow it's much more fun when people are swinging pickaxes and hefting shovels without having to sign pieces of paper and get kitted up in protective this and that...)
And here is a photo of the hole I dug! You may not think it looks much, but I was immensely proud of that hole. It came up to my knees. And I had to dig balanced on a slope!
Holes dug, we ferried to and fro with compost and water and made nice little homes for our baby vines.
... once we'd finished they fed us all lunch - by this time quite a crowd had come and mucked in in the spring sunshine.
Yum! (there are some nettles on that plate that they picked from the verge before we started digging and blanched over an open fire of old unusable pallets!)
As an added bonus to a really lovely day meeting people and working in the sunshine, Alex, the man behind the Alara company and its attempts to create permaculture gardens around the factory, including this vineyard day, gave us some free muesli before we left, as a token of thanks.