AUTUMN 2020 - BAT SURVEY, HANDS ON BAKING, BIO-DIVERSTITY
HANDS ON BAKING - SAT 10 OCTOBER - Following on from a very successful demonstration of griddle baking, on Saturday 10th October, 11am to approx 12.30pm, there will be a limited numbers opportunity to do some hands on baking of Guinness loaf and a Red Pepper and Tomato soup. The Bakehouse, Bellaghy, Cookery School will conduct the activity at The Little Green Allotments, 3F Whitemountain Rd, Lisburn, BT28 3QY. All ingredients and equipment provided. If time and interest permits, a follow on demo of how to make the Crab Apple Jelly mentioned in the Honey Project will also be held. Price is £12 and pre payable before hand just after booking. Booking Essential via the More > Contact Us tab and numbers will be limited with social distancing in place. Afterwards, why not sample your bread and soup and then visit the nearby Belshaws Quarry Nature reserve.
BAT SURVEY - TUE 13 OCTOBER - If you would like to take part in a bat-listening survey at Belshaw's Quarry Nature Reserve, Benson's Rd, Lisburn then please book a place via the More > Contact Us tab. Date: Tue 13 October, 6pm for a familiarisation tour, and then a licenced person led survey. Finish: Just after dark depending on activity. Outdoor clothes and footware essential but ALSO bring a torch for when it's time to depart the quarry floor area of the site. Free activity as part of our LCCC Community Grant Aided activities 2020/21. Booking Essential via the More > Contact Us tab and numbers will be limited with social distancing in place.
HANDS ON BIO-DIVERSITY TIDY UP - SAT 17 October - 10am to approx 3pm, why not come along to Belshaws Quarry Nature Reserve, Bensons Rd, for some tidy up activity. Some overgrown parts of the areas of the geology of the site need tidied up. New Gardening gloves (for you to hold on to) will be provided. Outdoor clothes and footware essential. A FREE activity but Booking Is Essential via the More > Contact Us tab and numbers will be limited with social distancing in place.
Thanks to all of you that pre-reserved a pot of ‘raw’ honey from the first ever Whitemountain Bee Hive.
Availability of natural non-processed honey is at the mercy of nature and this year has turned out to be a very challenging year. A really dry spring, then a cool and wet part of summer (when the real nectar should have been abundant) has resulted in the bees not being near as productive as they might have been. The result is that the available honey per person that pre-reserved has been limited. Rather than some lose out totally, this ‘rationing’ is a fairer way on those that showed interest.
However, as a result of some 100,000 bees in the area, some ‘ancient’ crab apple tress close by the hive has produced way more crab apples than on an average year. Since the bees made their impact on these trees, the plan is to make a batch of crab apple jelly (not jam) with a hint of clove. The added sugar will be way less than commercial brands. Tests indicate that the added sugar can be as low as about 30% to not mask too much the slight tartiness of the crab apple but still be sweet enough.
Although honey 'rations' have been allocated, if you are interested in a 230 gram / approx half pound pot of Crab Apple & hint of clove Jelly then please advise via the More> Contact Us tab. Only brand new sterilised glass jars are used.
Proceeds will go back into next years hive management. Please reply back as soon as possible.
As far as the hive is concerned, the new nucleus hive (or nuc) is (touch wood) looking in good shape as it slows down in readiness for it's over-wintering. The food stores from Ivy pollen has yet to happen so that will help. The nuc will soon be left more or less untouched until mid-to-end March next year when (hopefully) the weather permits transferring the over-wintered bees and queen to a full size hive for next summer's growth and honey-harvest. Bee keeping is fraught with natural problems but hopefully all goes ok. If you wish to be involved then do get in touch.
MAY - JULY - COVID-19 RESPONSE PROJECTS
Throughout May to July 2020 we conducted a 4 stranded project, the details of which are summarised below. More details are on our facebook page and Nextdoor page and per details sent out to all 220 households in the area. This project was funded by LCCC COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
To follow the activities, visit our facebook page.
Saturday 1 August - at the Little Green Allotments we held a socially distanced Griddle Baking demonstration by The Bake House. This ticket only event lasted just over one hour.
YouTube links are as follows:
Equipment and Cheddar and chive roll https://youtu.be/fUfgGFz44v4
Soda Farl https://youtu.be/6T_3A4nODL0
Ceasar Salad https://youtu.be/HbOieqs-AUk
To be on the reserve list for our next 'hands-on' baking workshop, please send us a request through our Contact Us tab (in the More section), via facebook, or via Next Door. This will have very limited capacity due to recently revised social distancing rules.
Wed 29 July, 7.30pm: We held an on-line tour of Belshaws Quarry Nature Reserve and Sculpture Park and also of the Grand Choice funded Whitemountain Bee Hive project. The tour was via Zoom. Both audio tours are available at the following locations.
Late June: Thanks to all that took part in our 2nd ever survey (first was in 2011). The postal survey (via a SAE reply) had a strong return rate which was great. One lucky person won a food hamper.
Early June: Did you try your hand at growing summer flowers and lettuce?. See seed sheets that were posted out to households. Why not show your results on our facebook page.
Mid May: We created a Useful Information leaflet on the pandemic and posted it to all 220 households in our area. See below.