I am proud to have help from a band of volunteers who are home-educated, or brain injured adults with their minders from Primecare, Bristol. Without their help with many of our bizarre tasks, I would not achieve a lot on my own. Their willingness, co-operation, flexibility and sharing of personal problems makes it all worth while. These are a few of their achievements so far!

When you say ‘carpet the barn’ not many would turn to and climb on the roof! A rare event – putting recycled carpet on the roof of the barn to keep the seedlings and humans warm. The volunteers help with most of the tasks around the farm, from fencing to digging. They are happy to socialize especially with tea and choccy biscuits.

One of the volunteer group has made all the gates from recycled wood and is very proud of his achievements!

Hedgelaying – this was hard work with the volunteer crew under guidance from a member of the Conservation Trust.

Last November (written January 2005) we needed to dig the sludge out of the house pond to make it deep enough for the resident Koi Carp for the winter, so we borrowed a swimming pool, lowered the water height through a sluice gate, caught the fish (not an easy task) then got a JCB in to dig out and deepen the pond.

How many people do you know would volunteer to ‘go in’… our problem was in getting him out again!

The JCB worked long and hard to get all the gunge out. While the water was still flowing in, we had a well earned cup of tea and watched.

Another activity we have just completed is a disabled ramp to the house, made from wood left over from the house build. The handrails are all rustic, and the coir covering is left over from the barn insulation. Will I have to hoover this carpet?

It still amazed me how people from all walks of life can co-operate and puzzle over tasks, and happily share the problems. You can contact us to find out more about being a volunteer at Brook Farm.