UPDATE BY TONY; VOLUNTEER
I have been volunteering at the Garden Museum for the past 7 months and I help in the gardens each Tuesday. The jobs are quite varied from clearing the leaves, weeding to pruning the plants and watering the whole garden during our mini hot spell, or when Matt showed me how to landscape an area of St Marys by planting in lines. The team are really friendly, and Matt and Bryony are very helpful, always giving positive feedback, even when I have dead headed the wrong flowers.
Another duty of mine is to prepare some sort of treat for our coffee break. I cannot let the side down, so I always plan ahead- maybe banana bread or ginger cake, some times I will experiment with a vegan treat- it keeps me on my toes.
I also help Ceri in the Food Learning Studio. Its great fun and I get a great sense of achievement helping in the classes with lots of new vegan and vegetarian food with locally sourced seasonal produce. Its very satisfying giving people new ideas and letting them experiment with new ingredients. Then we all sit down and eat what we have prepared -it’s a great sense of well being.
Our Volunteer Co-ordinator Nike is wonderful, always coming to see us at lunch time to say hello, and give us any updates about the museum. Nike organises lots of outings for us at places of historical interest at hidden gems like Fulham Palace and the Chelsea Physic Garden. On these trips we also get a chance to meet the other volunteers.
It’s a great place to help out at and the same time learn new skills.
Here’s my recipe for Banana Cake:
125g plain flour, 1/2 tspn soda, 2 tspn baking powder, 150g soft brown sugar, 4 ripe bananas. 125g warm coconut oil 90g walnuts, 50g sultanas (infused in tea for 5 minutes) 2 large eggs.
1. Mix all dry ingredients together
2. Mash up the bananas mix in with the coconut oil and eggs.
3. Add this to the dry ingredients
4. Grease a loaf tin with butter, and line with grease proof paper. Pour in the batter, and bake for 50 minutes at 150c.