The Gilly Jones brand of cobnut products expanded in the run-up to Christmas into local outlets, including Ide Hill Community shop and Plaxtol Village Stores. As well as cobnuts in shell, there were packets of roasted cobnuts, chocolate bars with roasted cobnuts and, of course, the original Granola-muesli.
|The view from Ide Hill Community Shop|
|Cobnut products on display|
|Plaxtol Village Stores|
Its New Year and already the main bloc of nut trees have been pruned. Between the rows lie twigs, wands and branches which have to be cleared away before the grass begins to grow. February saw the return of the Hadlow students to help with this task. They set to work with energy and enthusiasm, dragging piles of prunings on tarpaulin 'sledges', down to an open patch where a bonfire was already burning.
|Bonfire is going nicely|
|spuds ready to go in the ashes|
|Back to work again and the bonfire is revived|
After that it was time to get back to work and another hour of dragging and burning.
|Tutors working hard too?|
Meanwhile, back in the nut store, the mice have discovered the sacks and are feeling hungry....
|cobnuts collected and sorted by mice.|
Thank you mice; you did me a favour. and there's a post script to the story. In March when I inspected two pairs of Wellington boots kept in the same shed, they too were full of cleaned cobnuts.
This year, encouraged by the National Trust at Ightham Mote, I entered for the 'Taste of Kent' Countryside Award which rewards countryside businesses who caring for the environment, the soil, wildlife and the community. It was exciting to receive a visit from the judging panel and to be one of the finalists.
At a dinner at the County Showground, the winners were announced and although we did not come out on top I received this nice framed plaque. It is a reminder of how far we have come since starting in 2012, thanks to so much hard work and support by volunteers, friends and local organisations.
At the middle of March there was till work to be done on the plat and the Hadlow students reappeared, ready for anything. We were fortunate with the weather and apart from a few showers the day turned out mostly sunny. More hardwork, another bonfire and a picnic lunch with baked potatoes. Thank you, Hadlow students and tutors alike!
|A fine blaze|
|Picnic time again|
We were indeed lucky with the weather for the very next day the snow was back.
|What a difference a day can make!|
|The bonfire site!|
And as I conclude this post snow is still falling outside my window and the biting East wind is whirling it around. Roll on spring!