Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Feel good friday returns to the Quarries farm…

feel good friday


Cairngorms visit

We have just returned from a visit to the Highlands, Joan to a course in Findhorn, and me to a cabin in the woods…

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International Mud Day ,joyous and Dirty…

It was Zoe’s Idea, she made me do it!. Zoe happened to mention that June 29th was International Mud Day, and would anyone be up for sharing the experiance??
Well Here at Growing Connections we have a beautiful Little Woodland, that me and my Forest school group have been exploring over the last few months, and I thought we could get some really super sticky,oozy , activities going..


Belfast hosted a World Forum for Nature. Action. Collaboration. Children. Speaking was Bishnu Bhatta, from Nepal, who told the delegates about a small village, Panchkhal, 45 km from Kathmandu, where it was decided that in the interests of correlating Child development to Mother Nature, 58 children from the local orphanages, would be invited to a mud field to play games and make new friends, and then share a meal together. There were 48 boys from Panchkhal Orphanage and 10 girls from Kathmandu Orphanage. They ranged in age from 8 to 13.
An 8,214 square feet area was prepared, mixing topsoil with water from a distant hilltop, and the night before the event it bucketed down..At first the children were hesitant, all manner of discomfort and alarm was observed from their facial expressions! but they played football and the leaders of the event demonstrated jumping and guddling to the children and gradually boys first they began to enjoy the cool, sticky, sloppy, squelchy earth.

mud boy

Sujata, a young girl, worried about the earthworms coming to the surface, and why they had to appear just where she was! But she learned to share, and there was plenty for all!. After many hours of joyful carefree inquisitive abandon, the children all bathed, and were provided with clean towels and clothes, and a hot meal to share with each other. It was a Wonderful day.
Gillian Mcauliffe from Australia was listening to Bishnu , and when she returned to Australia, whilst making a mud hut with a group of children, told them about the event in Nepal, and how the absence of clean clothes to change into and soap to wash with, inhibited the play choices of these children in Nepal..The Australian children suggested donating their own clothes, and then it was decided that the best way to help would be to set up a fund and raise money for the Nepalese children to buy their own clothes.
Bold Park in Australia was where they decided to hold a Celebration Mud Day simultaniously, to demonstrate how important it is for us all to be connected to the Earth, and to each other.!!

clay boy

“Children are like Clay, it is the hand of the maker that gives them their shape..”

young guddlers..

when the weather sends you a water slide!

Our Forest School sessions have ended for now, but many thanks to the children and Parents who came along and I can confidently say we had a wonderful time!


jessie on slide

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Womens Tec Electricity Course ends with a bang…

Many Woman have availed themselves of the varied accessible and interesting courses run by the Womens Tec Organisation at Duncairn Gardens in Belfast. The Tutors and Participants have a way of making everyone feel very welcome, and eager to learn the mysteries of subjects like Plumbing, electricity and joinery…
Our ten week Electricity Course has come to an end, and that is sad, but at least there are seven more Women who know what to do with a pendant light fitting, and how to wire a timer onto their immersion, to save money!
Thanks Girls!




get in there

glamour puss


sparky girls

Social Thereputic Horticulture comes to Ballywalter…

Thanks to our Trainer Damian from Thrive, who led a two day course hosted by F.A.S.A at Ballywalter, thier Eden village Site. We learnt the rudumentaries of planning for clients with mental health issues, ie all of us at one stage or another in our lives..! The weather was beautiful


damian,rory, and viv



hard a potting

I think we have just had our Summer…

Getting a TASTE for Market Gardening

Some of our volunteers were invited to visit Flavour First our local veg box farm near Donaghadee.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about how commerical growing works. A big thank you to William and his family who have given us a generous donation to help our volunteers to carry out activities on our farm.  If you would like to know more about Williams family farm business go to his website.