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10 steps to an Incredible winter

By Sara Venn

As we step into late autumn and winter again and again it’s assumed that there’s no work to do for Incredible Edible groups over the winter, but of course there is plenty to do, so here are a few ideas and thoughts…….

  1. Keep communicating. Use some of the time when you are stuck indoors to tell your stories using social media, newsletters and websites and get ahead writing stories that can be published during the year ahead. Celebrate your community gardeners, your successes and talk about plans for the year to come.
  2. Organise a local seed swap for early spring, getting all the different gardening and growing groups in your area together. It’s a really great opportunity to further connect with fellow food growers and people interested in communities and local economies.
  3. Mulch your gardens. As we wrote about previously, there’s no better time to look after and improve your soil with mulches.
  4. Prune apple and pear trees. A great winter job and one that you can share across the community, sharing skills as you go. You could also organise a wassail for the community to get involved with.
  5. Look out for local events that you could have a stall at. It’s hard to fit these things in during the growing season but winter is the perfect time to do these things, especially in the new year when people are often looking to find new opportunities as part of new years resolutions.
  6. Plant bare rooted trees.
  7. Make solid plans for the year ahead, fitting any new projects into the work already happening. If you have a month by month plan it’s far easier to keep to plan and to realise when there’s a problem and make adjustments. Decide who’s doing what, who’s running what and make sure everyone is happy with what they are doing. If it’s set in place now problems can be ironed out before they arise!
  8. Look at fundraising. Whether that’s organising local bake sales, organising local crowdfunders, working out a sustainable funding stream, or writing funding bids, this is definitely th time to look at what will be needed and how that will be achieved.
  9. Make compost bins and turn compost monthly to keep it as warm as you can. The warmer it is the faster it will break down and you’ll have amazing compost for spring when you need it. It’s also an ideal time to make any repairs to sheds and make sure your water collections systems are working.
  10. Support your local food economy, by shopping locally, at your local market or local businesses. Order your turkey from a local farm and sign up to veg with a local CSA!

And finally, stay wrapped up, warm and enjoy some down time before spring arrives and the beautiful chaos begins again!!