It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at Whitchurch Jelly

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

If you work for yourself, or work from home, you might enjoy a day out working alongside other people – join me for a day co-working at Whitchurch Jelly at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre.

It’s November and Holly Farm is getting ready for Christmas – soon The Coffee Barn will be surrounded by Christmas trees, Holly Wreaths and all the excitement of the festive season.  All the Christmas trees are grown locally at Woodfield Christmas tree farm at Fauls and the holly wreaths are hand-made locally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year when we arrived for our monthly co-working day, we were greeted by Alf the Elf and his fabulous stories about Christimis – he told us about all the children that had helped decorate his Christimis tree and their family adventures in Alf’s Wintry World.

 

This year Holly Farm’s wintry world adventures will be Cinema in the Wild Woods – you can bring all the family to enjoy festive films and share Yuletide mince pies and mulled drinks.  Films are being shown throughout December, visit www.hollyfarmgardencentre.co.uk for dates and booking details.

Once Holly Farm is invaded by Christmas Trees, everywhere will be enveloped in that special scent of Christmas – that takes you back to your childhood – holly and mistletoe, Yule logs, carols, mulled wine and mince pies.

At Holly Farm you can choose your own special Christmas tree – Nordman Fir or spruce – either from a selection of ready cut trees at Holly Farm – or you can take the family on a Yuletide adventure to Woodfield Christmas Tree farm and go on a festive search to find the perfect tree to decorate your home.

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 5th December 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee – with mince pies or home-made cakes – and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

Published in the November edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Pumpkin Time at Shropshire Jelly

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Do you work yourself? Is your business based at home?  Have you ever thought about having a day working alongside other homeworkers?  Chance for a chat over coffee and lunch – and still catch up with emails and paperwork?  Join me at Whitchurch Jelly and find out what co-working is like.

Whitchurch Jelly is held at Holly Farm Garden Centre and today I am surrounded by pumpkins waiting patiently for Hallowe’en. If you haven’t grown your own you can have great fun choosing one straight from the field in Holly Farm’s pumpkin patch.  When you have carved your eerie face ready for candlelit fun on Hallowe’en, don’t throw away the pumpkin flesh.  You can dry the seeds on baking paper in a cool oven to make very tasty pumpkin nuts and make pumpkin soup with the rest – fry in butter with a diced potato, onion, tomatoes and herbs and spices – I use thyme, cumin, cloves and a pinch of cayenne, chilli, and allspice – add some stock, simmer until cooked then liquidise and you have a nourishing, wholesome soup to serve on Hallowe’en.

It’s October – the first chill of winter, late autumn sunshine, misty mornings, bejewelled cobwebs, the garden is getting ready for winter. The last of the harvest, storing potatoes, freezing the last of the runner beans, clearing the garden, bonfires, woodsmoke on the breeze.

Now is the time to plan for next year – deciding which vegetables to grow, looking at new varieties available – Jonathan Allen is always happy to discuss which vegetable varieties are likely to do best in your soil and which flowers prefer shade or full sun.   It’s also time to plant bulbs to brighten up tubs, rockeries and borders in Spring.  Holly Farm not only have a wide selection of bulbs, they will also provide advice on how to plant them for the best displays – indoors as well as out.  Snowdrops like their bulbs firmly rooted outside but hyacinths and daffodils can provide the tantalysing scents of spring much earlier grown indoors.

Have you ever  thought of making your own cider?  This is a traditional recipe for Wittenham cider: Put 3 lb of roughly chopped apples into a bucket and pour on 12 pints of cold water; leave for a week, stirring night and morning.  Strain, then stir in 2 lb sugar and grated rind and juice of 3 lemons, leave for 24 hours then strain again and bottle. Should be drinkable within a week – just ready for Hallowe’en. For more recipes visit www.barbararainford.co.uk

Jelly days provide an opportunity to discuss local news and current affairs – Blackberry Fair will no doubt be one of the topics of conversation at the next Whitchurch Jelly.  If you have recently moved to Shropshire, Jelly days are a mine of information on what’s going on in Shropshire and where to find things.

PICK YOUR OWN PUMPKIN AT HOLLY FARM GARDEN CENTRE

Have some family fun in the pumpkin patch, choosing your very own pumpkin for Hallowe’en

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 7th November 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the October edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Jelly Co-working and Shropshire Networking

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Jelly days are for co-working (working alongside other people for a change), not networking (going to meetings to promote your business) but you can find out at Jelly days about local networking groups and co-working locations are very often community hubs – like The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre where Whitchurch Jelly is held on the first Tuesday of every month.

