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Hello English language learners and friends of Blue Noun English Language School Perthshire Today we’re going to talk about our Meet the Makers Immersion English programme and we’ll introduce you to our friends at  Tomnah’a’s Market Garden.

Over the last few months, our English language hub has been delighted to help distribute Tomnah’a’s naturally grown veg boxes to Crieff folks (who pick up from our language school). It’s been a strange and awful year, and we were happy to have our great learning space being used for something as useful as getting fresh, naturally grown produce to our local community.

What started as a moment of generosity has got me thinking! It’s now our plan to develop our partnership with Tomnah’a, with our English language participants running a pop up shop inside Blue Noun on a Saturday morning.

The idea is  that local people would pick up preordered veg – and we would have pop up arts and crafts for sale too.


As it’s our philosophy to offer genuinely immersive English language practice while at our school. What could be better than running a shop for a morning? 

For now, like so many things, that idea is on the back burner.

As a thank you for lending out our space, Tomnah’a invited us for a seasonal wreath making workshop at the gorgeously rustic Wedding ‘Barn’ at Comrie Croft.

Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
The Autumn Wreath-Making Workshop began with a demo by Cristy.

Meet the Makers | Tomnah’a Market Garden

As well as producing a whole lot of delicious veg for the region, Tomnah’a Market Garden grow organic flowers which supply Comrie Croft Farm Shop, local and national florists as well as regional weddings and funerals. Fresh flower season ends with the first frost (which came quite early this year). The remaining field of flowers are quickly picked and dried: to be used in the autumn wreaths that Tomnah’a sell from various locations*, from now until Christmas wreath season begins.
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Veg box from Tomanh’a Market Garden
professional development tips Pickled people Remake Scrap Store
Flowers growing in Tomnah’a Market Garden

Meet the Makers Immersion English | Autumn Wreath Making

Tomnah’a’s autumn wreaths are constructed with either an entwined ring of coloured willow sticks or thin birch branches – both also sourced from their farm. The workshop began with a demonstration of how to make both types of base, then we were invited to help ourselves to the generous selection of branches, preserved flowers and foliage to weave in (organic purists) or glue into our design.
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Many of the wreaths made by Tomnah’a were laid out on display for inspiration and reference.
A short film (stop motion) showing Cristy’s demo of how to construct the bases.

A generous, beautiful selection of dried flowers to work with

Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
These silvery seed pods are called Honesty because they are so translucent you can count the number of seeds within them.

Design and make your own autumn wreath

I say design as we were advised to plan a little in advance – but the experience was completely outside anything I’ve made before (plus, why change the habit of a lifetime?). A few sneaky glances at Lolie showed her racing away twisting different coloured willow sticks like a pro. I opted for birch. In fact, Cristy had prepared a few birch bases already, and I had found them quite lovely as they were: I wasn’t sure that after wrestling my branches into shape, I would want to add much at all.
 
Gardeners know the pleasure flowers can hold: I generally take a similar pleasure from walking (or photographing) nature, but I’m more often rattling through it than contemplating it closely.
 
Wreath making was like holding autumn in my hand. It was an honour to treasure those yellowed beech branches and shape them into something lasting. Searching the full tables to find the particular flowers, fir cones and leaves my wreath ‘needed’ was to grow in admiration for every splendid detail of nature.
 
Finally, I ended up adding a fair few bits and pieces: in particular fir cones, poppy heads, sycamore leaves, dried flowers and beautiful, silver honesty seed pods. I’m still very proud of my effort, but it is only special because of its spectacular contents: what you get with Tomnah’a wreaths are a much more artfully presented circle of wonder.

Here’s mine!

Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Ruth’s wreath
(that is difficult for even a native English speaker to say!)
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Lolie making her wreath

Hear from Lolie, Blue Noun ambassador and language coach

 
“On Monday morning I woke up to a beautiful autumnal day. Autumn in Scotland is one of my favorite times of the year. The pallet of colours that are painted in the leaves across the horizon is Mother Nature’s way of welcoming in winter and saying adjure until the first colours of spring appear.
 
We took the bus from Crieff high street through to Comrie Croft for a morning of wreath making. When we entered the barn we were welcomed with the colours of summer captured in the dried flowers, lichen and willow sticks that we would be using to make our wreaths”.
English Language Immersion Holiday Scotland Halloween 2020 English Language Hub
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
“After months of sheltering and lockdown it was just a joy to be able to share creative time and space again with people who shared a love for nature and enjoyed the simple pleasure of making something with your hands. For three hours the worries of the world were kept at bay and I realised how much I missed the peace and tranquility that comes with making something.
 
I now have a beautiful wreath hanging on my wall, made with the inspiration of friends and the colors of nature from Tomnah’s Market Garden. My wreath will always remind me of this wonderful autumnal day and that in worrisome times we can always create joy with nature and friendship as our inspiration”.
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden

Meet the Makers Immersion English | Autumn Wreath Making

During the  Autumn Wreath Workshop, Tomnah’a’s Cristy and Judith were also working on producing wreaths to sell.
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden
But they were on hand to offer advice at every stage
Meet the Makers Immersion English Autumn Wreath Making Tomnah'a Market Garden

Further information

At Blue Noun, we love a good craft workshop – and organise them for our visiting English learners as a fun way to engage and learn English. Our Meet the Makers immersion English course is pretty unique in offering a good number of genuine meetings with creative makers and producers to practice English in professional contexts. 
This workshop was a total hit!
Thank you Tomnah’a!
 
Find out more about Tomnah’a Market Garden here
 
Looking to hire a venue? Find out about Comrie Croft’s beautiful barn here.
 

* If you are a business in Perthshire and could stock Tomnah’as’ wreaths – please contact them as they are looking for more sales venues.

 

Live language learning! 

Blue Noun English Language Challenge

We hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of a Blue Noun Meet the Makers immersion English Workshop.

We cover a broad range of topics in our language school blogs – some a lighthearted look at Scotland, others an in-depth look at art and culture. There’s something for everyone.

If you like all things natural, you might want to read our English tips blog:

English Tips | Essential Oils for Learning a Foreign Language

Your Blue Noun English Language Challenge is:

Use the comment section below to tell us about: a superb workshop

 

What did you learn?  What made it so great? 

 

Write as much as you like, and if you would like us to check &  correct your English, write CP  (correct please) at the end.

 

Live language learning!

 

“A superb workshop