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Community? Alive and well. Think Job Clubs, Timebank and Funnuity.

Earlier in the year with a ton of practical jobs looming, a few friends and I decided to set up a Job Club. Big tasks can sometimes be a little overwhelming and hence get procrastinated or aren’t enjoyable. I’ve been aware of this for ages but thought that it might just be my issue or I just couldn’t see a way around it. However, Leo, over at the lovely blog Zen Habits talks a lot about us all (human beings) suffering the same problems. I guess understanding this on an intellectual level is the easy bit, making the emotional leap is different.

I had noticed however that people, including myself, often struggle with the amount and nature of certain tasks. I know from my years of working in gardens that having company can make things rock along just fine. Not that I’m knocking the solitary sphere, just that sometimes many hands do make light work. Which is another point made over at Zen Habits Sea Change – the usefulness of making habits social.


Tulip Paul Scherer and Spring Green

The idea is that we all go over to one persons house and set about the chosen job for a few hours plus social breaks. We’re running the Job Club on a credit system, as not everyone is around all of the time. I’m in charge of the spreadsheet, oohps better get on with that…

I was luckily the first name to be drawn (not fixed, honestly your honour) and five of us tackled the weeding and sorting of my polytunnel and assembled some wooden staging I’d bought. I forgot to take pictures I was so excited about getting stuff done – and the homemade cake which turned up with two participants. It only took about 3 hours on a Saturday morning which left the rest of the day free. Yesterday we went to P’s, she needed her garden sorting out.

Meanwhile, back at the farm…

Yes, you just relax

Don’t get up, you just relax

That's right

That’s right

As you can see the cows have been enjoying all this fine weather too, though they are slightly miffed that I won’t let them have more grass as I am trying to keep them slim for the AI in May.

Anyway, I was telling my brother-in-law about the job club and he told me about the organisation Timebank where people swap skills, simply an hour for an hour. What a good idea. I know these kind of schemes have been going for years, but they seemed in the old days, though innovative, dominated by people who offered theraputic massage and other such healing things, which didn’t really get you very far when you needed a plumber. Or an architect. Or an IT specialist. Fast forward a few years and it’s gone a bit more mainstream and you can find out all about it here. I’m sure the internet has been totally transformative for things like this. I think I might sign up.

Our pole barn finally died in the winter storms. We will be putting up a new barn (all being well with the planners) soon

Our pole barn finally died in the winter storms. We will be putting up a new barn (all being well with the planners) soon.


Some of the unusable wood sawn for next winter. We’ll put it in the closed stove as it will spit like mad. It burns fast so excellent for heating water quickly.

Despite the sunshine the trees still looks pretty wintry down here.

Now on to Funnuity, I bet you’ve been intrigued about that. It’s a social enterprise blog/project set up to tackle the challenges of retirement without a huge pension pot…

The future should never feel more like a threat than an opportunity. That’s the starting point for funnuity – making lives worth living at any age’ 

With a huge aging population in most affluent countries the challenge to carry on living well into old age is a hot topic. There’s some great ideas on there for making extra cash and it’s just at the start of its life so expect lots of interesting posts about innovative ways to live into retirement.

Enjoy earning in later life!



The Perennial stall is up and running again. I’ve now got a plant hospital as well as growing from scratch – rescues from other gardens. The charity is trying to raise an extra £175,000 this year. Some friends and I are planning a coast to coast walk in August in Cornwall, hopefully we can contribute something to the pot after our effort…it’s not a massively long one, just 3 days. Better get into training nevertheless. Wish me luck!



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