camphill mk bees

April
16

“In nature, nothing exists alone”.
— Rachel Carson, 1962

It’s Earth Day on 22nd April, and we’re helping to raise awareness of endangered species, namely bees!

At CMKC, we have a handful of beehives because they are vital to the balance in nature and our gardens and orchards.
new bee keeper lowBees are natural pollinators so without them; we would have no crops! No level of involvement by humans can replace our buzzy friends, and we wanted to tell you a little bit more about how vital they really are and what we can do to help their survival.

Wildlife is at constant threat from us – globalisation, pollution, destruction and so much more but there are a few things we can do to help our local bees thrive.

 

 

 

Here’s our guide to what you can do to help bees in your urban or country garden, allotment and even window box.

camphill mk gardensCut Out Pesticides

Stop (or reduce) chemical weed killers and pesticides – there are lots of natural pesticides on the market that do not use chemicals.  Try a few out; the bees will thank you.

 

 

 

Companion-Growing

camphill mk gardensCompanion-growing helps your plants thrive,  repels pesky bugs but it also attracts more pollinators.
Here are a few examples:
Planting calendula with broccoli is a match made in heaven because calendula produces a sticky substance that attracts aphids and traps them there, leaving the broccoli (almost) alone.
Growing Greek Basil alongside tomatoes is another companionship we love, the strong scent of the basil is off-putting to some pests, further reducing an attack on your plants. Basil also helps to improve the taste of the tomatoes so really; it’s a win-win situation.
Planting herbs, especially flowering ones in your garden, patch, allotment or balcony is beneficial because of its heavily scented.
Remember! Pests avoid strong aromas.

 

Dandelions Are Your Friends

Dandelions aren’t weeds, and really, they are powerful herbs in their own right and bees just love them. Don’t weed them out in early spring when not much else is in bloom, save them for the bees and other pollinators, and if you must remove them, consider their herbal benefits, as the whole plant – petals, leaves and roots can be consumed.

Establish a Meadow

If space allows, grow wildflowers. You’ll benefit from an abundance of colourful poppies, cornflowers, buttercups, red clovers, yarrow and other wild blooms but bees, birds and small animals will love them too.

IMG_1624

Introduce Hedgerows

One of the best sources of pollen and nectar for all pollinators are hedgerows.  Pussy willow and hawthorn will bloom in abundance in the spring and summer months. Hedgerows will also provide a safe breeding spot, so they’re not just a source of food, but will help our bees thrive.

Report a Swarm – Do Not Exterminate

Before calling pest control, please remember that every council across the UK has specially commissioned beekeepers who can collect bee swarms from your property. We need to save and protect our bees, not terminate them.

 

camphill mk honey

Honey Benefits

Honey is full of antioxidants and can improve cholesterol levels and is a superb alternative to refined sugar. It also contains acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids which help to fight free radicals in the body. We know it’s great with lemon for colds, but it can also help with hayfever and other pollen-related allergies. Because local honey is made with local pollen, it can help the body assimilate to pollen outbreaks alleviating symptoms.

Awareness & Education

Some of us are a little fearsome of bees, it’s natural, but they are not here to harm us. It’s a simple fact that without bees, humans would not exist. They are also endangered and face many challenges, so if you’re interested in nature and the environment, get to know bees a little better.
The British Bee Keepers Association is an excellent source of information, as is the Woodland Trust, and Friends of the Earth can help you identify them.

 

Bees at Camphill MK Communitiesearth day - bees wax cloths

You already know that we keep bees, and love that they help our gardens and orchards thrive. We also sell a small seasonal amount of honey in our Shop, serve it in our cafe, but also make beeswax products. In our Art & Craft Workshop, we have been making reusable wax cloths that we also sell in our shop, which is slowly but surely moving towards refill and zero-waste.

 

 

 

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Camphill Shop

April
12

Our inevitable goal is to reduce waste wherever we can!

We’ve been recycling, reusing and upcycling more than ever. With the run-up to Earth Day on 22nd April, we wanted to do even more and have introduced REFILL items to our wide range of ethical products in our Shop.

The idea is not only to sell household products that have less impact on the environment, but we also wanted to reduce the use of plastics! In our Shop, we now offer refills of Suma Clear & Simple and Faith in Nature body & hair products. We also have a range of refill Ecoleaf and Bio D. cleaning products.

