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

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

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.

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate…. at Holly Farm Garden Centre

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

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The clocks go forward, the evenings are getting lighter and summer is just around the corner.  The daffodils are out, the sun is shining and (despite the rain, the wind and the hailstones) spring is in the air.

I find it quite hard to work inside when it’s sunny outside and the garden beckons.  At Whitchurch Jelly however it’s like working in the middle of a garden – surrounded by plants and flowers – and the smell of Aroma coffee and Maynard’s bacon sandwiches of course!

The Coffee Barn is an ideal location for co-working – and for meeting people.  Anyone can drop in for a coffee and stay for as long as they wish.  I am often joined by Chris who runs Shrewsbury Jelly and lots of different people enjoy a day out of the home/ office and a change of scenery.  There’s an excellent selection of lunches – and home-made cakes to go with afternoon tea.

Spring is the time for buying seeds and planting the first vegetables and Holly Farm Garden Centre provides the ideal opportunity to choose what to grow this year.  There’s a selection of spring bedding plants, a full range of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, and lots of trees and shrubs – nearly all locally grown.

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I’ve found a really useful Facebook group called Allotment growers uk that have some really innovative ideas – like using a mosquito net instead of fleece to prevent carrot fly and ‘will thermal bricks work in the polytunnel?’  They also discuss all sorts of gardening issues like which weeds are edible (I think I’ll eat weeds in future, they grow better than vegetables!)  I’m not that keen on eating weeds (although I did cook nettles once and told the family it was spinach).  However, my chickens and rabbits do like weeds, chicks love chickweed and my rabbits eat lots of plants like groundsel as well as dandelions, comfrey, sorrel and shepherd’s purse – more on my website www.barbararainford.co.uk

Whitchurch Jelly also provides an opportunity for answers to all your gardening questions, Jonathan Allen is always happy to provide gardening advice – such as what plants will thrive in the shade – and which vegetable varieties are likely to do best in your particular soil.

There are now 4 Jelly Days in Shropshire – in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford. If you would like to join us, it’s free – to find out more – and to book – visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire.

Whitchurch Jelly: 1st Tuesday of the month. Next one Tuesday, 3rd May, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at The Coffee Barn, Holly Farm Garden Centre, Prees, SY13 2DD

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the April, 2016 edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

Whitchurch Jelly on Candlemas Day

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight,
If Candlemas Day be clouds and rain,
Winter has gone and will not come again.

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Candlemas Day was very sunny and very pleasant sitting in The Coffee Barn with a real Aroma Coffee enjoying the sunshine and some company for a change. But we haven’t had much winter yet have we? We’ll probably get snow in April when the apple trees are full of blossom! It’s still very windy though, storm Gertrude seems to have merged with storm Henry. Who thinks of the names I wonder – I didn’t realise until we got to Gertrude that Abigail was A-Big-Gale!

Apart from the weather (which is always a topic of conversation on Jelly days), sitting in the middle of a garden centre, we were soon talking about plants.   Daffodils as well as snowdrops are already out in Shropshire (they’ve been out in Cornwall since Christmas!) and we discussed what we might plant this Spring.

Holly Farm has a wonderful selection of seeds and plants, onion sets, seed potatoes, bulbs and corms that make you wish you had a bigger garden so you could plant everything – but then of course you have to look after everything. This time of year I always get over-enthusiastic buying seeds. I have quite a big vegetable patch (www.barbararainford.co.uk) but the flower borders always take second place and get very straggly by June. Last year I planted some dahlia tubers and, with the sunny Indian summer we had, they were still flowering beautifully in late October.

This year I have decided to give up trying to get sweet pea seeds to germinate – they fill up the propagator and take ages to grow (if at all) so I am going to buy a pot of sprouted plants instead. I might even have some sweet peas in flower for the Eckford Sweet Pea Show in Wem 16th/17th July 2016.

There are now 4 Jelly Days in Shropshire – in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford. If you would like to join us, it’s free – to find out more – and to book – visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire.

Whitchurch Jelly: 1st Tuesday of the month. Next one Tuesday, 5th April, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at The Coffee Barn, Holly Farm Garden Centre, Prees, SY13 2DD

Shropshire Jelly now has its own website:

www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the March 2016 edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

What is Jelly?

