Continuing with our series on our staff, our gardener/chef extraordinaire, Jacquie Pereira, talks about playing chicken with our neighbors….
There are a few reasons why stepping into Refshaleøen can sometimes feel like you’ve entered an alternate universe– the buildings generally don’t have that ‘Danish modern’ lustrous design and space feels like a vast dimension out here, at least to me. After a few months of making an almost daily journey to Refshaleøen, what i have come to associate the most with this place are not any of the above noted physical elements but, instead, its incredible sense of community.
From the days of the gardens inception, back in April, the feel of community was apparent. Everyone was so interested in what we were doing and welcoming. So welcoming, in fact, that it was sometimes difficult to gauge who was more excited about our opening-our little Amass team or our wonderful neighbours! Community is so important to me and thankfully it is to Matt as well. We often spoke about it during our afternoon sessions of moving around wheelbarrows of dirt together. Undoubtedly, we were going to embrace our new neighbourhood and try hard to make it even stronger. And, of course, it’s easy to take action when you’re surrounded by people who share similar goals with with you. Now, months later, this aspect of community is fast becoming an inherent part of our existence. For instance, the garden benches, cleverly constructed from recycled wooden palates were made by our neighbouring carpenters. We also developed a bit of a bartering system with them and exchange chicken sandwiches (a Friday staff meal tradition we seem to be cultivating) for their scrap wood to fuel our nightly bonfires. Additionally, we’ve started using Dale and Heidi’s ( a lovely pair who live on a houseboat close to us) honey on the menu after Dale stopped by one day to give us a jar– we tasted it and asked if we could have more! And then there’s Shadow, a little white and brown dog who comes running into the restaurant every now and again whenever he’s nearby and outsmarts the hold of his leash. We’re always thrilled to see him (even when he runs onto a bed of radishes!)
There are so many other characters and stories to make note of but, for now, I’ll leave things here. Come and see us sometime and meet the neighbours!