Organic Growers of Fairlie - Eco-Warriors


RSPB Bronze Award (January 2011) RSPB Bronze Award Presntation

As menioned in the report below, over the last year the Eco-Warriors have been working towards an RSPB Bronze Award . On Sunday 9th January at their latest winter meeting they were presented with their awards by one of our Fairlie Community Councillors Steve Graham who is also one of our keen gardeners. Well done!
Summary of Eco-Warriors 2010 Activities (January 2011)

This growing season has been a very busy and enjoyable one for the children. They had a very good crop of potatoes, cabbages, courgettes, brussel sprouts, carrots, peas and runner beans. The highlight always seems to be lifting and weighing the potatoes and there were certainly a lot of them this year. The vegetables were shared out among the children.

The children made silk painted cards, planted hyacinth bulbs, looked at pollination of the corn in the polytunnel, and drew pictures of wildflowers in the garden.

The RSPB has an action award scheme for children. For their bronze award the children have done identification of wildflowers in the garden, planted trees, put up nestboxes, done composting and made habitats for insects. They have also made environmental calendars with wildlife cut outs and pressed flowers they had collected. This was to spread the word about looking after the environment. An environmental poem was added to the calendar.

Besides all this they have collected wildflower and vegetable seeds for planting in the spring. They collected and dried herbs and made potpourri sachets for Christmas presents. They also collected calendula or marigold flowers and infused them in oil for a couple of weeks. After this it was drained off and they used it to make some calendula hand cream. They also made spore prints from fungi in the autumn.

On October 31 we had a great visit with the children to Lochwinnoch RSPB reserve which was a family day. The children enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders and identifying them. They worked in teams to make two different kinds of birdfood. After this the rangers brought in a log which they covered with fat and birdseeds. What a messy business that was. The ranger carried the log to the woods for the birds to feed on. They then built up a pile of logs for an insect habitat. We then had a spooky treasure hunt for things in the woods as it was Hallowe'en.

The children are meeting in the church millenium room over the winter and new members are welcome. See Calendar page for dates.
Latest Eco-Warriors News (June 2010)

The children enjoyed a chance to reuse, reduce and recycle by making very creative and imaginative things out of junk. It was truly wonderful to see the many wonderful and imaginative things the children created out of things that would be thrown away. This was thanks to Ann Gregory from the Eco committee at the church who did this with the children.

Some children also chose to make parachutes with men out of old carrier bags and do a colouring to make butterfly rings. The colouring competition was very popular and congratulations to all the winners of the robin and peacock butterfly colour-ins.
A small group of children went around the garden in search of worms, spiders, woodlice, aphids and a birds nest.

Thank you to everyone who helped and all the children who participated so enthusiastically. Ellen Gordon spent the day working magic with her face paints and a lot of children had very colourful faces. Thank you Ellen. Also, we were very fortunate in having Carmen Hall who brought her owl 'Magic' and tortoise which are always popular with the children.
Latest Eco-Warriors News (May 2010)
The list below shows the planned activities for the Eco-Warriors over the next few weeks...
  • May 9th. Gardening and making a bee hotel
  • May 16th. Gardening and soil testing
  • May 30th. Scarecrow making for the garden and bedsplus gardening
  • June 5th. Gardening and activity to be decided
  • June 20th. Gardening and activity to be decided may be related to the garden Open Day
Latest Eco-Warriors News (March 2010)
The children made a makeshift bird-table at the back of the garden to feed the birds who were struggling for food in January. They also met in February to make birdcakes to keep the birds warm and fed in the cold weather.

Here is their recipe:-
Take some cold fat/lard and to this add
  • Birdfood mixture- peanuts, sunflower seeds, wheat
  • A few raisins
  • Bits of old cheese and/or bacon
  • Some apple pieces
  • Bread crumbs Cooked rice or pasta
  • Bits of biscuits
All of the mixture is mixed together (not all ingredients are necessary). Put in a old margarine container or yoghurt pot  with a hole in the bottom to attach string to hang from a tree.
On Sunday 21st. March our Eco-Warriors met at the garden to plant thirty trees which had been donated to the garden by the Woodland Trust. This slide-show shows them choosing their trees and planting them as a shelter-belt.
Latest Eco-Warriors News (November 2009)

