After a lovely festive break, I like to look back with thankfulness and forward with hope.
Whilst scanning through photos can remind us of many of the year’s highlights, happy holidays, favourite meals, meeting friends, etc. a bit of number crunching can put markers in the sand, true stats that we can be proud of, as we plan for this new year ahead.
I don’t set new year resolutions, so no feelings of failure when I don’t succeed, but I do try to be more disciplined with my health and wellbeing, better at time management and wise in my choices.
Here are some encouragements that hopefully inspire others at having a go:
350.37kg CO2 Saved
We record everything harvested from both the garden and the allotment. I didn’t get as much time on the plot as I’d have liked last year, so let’s skip over that, but the back garden here at Hen Corner fed us with around £3,000 worth of food! Whilst this is certainly something to be proud of, what I find more rewarding is that by producing this food and avoiding chemicals, packaging and transportation, we’ve saved a whopping 350.37kg of CO2!
Our figs were the most precious harvest – collecting nearly 14kg worth £500.73
Our honey was the most valuable harvest – which we sold for £1,667.60
But the most amazing harvest was the beautiful eggs from our flock of 28 hens. Between them they laid 2,205 eggs, which we sell at 50p each, but by keeping them in the garden, this has saved us 259.3kg of CO2 – that’s over 10 of my big flour sacks, a huge amount. I can’t imagine the damage that this much carbon dioxide does to our environment. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on how much we produce isn’t it?
3 New Bread Angels Trained
That’s three new bakers trained from Berkshire, London and Saudi Arabia. Each equipped and supported to run their own micro-bakeries for their local communities. Our course Become A Bread Angel – Start Your Own Micro Bakery is a training and mentoring programme that includes in-person training days, online/virtual classes, one-to-one development sessions and ongoing support – once a Bread Angel, always a Bread Angel! If you think this could be something for you, get in touch and we can arrange a zoom meeting to talk through how it could work for you. Next dates for in-person training are Tuesday 24th January (Day One) and Tuesday 31st January (Day Two).
805 School students taught
That’s eight hundred and five children. All taught in person, in class sizes of 30 or less. Some coming to Hen Corner, some lessons taught in school, some high school (teaching bread & cheese for GCSE Food & Nutrition), some with live bees in a glass hive (strapped securely in the car), and some with a small flock of hens in tow…
I’m so encouraged when schools invest into their curriculum, helping students really understand, first hand, where their food comes from. See here for more information on our School Programme.
Don’t forget that these numbers doesn’t include all the extra children that join in with our Family Courses and special events. Let’s encourage the younger generations to live more sustainably!
78 Christmas Wreaths made
Not all by me! We ran several workshops last month, three at Hen Corner, one at Chiswick Flower Market and one as a private event for local residents sponsored by McAleer& Rushe. Whilst it is great to welcome course guests to Hen Corner, private events for either a group of friends or work colleagues can be really rewarding. A highlight from last summer was when a group of sick and injured veterans came with Help for Heroes for a Full Day Bee Keeping. For more information on our Corporate Opportunities, see here.
504 Loaves donated to FoodBox
Baking bread for our local Hounslow Community FoodBox was initially a short term plan to celebrate Real Bread Week in 2021 (as we were in Lockdown and it was something that we WERE allowed to do). However, it caught the eye of both our bakery customers and course guests and so, along with our Sponsor a Loaf scheme, we are now able to give so much more! We match the sponsored loaves, so that half are donated by sponsors and half by Hen Corner. Thanks so much to everyone who helps in this way.
- Sadly one of our colonies of honey bees has died, fortunately the others all look strong
- Our online/virtual courses continue to be popular, with guests coming from all over the world
- The chickens are slowly starting to lay more as the days are getting a little longer, week by week
Jobs for the week:
- Pot up some runners from our prolifically fruitful fig tree, hopefully they’ll be happy in new locations
- Clear the raised beds and cover with compost – ready for this year’s crops
- Make some more Mango Chutney – as we finished it all last month!
Are you looking back with thankfulness, what are you proud of achieving last year?
Are you filled with hope for 2023?
May you have a truly blessed new year!