12th April 2021 Tom O'Kane


Lizzy, I hope you don’t mind me stealing these pictures from ‘Petallica Flower Farm’ Instagram page!

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a while. I want to celebrate Lizzy as such a key part of what makes Cae Tan a success.

Lizzy has been with us since the beginning. She came as a trainee originally, knowing nothing about horticulture & now works alongside me on equal footing. In fact this season she is at the field more than me as I am taking time to establish a CSA training programme & to support more trainees & new projects to set up.

As well as juggling the work at Cae Tan with its volunteers & trainees, she’s also set up Petallica Flower Farm……with the support of Boz!!

I recognise that although Cae Tan has been my baby, Lizzy has been there throughout its development, working incredibly hard, taking her own initiative & always being welcoming & supportive to the Cae Tan community.

Other trainees have come & then moved on with our support to set up their own enterprises, which shines a light on them and their abilities as individuals. But in Lizzy’s case, she has stayed with Cae Tan and to some degree has stayed in my shadow.

Our trainees and volunteers are always in awe of Lizzy as both physically & mentally she is quicker than any of us. I remember seven years ago when we interviewed people for the position. Myself & Ceri had devised a practical session as part of the interview, where we got each interviewee to climb over a rusty barbed wire fence to knock some posts in the other side. Some people really struggled to get over & we had to help them. (I don’t think anyone was injured in the process?!) When it was Lizzy’s turn she waited for me and Ceri to clamber over, then put one hand on a post a leapt neatly & effortlessly over! Me and Ceri nodded to each other. ‘Thats the one we want!’

A big part of being a grower for a CSA like Cae Tan is that we are recognised and valued within the community we grow for. Lizzy has has grown as a person in her time with us & equally has helped Cae Tan, its trainees & volunteers to grow in a healthy & beautiful way themselves.

There’s no certificate or public recognition for what Lizzy has learned and achieved in the past seven years, so I hope these few words will make people a little more aware of her.

P.S. If you want to show your gratitude she does like real ales, good coffee & good chocolate!

Thankyou Lizzy, I’m lucky to work alongside you.