Yuletide at organicARTS

Banish the over-commercialisation of Christmas, and join us for a series of Yuletide events that celebrate this wonderful season. Plus enter our Prize Draw to win some amazing experiences for you and your friends/family in the new year. Income from these will help us keep our work going this winter as the funding environment gets tougher as the cost of living hits. Please do check them out….

In this newsletter we also share some of what we’ve been up to this Autumn. It’s been a busy time!

We have exciting plans for 2024, and some new faces joining the team, which we will share in our next newsletter.

We wish you a restful wintering,

The organicARTS team

Pull on your wellies and mittens and join us to celebrate the winter season, from Yuletide to Imbolc!
Bring your kids to make some traditional decorations, sit and hear stories round our campfire, go on a stomp-filled wintry walk, celebrate the solstice and warm up with hot apple at our Winter Warmer on Sunday 17th December.
For the adults, come and forage in our hedgerows, make a willow base and then your own green seasonal wreath at our afternoon workshop on Saturday 16th December.
More events to follow in the New Year- come and serenade our apple trees at our Wassail event and learn all about willow on our Willow Day.
Each day has limited tickets available so pre-booking is essential.

Book your tickets here.

This autumn has been busy!  We have harvested the last of our winter squashes and enjoyed wonderful pumpkin soup for the last few weeks. Our giant, award-winning pumpkin- nicknamed Penelope- is still standing proud in front of the officice, although she may get cooked for our Christmas meal.  

As we’ve had our first hard frosts, we are slowing down the gardening
for the next few months, instead focusing on making items using produce from the garden, such as calendula lip salve and bird feeders.

Taking time to celebrate with our hard-working volunteers is really important, we have made some lovely wreaths using holly, ivy and rosehips from the surrounding woods. We also pressed about 60kg of apples to produce 15 litres of juice, which will be mulled with spices for our Christmas celebration.

Report by Julie

Help us to raise £6000 to keep our regular activities with vulnerable people going this winter -and have a chance to win some wonderful ‘experience-based’ prizes

Prizes include a free school farm visit for one class + plus free minibus transport there and back +  an extra 2 hour activity of your choice! Also available is a chance for you and 9 friends to have a clay experience day- dig clay from our land, process it, get crafty make pots, and end the day sitting round the campfire with hot mulled cider as you see how pots bake!
Check out our other prizes too…
The draw closes on 21 December. So make sure you buy your ticket soon. Winners will have the option to CHOOSE their preferred prize (in the order that their names are drawn).

Good luck and thank you for your support, as always.

Great news! Our long-running Family Support Project has secured funding for a series of family farm days in 2024. This project works with families in Special Guardianship. With your help we will be able to secure the future of more of our essential work.

The children on this project love being outside and meeting other children. The farm days help with confidence and acknowledging that not all families are a ‘mum and dad’.

The Pelican Project is another regular project. We host a small group of intrepid young people with learning-disablities for a monthly session exploring, creating with natural materials, celebrating the changing seasons, storytelling and responding to what the group want.

As Charlie from Pelican said “Thank you Kevin for listening to our deepest desires and helping us make pumpkin pasties on a campfire! Plus a healthy dose of cows and sheep

Our exploring and creating sessions are available to all schools and community groups. We can offer some funded half day visits through West Town Farm stewardship scheme however we only have a limited quota for 2024 which is getting booked up quickly. If you are a teacher and want to come exploring where food comes from and maybe cooking some over the fire then don’t delay in getting in touch.
Email: kevin@organicarts.org.uk

Report by Kevin

The most exciting event this Autumn was opening our exhibition in the Walkway Gallery in the Pheonix. This exhibition, based around deconstructed lampshades, shared our story of the process of making and what being a part of the Maker’s Group means to us. Huge talent on display!

The Makers Group also had a creative commission – to make a plaque as a wedding present for a couple with a love for words and gardening, and a desire to support those living with challenging mental health. It was a joy to work on as we’ve discovered a natural rhythm for collaboration.

We held stalls at three different markets. You might have seen us selling our hand-made items at the Fore Street Flea or Ide Christmas markets or at our own Autumn open day. Some of our beautiful items are now on sale for Christmas.

We said a fond farewell to facilitator, Sophie, who took the plunge to develop the next stage of her business, Pigment Plant Dyes. She was an inspiration to organicARTS and the Makers Group and we are so thankful for our time together. In our final session we made joyful, self portraits so Sophie couldn’t possibly forget us…

To find out more about joining the group, or commissioning a piece, please contact makers@organicarts.org.uk

Report by Megan