Sunday, March 11, 2012
First Friday at Burtown
Thursday was another simple day of weeding and clearing the plots where cabbage and other brassicas had been grown the previous year. The three of us volunteers went into Athy to a traditional Irish pub and listened to the traditional jam session made up of several local banjo, bag pipe, mandolin and guitar players. We came back around midnight and headed to bed. I was up early around half past seven making a good breakfast and cleaning up before going out to the gardens at nine. I weeded for the first hour and then went to work with the main house gardener, Giles, to plant the trees me and Lesley had gotten on Tuesday. The digging was easy for the most part in the loose agricultural top soil out in the pasture where we planted each tree and added some manure compost, paking it in and taking away the left over sod. I helped James line out a path through an area of the pasture where he would be growing some various tall grasses and trees as a small aboretum. I weeded a bit longer until lunch and joined the family for a home made pizza with potatoes, fresh bread and a kale salad. One of the duaghters was having a birthday party that afternoon, and most of the family was headed to the house around three to enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends. I went in at five and joined the other volunteers for drinks at the party after washing and dressing up. As the family and the guest made thier way through several bottles of wine, we made our way to the basement and relaxed with our own wine and dinner. I made a kale kale and bean sauce out of the previous nights vegetable mix over a bowl of rice for myself and Lindsay while she prepared a bowl of bean burger mix. A few friends of the family stayed around for the night along with a previous au pair that had lived in the house before Lindsay arrived last summer. Saturday was my first day off, but it didn't keep me from getting up early and making a good breakfast. I went for a walk with the au pairs before they started working and then spent my morning sketching and painting. I made my self a cream sauce pasta for lunch on my own since Sean was visiting Belfast for the weekend. In the afternoon I went for a long walk around the surrounding farms and small properties until sunset. Lindsay was going out for the night to visit friends, so I had the evening to myself to relax and watch a movie. I feel asleep early, tired from a long walk and a few days of work. I am really enjoying the new gardens and living environment. The wwoofers are more secluded from the Host than my first place, and we work with other workers that come to Burtwon each day. The gardens are schedueled to open the second week of April along with a photo gallery and cafe for the Spring and Summer months.