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Hello everyone!

I’m Annie, the new gardener here at Lower Sharpham Farm. I was a trainee on the Ambios 12-week nature conservation course back in Autumn 2021 and fell in love with the place so much that I had to come back and make it my home! Since last summer I’ve been living as a volunteer at the farm supporting the trainees and working in the garden. Now it’s really exciting to be moving into this new role, which will allow me to work with our head gardener, Kate, and the United Response team in our organic vegetable garden.

As spring returns, we’ve got big plans for the year ahead. As a minimum tillage garden the past few weeks have been focused on feeding our soil with compost, leaf mulch and manure and getting our vegetable beds covered in preparation for spring planting. Last week we started planting our first seeds in trays in our polytunnel – lots of different types of salad for our farm family and for everyone attending our literary festival in May.

My big hope for this year is to produce loads of nutritious, organic food for the trainees, volunteers, staff and the United Response crew here at the farm. Our food is sacred and our connection to food is so important, I would love to play a part in re-establishing this connection as well as building the resilience of the land, ecology and community here. Expect a bountiful variety of leaves, herbs, squash, courgette, potatoes, beetroot, kale and chilli peppers this year! I feel so lucky to be training at the Apricot Centre on their Level 3 Regenerative Farming course, which I’m able to put into practice in our garden over the coming year.

Another big focus for us this year is the Earthship, our beautiful garden shelter made from old tyres, big larch beams and a green roof. We have already built a seed-sowing table in there and are currently building a set of shelves. The idea is to develop the Earthship into a seed-sowing station, wildflower seed nursery, and an outdoor kitchen where we can make tea and soup from produce straight from the garden.

✍ Annie Emery – Ambios long-term volunteer and Garden Facilitator


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