It was incredible to see. Not only had the garden grown, the raised beds we sowed in March overflowing with produce, more volenteers than we knew existed turned up. We'd all arrived for the celebratory meal. We'd pick produce, prepare food in the new kitchen and fire the clay oven (for the first time!) to get perfect pizzas.
After checking in we were given a list of veg to pick. I pulled up the spring onions I'd helped a young girl to sow on our first volunteer day along with lettuce leaves and edible flowers for our salads. For the pizzas and sides we picked plenty of peas and broad beans. Some radishes and onions too.
It was really exciting to see all the vegetables grown. It seems like every patch of compost and soil that we spent March and April digging over had turned a lush green. Flowers were everywhere, the herbs where bursting out of their beds. It made me feel guilty in a way. I didn't spend nearly enough time here, didn't do nearly enough work. But volunteering is about pitching in when you can and with plenty of volunteers - not to mention the tireless efforts of the staff - the garden was looking fantastic.
So into the kitchen with all our pickings. As work and other commitments allowed more and more people dropped in. We all got to work. Tomato sauce was splattered on hobs, herbs where chopped roughly yet furiously, flowers decorated everything. We mixed salad after salad, then salad dressing after salad dressing. Delicious fresh food. It had a touch of magic.
Then place it all outside and it's time for the pizza. Dough was rolled out and into the oven. I love the oven. Aside from being a fabulous oven it's also shaped like a pig. That is fantastic. Pizza after pizza after pizza. Eventually it was time for mine. And it was delicious. I had tomato sauce, onions, chard, mozzarella and olives with feta thrown on after cooking. And I was very, very happy.