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate

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WHAT is Jelly?
Jelly is an informal co-working event which aims to bring home workers, freelancers, small business owners and entrepreneurs together in a relaxed, informal, working environment that encourages creativity and collaboration. Jelly recognises how lonely working from home can be and how important interaction with other people is to a positive working environment. It’s a mixture of work, chat, comparing of ideas, passing on tips – and signposting – if you have just moved to Shropshire it’s a great way to find out what’s on and where to go for help with things like starting a business.

WHO can attend?
Jelly days are open to everyone. If you normally work from home, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy a chat with other people over a coffee made for you. If you work in an open plan office you might enjoy a change of scenery and lunch with different company. People from all walks of life attend Jelly days – designers, photographers, writers, musicians, translators, programmers, cooks, solicitors, therapists, artisans – anyone in fact who uses a laptop! Most Jelly-goers are entrepreneurs or freelancers but no matter what you do or what you create, you’re welcome to go to Jelly days and share your knowledge and learn from others.

HOW much does it cost?
Nothing. Jelly days are totally free to attend and all offer free Wi-Fi but where events are held in a café, Jelly-goers are expected to buy coffee and lunch during the day.

WHEN is it held?
There are now 4 Jelly Days in Shropshire – in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford – to find out more visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire.

Whitchurch Jelly, 1st Tuesday of the month. Next one Tuesday 1st March 10.00 am – 4.00 pm at The Coffee Barn, Holly Farm Garden Centre, Prees, SY13 2DD

Shrewsbury Jelly, 2nd Thursday of the month, alternates between the Alb (opposite the bus station), 4 Smithfield Rd, Shrewsbury, SY1 1PB and the Quirky Coffee and Gift Shop, 11 Fish Street, SY1 1UR. Next one at The Alb on Thursday, 10th March 12.00 noon – 4.00 pm

Telford Jelly 3rd Thursday of the month. 10.00 am – 5.00 pm at Brodie House, Central Square, Telford, TF3 4DP

To book for any of these events go to www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire

Oswestry Jelly – last Thursday of the month. 8.30 am – 4.00 pm.
At Baby Bird Café , 23 Cross Street, Oswestry, SY11 2NF
To book email Harriet Brooke: [email protected]

Shropshire Jelly now has its own website:
www.shropshirejelly.co.uk

Published in the February 2016 edition of the Whitchurch gossip

Whitchurch Jelly is an informal coworking day

Jelly – Work, chat, collaborate….

Jelly is an informal co-working event which aims to bring home workers, freelancers, small business owners and entrepreneurs together in a relaxed, informal, working environment which encourages creativity and collaboration. Jelly recognises how lonely working from home can be and how important interaction with other people is to a positive working environment. It’s a mixture of work, chat, comparing of ideas, passing on tips – and signposting – if you have just moved to Shropshire it’s a great way to find out what’s on and where to go for help with things like starting a business.

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Jelly days are open to everyone. If you normally work from home, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy a chat with other people over a coffee made for you. If you work in an open plan office you might enjoy a change of scenery and lunch with different company. People from all walks of life attend Jelly days – designers, photographers, writers, musicians, translators, programmers, cooks, solicitors, therapists, artisans – anyone in fact who can use a laptop!

Whitchurch Jelly is held at The Coffee Barn at Holly Farm Garden Centre on the first Tuesday of the month – next one is on 2nd February (Candlemas Day). 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, join me for a coffee, lunch or afternoon tea with home-made cakes and find out more about it.

Whilst you are there you can find some great ideas for brightening up the garden in 2016. Holly Farm sell everything you need for your garden – from seeds to secateurs, plants and potting compost, herbs and herbaceous perennials – most of them grown in their own nursery here in North Shropshire.

Holly Farm also has a selection of fruit trees and bushes as well as ornamental magnolias, pyracanthas and many other flowering trees and shrubs. Jonathan Allen has many years experience in growing trees and shrubs and can provide lots of advice on planting positions, soil types and pruning techniques.

I always buy reputable seeds and tubers because you spend so much time growing things you might just as well have the best possible start with quality products. So, last Spring, I asked Jonathan which were the best seed potatoes for my soil which is very sandy and dries out easily. He recommended Cara as a maincrop choice and these are the potatoes – these are all from just one root – large potatoes with no scab – and they are perfect – right the way through. So guess where I’m going to buy my seed potatoes this year?

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There are now 4 Jelly Days in Shropshire – in Whitchurch, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Telford – to find out more visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for Jelly in Shropshire.