The children have been very busy this autumn with some interesting and challenging activities. A tree identification event was popular. This involved identifying trees in the garden by their leaf shapes and collecting a leaf of each tree. Everyone took home a leaf dial for future identification. Spore prints were made on paper from fungi collected in the garden. They planted hyacinth bulbs in plastic bottles adding stones, gravel and water. A fun time was had by all making a bug hotel, a nice cosy place for bugs to spend the winter. Leaves were placed in a container and it was covered and put along the side path to be opened in spring. We will count and record the number and types of insects for a survey.
Seven rowan trees were donated and the children planted them and put their names on them. November 28th. was a very cold and rainy day but that didn't stop the children attending. They all had coloured cards and had to find things in the garden that matched the colours. They made a bird-table and each child made and took home a cosy winter bottle with corrugated paper to use as a home for lacewings or ladybirds overwinter. They also played a game of trump with fungi cards. The children have started following activities which will lead over a year to each child receiving a gardening certificate from the Royal Caledonian Horticutural Society. Our next meeting is on Saturday , Dec. 5 from 11 to 12.

On a cold, damp miserable Saturday 5th December the Eco-Warriors took part (see slide-show above) in Tree o'clock which is a world Guinness Record tree planting event. This event was sponsored by Breathing Spaces.
Eco-Warriors News (May 2009)

A blue tit has taken residence in one of the three bluetit boxes made with the help of Cunningham Jack in December. Watch for developments!

The Warriors have been busy making scarecrows for our demonstration garden at the Gardening Scotland 2009 show. Since we have a sea-side garden one of them is in the form of a jellyfish.
Eco-Warriors News (March 2009)

With the cold winter weather the children were at the Millenium Room in the church finishing off their blue tit boxes and painting some lovely pictures of them with birds. Now we are trying to find sites where we can put up the boxes.
We have been busy getting ready for spring in the garden. The children have been filling up their space at the end of the polytunnel with planting potatoes in bags- epicures that that had been chitting forf irst earlies. They have also planted shallots, onions and peas in a red box to grow up a trellis at the back of the tunnel. Joan Cameron has given them a lovely garden diary in which they are recording what they have planted and when which will be used to keep track of what they produce. They are going to be planting some small flower beds at Fairlie Station with flowers. Their bed is producing some fine purple sprouting broccoli at the moment which they are taking home. They also used some of their own wormcast in it with their pea and onions planting. Malcolm had put seaweed in their bed over the winter to enrich it. So, they have a lot of growing fun to look forward to this spring.
Eco-Warriors News (December 2008)

It has been a busy time for the Eco warriors. We have made three bluetit boxes with the help of Cunningham Jack. They are just to be coated with a preservative and then we will find places to put them. Cunningham has made a very interesting tenement dwelling for bluetits with three different compartments for families. Apparently they are gregarious and like to nest in groups.
They have painted some lovely pictures of bluetits and are growing turnips, parsley, lettuce, red lettuce and rocket in the polytunnel which are all doing well. Twelve weeks ago the children put hyacinth bulbs in pots and buried them in their bed with sand covering them. They were prepared bulbs meant to flower at Christmas. This week they decorated pots to replant them and took them home. They will need to be kept in a cold room for a couple of days to acclimatize and then placed in a warm sunny place. So good luck with that and I hope everyone will have flowers for Christmas or New Year. In the polytunnel the children are growing turnips, parsley, lettuce, raddichio and rocket which are all doing nicely.
Our next meeting will on the last Sunday in January.

The Eco Warriors is a small group of young gardeners who are growing vegetables in their own bed which was donated by Caley Construction.

 In this first year they have harvested, from plants grown by themselves or donated, lettuce, radishes, cauliflower, celery and leeks with broccoli still to come.
 Next season they will be able to choose their own seeds to grow plants in the polytunnel for spring planting in the bed. With a weeding session at the end of each meeting they are learning to maintain the bed.
  As well as gardening and learning about wormcast and composting we are doing arts and crafts with a nature or gardening theme. 
 At the moment we are painting wildlife and making bird boxes for blue tits.  We have been gardening for wildlife too - planting wildflower seeds and bulbs to benefit birds, bees and butterflies.
  The children have their own area which was kindly created by a work party where they have their den with a table inside to work on; an old horsebox which they can decorate.
  There is a small tree nursery beside it which they are looking after.  We hope to create a mini pond for creatures and do a mosaic for the garden with shells from the beach.
 At the moment there are only a few members of middle primary to early secondary school age, though any boy or girl of five or older is welcome.  There is no charge and membership of parents is not a necessary requirement.

  We meet every two weeks on a Sunday at two p.m. in the winter either in the Millenium room or garden depending on the weather. (see Calendar page for dates and times)

Contact Nancy Macqueen via Contact Us link
Suggestions are always welcome
Organic Growers of Fairlie - Eco-Warriors
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