The sun shone today, the sky seemed a brighter blue than usual and the birds were singing their hearts out with news of Spring’s arrival. We peeled off our winter layers and enjoyed a coffee in the garden at Velwell Orchard. It felt like the first time I’d been able to draw breath in a long while. Jago is walking now, and Lola was there too to help out for a bit.

Over the winter Sasha and I have been working our socks of to try and save some money to see the family through the summer months when we’ll working full time at the Orchard. Sasha has been with us nearly a year now and what a blessing this has been.

This week we’re tying up a few loose ends and next week we hope to begin sorting the garden out. There is a lot to do as we’ve not been able to do any work here due in part to the weather but also because of our work commitments.

I had hoped we could begin our volunteer days next wednesday, but this is beginning to look doubtful, with new restrictions coming in because of the coronavirus. Everything has been thrown up in the air and who knows whether it’ll land on its feet like Baggins, our faithful farm cat.

We depend of course on our volunteers, not only for help on the land, but on their enthusiam, their experience, their love of nature and perhaps mostly, upon their kindness. So what will happen at Velwell Orchard this summer is anyone’s guess.

One thing I do know for sure is that there is currently £16.80 in the Velwell Bank Account. Ordering this year’s seeds and purchasing chicken food over the winter has completely cleaned out the account. Most of you will be tightening your belts now, as society retreats futher into its shell and I understand that. As someone who has lived on very little money for a very long time, I know about this more than many. But if anyone does feel they can support Velwell Orchard with a little money, we’d be very grateful.

At present we receive £34 per month in regular donations from a few very loyal and kindly folks, but this simply is not enough to cover the costs of running the project.

We really dont know what the future holds for Velwell Orchard, but somehow it has survived as a being since Derek took guardianship back in 1994 and it’s my personal feeling it has plenty of life left in it yet.