Just refill your own bottles from home and don’t forget to label your containers to identify the liquid inside clearly.

Download our REFILL menu here – Refill Zero Waste.

Camphill MK Shop RefillHow it all works

We offer a refill service for the body care products listed above. Simply bring along any bottle or container of your choice. We will measure the capacity of the bottle using water then refill to the nearest 100ml with the body care product of your choice.

Alternatively, we have 5ltr bottles on sale for you to purchase outright and share with your friends and family. These products have great environmental and skin care credentials and offer a considerable saving both in money and plastic bottle waste.

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earth day pic

April
11

Earth Day was created in the 1970s to remind people to start taking care of the planet and protecting the environment.

It is celebrated on the 22nd of April and this day people sign petitions, go on demonstrations, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Twenty million people took part in the first Earth Day in 1970, and one hundred ninety-three countries celebrate Earth Day every year.

At Camphill, we have been making a lot of efforts too. Our garden team does a fantastic job of looking after our land, plants, gardens and bees. Our resident forum group together with our residents, co-workers and staff have been working hard to improve our standard of recycling and reducing our waste. Our craft workshop very often uses recycled material to create amazing artworks. We even have solar panels on our rooftops to try to be more self-sufficient and less wasteful.

Our shop sources ethical, fairtrade products and provides refillable household products like shampoo, washing up liquid. Our bakery uses natural yeast and organic ingredients whenever possible, and our café tries its best to source locally grown fruits and veg.

Last year Earth Day had the theme of ‘End Plastic Pollution, and at Camphill, we are conscious of plastic pollution too. Some of our houses have switched from buying bottled water to reusable water bottles, like Whitethorn.

We are facing many challenges as a species, and together, we can make a positive change and make our planet a better place for ourselves and many future generations to come.

(Written by Freddy P. and Lee S., with help from Jessica C. and Brittany A.)

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volunteers of camphill

April
9

We are looking to recruit a part-time Support Worker for our Tech Lab/IT & Newsletter Workshop for adults with learning disabilities.

Ideally you will have knowledge and skills in IT or journalism, and previous experience of working with adults or children with range of abilities. A caring attitude and a genuine interest in people reaching their full potential is essential, as you will be promoting person centered, therapeutic and educational activities. Relevant training will be provided.

Please visit the vacancy for full details and our workshop page for further info on the kind of things we get up to in the TechLab & Newsletter Workshop.

tech lab mix

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Camphill MK Communities

April
4

We continue to speak to our residents to find out what life is like at our community. We discuss challenges, the community, likes and more!

Read on to find out more about Helen and her life at CMKC.
CMKC: Where did you live before you came here?
HG: I lived with my parents in Milton Keynes. Before coming to Camphill, I tried another place, but it did not work out, so I moved back to my parents’ home.

CMKC: What were the most significant changes and challenges of moving to Camphill?
HG: There weren’t many challenges as I got on really well with the residents who were already living in Soltane House, especially Ali and Peter, who made me feel at home immediately and helped me to settle in fairly quickly. When I first moved in, I had a bedroom on the first floor. Climbing up the stairs was a little difficult, so as soon as a bedroom on the ground floor became available, I was able to move into it, and I’m pleased with the move.

CMKC: What do you like best about Camphill Milton Keynes?
HG: I really like the friendly people in Camphill.  My ’64 Club’ now is within walking distance, during the summer I often walk to the club with a member of staff. I’m still in close vicinity of my parents, and every week I go home once or twice to spend time with them as well as catch up with my extended family members. I’m also very happy that my parents can continue to take me to my ‘Wednesday Club’.
There are a lot of gatherings, parties and special events here, being a very sociable person, this kind of environment really suits me.

CMKC: What have you learned or achieved since coming here?
HG: I joined Emi’s craft workshop after moving here, at the moment I’m focusing on needlework. I think I have made quite a lot of improvement! In the meantime, I carry on attending my placement with McIntyre in Beanhill and Great Holm.

CMKC: What are your hopes and plans for the future?
HG: I’m happy with how things are at the moment and look forward to enjoying many more happy years in Camphill.

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Camphill Milton Keynes Communities, Japonica Lane, Willen Park, Milton Keynes, MK15 9JY.

Phone: 01908 235 000 Fax: 01908 235606

Camphill Café: 01908 308738