If you have recently moved to Shropshire you might be glad of some local information.  Several Jelly goers also organise local networking events – like Sally Joyner of In The Loop who helps people with hearing difficulties.  She organises the Shrewsbury WiRE networking group  at HITZone, 1 Sweetlake Court, SY3 9GE on the last Wednesday of every month.  Cost £3.50 for members and £5.00 for non members.  Book with Sally Joyner via email: [email protected]

New Business Network meets regularly on the first and third Tuesday of every month at South Cheshire College, Dane Bank Avenue, Crewe, CW2 8AB Cost £10.00  Contact Sue Roberts 07715 170519

Collaborative Networking meets on a Wednesday at The Hill Valley Hotel, Whitchurch, SY13 4HA
Cost  £3.00  To book email [email protected]

Network with Style meets at The Lord Hill Hotel, SY2 6AX  once a month usually on a Tuesday Cost £8.50
Book via website: www.networkwithstyle.com

7to830 BtoB Networking meets fortnightly on Wednesdays at The Boathouse, Ellesmere SY12 0PA
Cost £6.00 includes a full English breakfast.  www.7to830.biz or email [email protected]

INC Shropshire meets fortnightly on Wednesdays at Hawkstone Park Hotel, Weston-under-Redcastle, SY4 5UY  Cost £10.00 includes a bacon bap.  Email [email protected]

For full information, times, and forthcoming dates visit  www.thelbc.org.uk/networkingnews/ 

Holly Farm is a real community hub – employing local people and supporting local events like Blackberry Fair:   Thursday – Saturday 5th – 7th October  Contact Steve M: 0777 304 7744 or E: [email protected]

www.blackberryfair.co.uk

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 1st August 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the September edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Jelly co-working spaces are great places to meet other people

Jelly co-working spaces are great places to meet other people

Shropshire is such a friendly place, wherever you are, there’s usually someone to talk to – shopping, walking, sitting in a café – and Shropshire Jelly co-working days provide an opportunity to meet people whilst you are working.

There are lots of people who work from home in Shropshire, some are self-employed, some work for big companies but work remotely from home most of the time – and there are authors, students, actors, consultants, who don’t go to work in an office with other people every day.

Jelly co-working spaces are great places to meet other people, but still get on with some work.  Have a chat over coffee, share current news over lunch and find out a bit more about the county we live in and what’s going on where.

Jelly days are regular events – Shrewsbury Jelly is held on the second Thursday of the month and alternates between The Alb and the Loopy Shrew.  Whitchurch Jelly is held on the first Tuesday of the month at Holly Farm Garden Centre.  All Jelly spaces have free wi-fi. The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre has excellent (Aroma) coffee and tea, delicious lunches (including Maynards ham) and locally home-made cakes.

Your environment can have a big impact on your work – I have always thought that florists have a lovely time always working with flowers.  At Whitchurch Jelly you are surrounded by plants – nature’s natural essence envelopes you when you walk into an area full of flowers, it’s not just the heady mixture of the mingling scents of the flowers, the plants themselves have a greenness that radiates tranquillity and calm.

Holly Farm has many beautiful and interesting plants, shrubs and trees – deliciously-scented roses, and an endless variety of colourful perennials like penstemons – beautiful cottage garden plants, with lots of different shades to choose from – as well as being simple to grow – plant in a sheltered spot and you will be rewarded with a long lasting show of flowers for years to come.

Just browsing in a garden centre can be very therapeutic – discovering unusual plants and imagining them in your garden, finding lots of ideas for brightening up the garden.   There’s something satisfying about strolling along rows and rows of plants -properly watered and cared for.  It’s also a great opportunity to ask Jonathan Allen any gardening questions – like why my hanging baskets were looking a bit tired – regular watering and feeding is the answer.

The Coffee Barn is a great location for Whitchurch Jelly – if you have recently moved to Shropshire, it’s a good place to find out what’s on locally and where to find things.  Holly Farm sponsor Blackberry Fair every year (first Saturday in October).  Jelly days are a mine of information.  The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 5th September, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.

Published in the August editions of the Whitchurch Gossip and Drayton Gossip

Whitchurch Jelly at Holly Farm Garden Centre

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Shropshire Jelly organise co-working days providing an opportunity for people who normally work from home to work alongside other people for a change, share current news, have a chat over coffee and find out what’s going on in their local area.

Whitchurch Jelly is held at Holly Farm Garden Centre on the first Tuesday of every month.  The Coffee Barn has good Wi-fi, excellent (Aroma) coffee and tea, delicious lunches (including Maynards ham) and locally home-made cakes.

