In May we said good-bye to Su and Darren.
Su worked for five years in the Café, cooking breakfasts, and baking cakes, and also making ready meals and jams and chutneys for sale in the Farm Shop. Her steady presence and friendly greetings welcomed everyone. You might also have seen her walking her dog, Sid, around the farm. Su has moved to Derbyshire to work in catering for a wedding venue. We wish her well!
Darren, the man who fell in love with Vicars Orchard.
About 3 years ago, Darren was mainly working in horticulture and coordinating the intern program. He took a well-deserved break and went to visit his family in Australia. On that trip he decided his time had come to return to Australia for good. He came back to sort everything out after living in the UK for about 10 years. One evening he strolled around the farm and ended up in Vicars Orchard in bloom and witnessed a beautiful sunset. The beauty of the orchard and the potential gripped him and he decided to stay. The ticket to return home to Australia (not a cheap affair) was left unused and Darren started sorting out the orchard that had been mainly left to its own devices since 2008.
Darren passion for the orchard and knowledge inspired others to get involved and Vicars Orchard in 2017 is definitely something to be proud of!
The Quiet Aussie
Quiet he may have been, but his presence is missed, not least by the Horticulture Team. Darren took over from me as Leader in horticulture last July, where he used his considerable experience in several countries to continue and improve what is grown in our tunnels and fields; he nurtured the orchard with knowledge and passion. Darren’s innate caring nature encompassed all at the farm, with particular emphasis on the interns for whom he felt a sense of responsibility which included irritation at their untidy habits!
My lasting memory of Darren is our ‘walk and talk’ times when we took the two dogs belonging to Emma and Tim and my black lab for a wander in the woods. Our conversations went beyond horticulture and we got to know each other in greater depth, and to talk about Oz where I used to live too. Darren had to leave his lab behind when he first came here and Daisy and I hope he will get another companion soon.
This picture shows how stressful our weekly coffee and cakes meetings were! Eva has now taken over as Leader.
Good-on-ya Darren, Eva and I wish you well.