The Background to the Project
Fairlie is a wee village with a big heart. It was the first Fair Trade village in Scotland. The Parish Church is the only Eco-Congregation in the Presbytery. We were concerned about Climate Change and nutrition-based health problems. We had been on the “Cut the Carbon March” and were lobbying our MP about the proposed Climate Change Bill but it was TIME FOR ACTION too.
In December 2006, the Eco-Village group decided we should each learn to bury our carbon [organic] waste into the ground where it should be. Garden waste would be composted and kitchen waste buried in our own design of wooden doorstep wormeries. The essential trace elements which are missing from the food chain would be incorporated into the process with basaltic rockdust. The resultant mineral-enriched wormcast proved to be an exceptionally potent fertiliser which has used to grow delicious and nutritious fruit, herbs, salads and vegetables.
We also designed sturdy Playground Wormeries for all the primary schools in our cluster. The children were diligent worm farmers and loved the taste of the food they grew in their own raised bed and containers. As a result Kelburn Primary School, Largs, won the coveted Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. Already some of the pupils are telling their partner schools in Malawi about their waste-to-food process.
In May 2008, the Organic Growers of Fairlie gained access to the old boatyard site and developed the Community Garden. The Fairlie Raised Bed Mini Allotments design was used to give better access for people of all abilities and to enable us really work the soil intensively, develop exceptional soil fertility and thus maximum food production.
The Boatyard.........................becomes............................. The Garden
Compost was matured in plastic compost bins but materials were first sanitised and softened in our own design of Fairlie HotBox system. Grass, hedge clippings, cardboard and wood chip, with added Rockdust, when mixed properly generate 60oC overnight in the sealed chambers. The soggy product is good food for our vermiculture units (wormeries). The worms work hard breaking down this matter and the resultant wormcast grows healthy, vigorous plants ... and lots of tasty food.