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The annual open day at Oak Tree Farm Rural Project was really like a small village fete and even had the Stone Town Mayor draped with his splendid golden, chain of office, to open the events along with a young lady PCSO who was there keeping an eye on him to see that he didn’t get into any trouble! All the usual things found at fetes were there including; - a tombola, second hand books stall, a Bric-A- Brac stand, handmade jewellery and cards, a table full of bulbs to sell, the obligatory barbecue with burgers and hot dogs and next to it a little cake shop that was also selling cans of pop. Lots of plants from the nursery were being sold, at great prices, including dozens of Pansies in 6 packs in full flower and big, cheap, bags of compost. Obviously the Pottery shop was open and full to the gunnels with all sorts of things including wooden tubs and there were planted bowls and baskets outside. The café was busy with the staff serving hungry and thirsty visitors all the time. In preparation for the event the animals had been cleaned out and looked as if they had all been neatly washed and scrubbed!

Having said all that the day was not only a fundraiser, but also intended to promote the charity and show visitors what they were all about, so there was a lot of meeting and greeting as well. With this in mind there was a display in one of the rooms of intricate Lego machines that had been assembled by one of the youngster and another demonstration by a young lad showing “Potting Techniques,” with various plants.

The whole atmosphere was one of relaxed friendliness with people casually strolling around the site, exploring the various buildings and looking round the greenhouses. A little canned music could be heard in the background for a while until it was replaced by one of the volunteers playing an accordion that added an even more relaxed feel to the day! The car park was only used for disabled people and for loading purchases, but a much bigger field, close by, was opened up for parking and they needed it, because of the fantastic attendance. The charity couldn’t have asked for better weather for the event as there was glorious unbroken sunshine all day long. When visitors walked onto the site, Tickets were sold to them for a prize raffle that was held at the end of the day, which rounded off the event.

As a volunteer, it was an enjoyable day out, so I am looking forwards to the next event that will be a Christmas Sale in December followed by a big Spring plant sale a few months later.

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