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I remember as a child feeling curiously excited when I caught the first smell of autumn in the air. It may be something to do with having an autumn birthday, or fireworks night, or Halloween, or simply wrapping up warm and eating comforting food.

Children are discovering the world around them for the first time and each autumn is a fresh surprise of chilly days, earthy smells, berries mushrooms and nuts, some you can eat and some you most definitely cannot. And the trees! It’s wonderful to see their leaves turn colour.

A tree you never noticed before suddenly turns the most magical, fairy tale, brilliant yellow and its leaves fall like drips of gold into the grass below.

A bit over overgrown brick wall surprisingly and briefly becomes a blazing crimson tapestry.

These miracles last for the shortest of times, they are come and gone in an instant and are all the more precious for the fact that their time is so brief.

Every year I gather a few leaves, usually wet with soft rain when I pick them up so that they gleam with intense colour. Then, in a few hours, they crisp and fade and become ordinary and get thrown away because they are making a mess.

I have looked for ways to preserve them for a little bit longer.

I have pressed them between the pages of heavy books and left them for a week or so. I have used a flower press. Both of these methods preserve something of the glorious moments of autumn, even if the leaves fragile delicate when you take them from the press or book.

This year I have picked up some leaves on my little trips out into the world. It is such a strange year, that I feel that I need to savour every wonderful moment of it.

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So here is a method of preserving leaves that I am trying out for the first time.

I don’t know if it will work yet, but fingers crossed.

Enjoy every moment of this beautiful season.

1/2 cup of glycerine mixed well with 1 cup of water.

On each of your beautiful leaves, make a cut in the stem so that it can absorb the mixture more easily. Put them in a sealable plastic bag, nice and flat and add the glycerine water. Seal up the bag and lay it flat for about three days. The leaves are supposed to come out supple, with their colours well preserved.

You can buy glycerine from your chemist for under three pounds for 200ml


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Following our successful holiday crafting Green Care taster sessions, we ran two further sessions on the farm this January. The first got everyone making their own bread and butter (fun and tasty!). A big thanks to all who joined us and made the event possible! Our second session involved giving our donkeys a pamper session including grooming and walking the two jacks. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves, we know our donkeys certainly did!

For a bit more about this partnership and the Green Care Programme see the flyer below and be sure to follow Tower Hamlets Green Care on Twitter!


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Over the course of an afternoon a pile of flat packed cardboard boxes was transformed into a colourful city. Dream like houses with roofs made from umbrellas and rainbow organza popped up over the farm. Buckets of paint got sloshed over the grass as the children painted the walls of their paper houses with the care of professional painters. This was the second of our free Wednesday Funday events, come down next week for our Go Wild at Mudchute Day starting at 11am and going on till 3pm.