Family Workshop Summer Buzz

Welcome to Summer Buzz – Saturday 25th July 2020

Thank you for visiting. We’re normally in Okehampton’s wonderful EcoHub every month but due to COVID restrictions we can’t so we’ve gone online! We may be able to start working with small groups there from September so do check the website for more details about this in late August.

Every where in the garden there is the hummmm and buzzz of busy pollinators. Our neighbour Emily has recently become a bee keeper and we’ve been enjoying watching the bees visit the flowers in our garden.All the pollinators have been doing what they do best and the results of this are appearing everywhere with an abundance of vegetables ready for us to harvest and cook for this workshop. Find our top tips for things to do in the garden/containers this month, play the pollinators game, make some beeswax and pine cone bees and hear Kevin’s story of “Tell it to the Bees”

The new moon that started on July 20th is the Grain or Hazel Moon with the Full Moon on August 3rd. August 1st is “Lammas” which is a sign of the coming of Autumn and a celebration of the first grain harvest. In our next workshop “Summer Harvest” we will use some of the first grains to make bread and the stalk to make corn dollies.

We hope you enjoy our Summer Buzz workshop. Do contribute to our bee display that we are putting in our notice board outside the shop and online.

In this workshop ..

Growing: + Pollinators + Beekeeper + Harvesting potatoes + Garden Jobs Cooking: + Courgettes and Runner Beans + Blackberries Creating: + Making bees + Bees for the hive Storytime: + Tell it to the Bees

Growing: Meet the Bees and the Beekeeper

Patti the beekeeper at work checking the beeswax frames in her bee hives. She’s got her beekeeper suite on to protect her.

Bees at work in our garden foraging for pollen and nectar in the clover

Bees going in and out of the hive to forage for nectar. This little video was taken by Andrew the bee keeper in the organicARTS community garden.

Did you know that bees like to have a drink? Andrew filmed these down by the pond.

Honey to eat raw and local!

Beeswax to make candles, models, polish, beeswax wraps and more …

Want to find out more and try a reading game then go to our page here

Growing: Match the Bees

There are many different types of bees. Discover some of them in this game

One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators. Buglife

In this game click the nasturtium cards to find different bees. Find two cards the same to match them and discover which type of bee it is.

Lots more information can be found on the Friends of the Earth campaign pages The Bee Cause

Big thank you to the artist Chris Shields for letting us use his lovely bee images. See more of his work at

Growing: Other pollinators

Everyone knows that bees are pollinators but what other pollinators are there? Who is doing the pollinating on the left? I wonder what creatures you can find on the right?

Find out more about other pollinators here

Bit unsure what pollinators do? The Eden Project has a nice image here

Can people be pollinators? Have a peep!

Who can be a pollinator?


Who can be a pollinator?


Who can be a pollinator?


Who can be a pollinator?


Growing : Harvesting Beans and Courgettes

These are the beans and courgettes that we grew in the polytunnel and planted out in late May

Cooking: Beans and Courgettes

Chargrilled Courgettes, Runner Beans and Ricotta

A summer feast


  • 50 g mixed seeds
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes or adapt to your taste
  • ½ lemon zested and juiced
  • 250 g ricotta for a vegan ricotta recipe follow the link below
  • 3 courgettes thickly sliced on the diagonal
  • 400 g runner beans
  • 3 tbsp good-quality olive oil plus extra to serve
  • edible flowers to decorate (optional) we used nasturiums


  • Toast the seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop, then stir in the honey, chilli and a good pinch of sea salt. Once all the seeds are sticky and forming clusters, tip out onto a piece of baking parchment and leave to cool. Mix the lemon zest and some salt and pepper into the ricotta and set aside.
  • Toss the courgettes and runner beans in the oil, then season. Ask a grown up to cook these on the BBQ or in a pan. Cook the veg in batches until it is charred and softened but still a little crunchy.
  • Spread the ricotta along the bottom of a large sharing platter and top with the veg. Squeeze over the lemon juice, then scatter over the honeyed seeds. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of sea salt, then dot with edible flowers for colourful wow factor, if you like.

Find the recipe for Vegan Cashew Ricotta Cheese here

Growing: Harvesting potatoes

We planted these back in April!


BBQ'd New Potatoes


  • New potatoes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil


  • Dig up your potatoes (or buy them from a shop) and scrub them
  • Cut them into thin slices and push them onto a stick like a potato kebab
  • Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Cook them on the BBQ

Growing: Garden Jobs – Top tips for the month!

  • Look after your soil – water well and cover all bare soil with mulches to prevent moisture loss ie Newspaper covered in grass clippings, a light layer of compost,last years leaf mould etc
  • Check your compost heap -Ensure you have 50/50 of green(nitrogen rich) and brown (carbon rich). Water well if dry and add cardboard if too wet. Nettles and comfrey will help speed up the decomposition process.
  • Save Water – Have a bucket on hand in your kitchen to put water used for vegetable washing in ready to take out to water containers/the garden.
  • Herbs -let your herbs flower to encourage and feed pollinators
  • Tomatoes– continue to tie on your tomatoes and keep pinching out side shoots. Feed with a liquid comfrey feed or place chopped comfrey leaves around the base of the plant. Learn more about comfrey here
  • Seed Saving-There are plenty of things going to seed now that you can save in brown paper bags ready to use next year or to scatter in the autumn depending on what you are saving. When gathering seed make sure it is from a place where there is a plentiful supply.Be thankful to the plant they are coming from. Gather when it is dry. Record the date and where you collected the seed for future reference.To learn more about seed saving visit Vital Seeds who are running an online course.
  • Plant Winter Lettuce, Turnips, Rocket and Spring Onions
  • Try sowing Winter Purslane – “A true winter crop which thrives in the cool damp UK winter!” say Vital Seeds . Find out more here We are going to be trying this!
  • Take Action for Insects The Wildlife Trusts have a free guide to help you take action here

Winter Purslane
Dried Chive seeds

Wildfood: Blackberries!

Pollinating going on in the blackberry flowers!
I think those pollinators have done their job. The fruit has arrived!

No cooking needed here!! The first blackberries are ripe and ready. Which colour would you pick though?

Always pick them away from where dogs are walked and not right close to the ground. Watch out for when the black bubbles have burst. It means the flies have got to them. Remember to wash them before … eating!

Of course you could cook them with a little water and a dollop of honey and mix in some cream … yummy!

Creating: Bees

..with alder cones, birch bark and wool

..with beeswax

No beeswax? If you are in Okehampton pop into the Harvest Shop and we’ll give you some! If you feel like an adventure visit the National Bee Supplies in Okehampton. They stock everything to do with beekeeping!

Creating: Bees for the beehive

We are looking for some bees for the Community Notice Board outside our shop in Red Lion Yard.

Can you help by painting or drawing a bee? They will be displayed in a honeycomb made up of hexagons. Each bee should be about 8-10 cm long. We have hexagon frame to download here

Email us or drop your pictures into the Harvest Farm Shop.

Story: Tell it to the Bees!

Telling the bees is an old tradition. If bees are not kept up to date with all the family news then bad things will happen. Maybe bees will leave the hive or stop making honey. The images below show people telling the bees the news. What would you tell them?

Kevin’s story has been borrowed from Margaret Greaves’ lovely book Magic from the Ground and merged with other traditional stories.

We hope you have enjoyed the family workshop. Look out for the next workshop.

Thank you to Learn Devon for funding the Family Workshops and Growing Plot Project


Thank you to Okehampton United Charities for funding our education and community program of activity