Holly Farm is a real community hub – employing local people and supporting local events like Blackberry Fair held on the first Saturday of October each year.     www.blackberryfair.co.uk

Practically all the plants, trees and shrubs at Holly Farm are grown and raised locally here in North Shropshire including some unusual varieties of perennials and shrubs. July is pick-your-own-fruit time so I’ll be picking some strawberries to take home before I leave today.

Whitchurch Jelly used to be held at The Lodge at Dearnford Lake – now renamed Alderford Lake – until the cafe became really popular.  They have lots of community events including Immersion Theatre performing Wind in the Willows on 20th August.  Festival on the Edge – the largest storytelling festival in the UK – is  being held there on 28-30th July.  The lake also offers facilities for open water swimmers and kayakers.  For more information visit www.alderford.com.

Alderford Lake

If you have recently moved to Shropshire, Jelly days are a mine of information, Jelly organisers usually have an excellent knowledge of the local area, what’s going on in Shropshire, local network groups, and local helpful people from plumbers to piano tuners.

Jelly days are promoted on Twitter and you can find updates on @JellyShropshire on www.twitter.com along with information on local events and breaking news stories.  Shrewsbury Jelly is held on the second Thursday of every month.

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 1st August 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the July edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Do you work yourself? Is your business based at home? Jelly Coworking could be for you.

Do you work yourself? Is your business based at home?  Have you ever thought about having a day working alongside other homeworkers?  Chance for a chat over coffee and lunch – and still catch up with emails and paperwork? 

Jelly co-working days provide an opportunity for homeworkers – and indeed anyone who fancies a change of scenery – to work alongside other people, in a comfortable, friendly, informal place, with free Wi-Fi and tea, coffee and lunch made for you.

Whitchurch Jelly meets at the Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre on the first Tuesday of every month.  Shrewsbury Jelly meets on the second Thursday of the month and alternates between The Alb and The Loopy Shrew.

June is strawberry season – long summer evenings, sipping wine or elderflower champagne (for recipe visit www.barbararainford.co.uk), home-made scones with strawberries and cream in the sunshine, serenaded by songbirds, busy bees buzzing diligently from flower to flower, roses and honeysuckle mingling with the scent of newly mown grass – and Holly Farm Garden centre has everything to make your little patch of Shropshire full of life – vibrant colours and heavenly scents – and a haven for wild birds and insects.  Take time out browsing the wide selection of basket and bedding plants, herbs, lavenders, roses and perennials and take some colour home for your garden – and don’t forget to pick some fruit before you leave – strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and gooseberries – they all make delicious jams and country wines.

Jelly days provide an opportunity to discuss the tennis, the recent election results (by the time you read this we will probably have some different MPs in The House of Commons), local events like The Party in The Park in Whitchurch – and preparations for Blackberry Fair www.blackberryfair.co.uk.  If you have recently moved to Shropshire, Jelly days are a mine of information, jelly organisers usually have an excellent knowledge of the local area, what’s going on in Shropshire and local helpful people from chimney sweeps to piano tuners.

Jelly days are promoted on Twitter and you can find updates on @JellyShropshire on www.twitter.com along with information on local events and breaking news stories.

The next Whitchurch Jelly is on Tuesday, 4th July – Independence Day.  Whitchurch Jelly is 10.00 am – 3.00 pm but you don’t have to stay all day, call in for a coffee and see what co-working is like.  Jelly co-working days are free to attend.  For further information visit:

Published in the June edition of the Whitchurch Gossip magazine

Shropshire Jelly – Work, Chat, Collaborate

Shropshire Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….


Shropshire Jelly was started by Jan Minihane with help from Judi Heminsley (who was instrumental in bringing Jelly – an American idea – to the UK).  Jelly organisers run co-working days all over the world in cafés, restaurants and community rooms – sometimes living rooms – where people who usually work alone can work alongside other people for a change.

Shrewsbury Jelly meets on the second Thursday of the month and currently alternates between the Loopy Shrew and The Alb. It’s organised by Chris Smith @envoid and is free to attend but it is reasonable to expect that you will buy some food and drink if you are sitting in a café using free wi-fi and free electricity for your laptop.

All sorts of people attend Jelly days – accountants, solicitors, business coaches, training providers, software developers, marketing consultants, IT experts, geeks, and lots of self-employed people making soaps, jewellery, candles – and service providers helping people with health issues, dyslexia, hearing loss  – the variety of people you can meet co-working is endless.

At last month’s Shrewsbury Jelly I asked attendees why they left the comfort of their own home to travel to Shrewsbury and attend Jelly.  Most of the people worked alone most of the time, occasionally meeting colleagues in London once a quarter or in Skype meetings.  They all said that:  “Sometimes you need to speak to people face to face,” and: “It’s a good idea to get out of the house occasionally,” or they “Need a change of scene – in different situations you meet different people – and you see things differently.”  @danielclarkfca attending Shrewsbury Jelly for the first time said:  “It’s good to meet different people, discuss things, share views.”

