Two new courses this month: goat husbandry and decorative rope-work. Next month sees another two new ones: how to use a scythe and organic vegetable-growing. For the latter we have Pauline Pears as the tutor, from Garden Organic (used to be the Henry Doubleday Research Centre). There has been a strong revival of interest in growing unsprayed vegetables and most allotments have lists of people waiting to take over one. Here at Assington Mill, we share the old kitchen garden with four other families, in return for fresh produce for the course lunches.
Apart from the new courses in February and March, there is traditional signwriting, beekeeping for beginners, keeping a few pigs, felt-making, plumbing for amateurs, upholstery, birds of prey and bricklaying for amateurs. Because the May coracle course filled up so quickly, we have put on another on 28/29 July.
The old tumble-down cartlodge to the right of the mill has been rebuilt (by John & Stan Bradshaw) recently to make an excellent two-car garage, so we are enjoying the luxury of frost-free windscreens for the first time in the past nine years since we have been here, although I was rather sorry to see the old shed go, with its broken down gate and leaky tin roof.