The budget was high on the agenda at the last Jelly (it was the day after Budget Day) and there were varying opinions on the NI increase for the self-employed.  It was also the day after International Women’s Day and all agreed that we are very lucky living in Britain to have so many professional women helping the economy along – with the freedom and respect to do it.

If you have recently moved to Shropshire, Jelly days are a mine of information, jelly organisers usually have an excellent knowledge of the local area, what’s going on in Shropshire and who to ask for help with anything from computers to networking – and there’s usually an IT expert there who can help solve that niggling technical problem or explain things like ‘how to use Twitter’.

Jelly co-working days are free to attend but you do need to book. Go to www.shropshirejelly.co.uk for more information.

Published in the April edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Jelly Co-working – A Day without a Daring Adventure is a Day Wasted

Jelly – A Daring Adventure?

Working from home has many advantages but it can also be quite a challenge.  It’s so easy to get into the habit of staying in your comfort zone, working on your computer on your own with no interruptions – but there’s no conversation either – and you don’t develop your expertise and experience to its real potential.

The last time I was given a fortune cookie it said:  “A day without a daring adventure is a day wasted.”  And I’ve often thought about it when I’m travelling to an unknown location or meeting new people – some days just picking up the phone can be a challenge!

It’s essential to get out regularly and mix with other people, for social as well as work reasons and co-working offers a great opportunity to mix work with pleasure.  There’s no need to dress up, nobody has to stand up and speak and it’s free to attend with free wi-fi (although most Jelly days are held in cafés so be prepared to buy a coffee and lunch).  It’s not networking, so it’s not a selling opportunity, it’s just an opportunity to work alongside other people for a change and have a chat over coffee and lunch

Jelly has no organisation, no structure, no hierarchy, no rules. It’s open to everyone – you don’t have to be running your own business – you might be thinking of starting a business, or you might be a volunteer for a local charity or community group.  If you have just moved to a new area it’s an excellent way of finding out about the local area, business opportunities, networking events – and which are most likely to be relevant to you and your business.  Most Jelly organisers have an tremendous amount of local knowledge which you can tap into – and there’s usually an IT expert there so you can solve all those niggling IT questions.  Intrigued by social media but can’t get your head round it?  Someone at a Jelly will be able to tell you everything you need to know.

Jelly has a completely different atmosphere to any other business event I’ve ever been to.  It’s a great place to meet people you’d never otherwise bump into. Jelly attracts people who never go to networking or other business events, either because they don’t feel it suits them or because they do something very specialised and don’t want to be sold to.

Jelly days are a place to catch up on local news and find out what’s going on with businesses, council decisions and good old-fashioned gossip. Judy Heminsley, pioneer of Jelly co-working in the UK has written a blog that provides advice and inspiration for home workers – find out more here workfromhomewisdom.com

 

Spring is in the Air at Shropshire Jelly

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate…. Spring is in the Air

Feel like a change from working from home?  Fancy a chat over a cup of coffee and some company whilst you are working?  Join me for a day co-working at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Nurseries.  10.00am – 3.00pm on the first Tuesday of the month – next one 7th March.

Of course you can visit the Coffee Barn and enjoy light lunches and homemade cakes any day of the month – Holly Farm Nurseries are open 9.00 am – 5.30 pm 7 days a week and have a wonderful selection of locally grown plants, trees and shrubs.

Now is the time to start planning your garden, stock up on potting compost and fertilizer and (my favourite spring task) choose from all the seed packets which plants you are going to grow yourself – and which plants you might buy in already sprouted.

For years I have struggled to grow sweet peas from seed with varied success, then my sister started buying plants instead of seeds and my sweet peas last year were much earlier and much more successful – except that I was in a hurry buying them so one of the trays I bought were dwarf sweet peas and didn’t do justice to the trellis I provided for them!

So take your time browsing through all the seeds and choosing your favourite varieties of plants – Holly Farm has a great selection of bedding plants and lots of perennials that will transform your garden year after year.  If you are thinking of growing some fruit, Holly Farm has some unusual soft fruit varieties like jostaberries, boysenberries and tayberries.  There is also a comprehensive selection of fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs, climbing plants and herbs – lots of ornamental pots and tubs to grow them in too.

Christimis Jelly with Alf the Elf

Christimis Jelly with Alf the Elf

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Arriving at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre for Whitchurch Jelly was like walking through a Christmas grotto – we were greeted by Alf the Elf who shared a coffee with us and told us stories of all the children that had helped decorate his Christimas tree and their family adventures in Alf’s Wintry World.

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