The first 18 raised beds for Phase 3 are now in the process of being built.
03/11/09 Graham Bell, the CEO, and Jim Mullan, Commercial Manager, of Kibbleworks, Paisley, visited the Garden to see if they could use our model as a training tool for their clients..
NEWS FROM OTHER GARDENS
11/11/09 Grow Bute Visit- There is already a community market garden next to Rothesay. Now a group has formed to develop a Fairlie-style mini allotment garden.
07/11/09 Darwin Vermiculturists of Forres- There are 9 "pods" in their Community Garden. Each pod now has an insulated wormery so that they will have a good supply of lovely mineral- enriched wormcast for next season.
BONFIRE AND FIREWORKS
On Saturday 7th November, the Fairlie Gala Committee will be staging a bonfire and firework display located at the Garden. The Garden will be open from 18:00 onwards, the bonfire will be lit at 19:00 and the firework display will start at 19:30. There will be mulled wine, tea, coffee, cold drinks and sweets available.
There will be no entrance fee however donations will be gratefully accepted.
PHASE 3 GARDEN WORK
The new Polytunnel supply and build contract has been awarded on a three-quote best value basis and availability/post-construction support to Polytunnels Scotland, Ken Sommerville from the Perth area. Ron and Malcolm were present during the on-site consultation on size, location,build, quality etc.. Everyone was happy with the advice we received.
The location of the new 84ft. long tunnel meant that the normal raised-bed expansion area would be displaced to the sunny south side of the new polystructure and the newly strimmed area beside the original polytunnel and shed. This area has a lot of concrete platforms close to the surface.
The committee looked at all the different type of beds/costs/flexibility and the available growing space they offered as well as the soil-quality for growers. This was done within the budget constraints to match the current and anticipated demand on new beds. We also went to visit other allotments to compare durability/ease of repair and replacement. It was apparent that the original beds although very durable were too small at only 3ft. wide and 48sq. ft. of growing space. Also the original concept of members having a 3-bed plot to expand and rotate crops has devolved into individual beds or a mix of one or two from members/new applications. There has been plenty of good discussion with members on site and new applicants on these matters.
As a result the flexible choice for best value over a 5 year or longer period was to offer members two beds 8ft x 4ft (64sq ft.growing space )instead of the original type, i.e. 60 beds total. This gives the advantage of separating crops, increased growing space, and flexibilityof choice and location. Because the build is from recycled scaffoldwood it gives a low or`zero` carbon footprint. The recycled scaffold wood that will be used is all clean wood and the beds will be set up as before with impermeable membrane as a buffer from the original ground. Similarly in the polytunnels, there will be a series of 6ft by 2ft beds for growers to use. We had examples of the new type of bed delivered for members to look at and also give comments.
All quotes for new beds including using new preserved wood were looked at by our Sponsors CCF and Leader and also by the committee. The supply and build was awarded on a best value to Glasgow Wood Recycling and work is due to start soon on both projects. They deal with a lot of allotment groups and it is seen as a good new partnership which can also supply barrel planters and tubs for the garden. A chemical portaloo has been purchased for the site at present pending futher evaluation of`compost toilets.
Tree-planting and nursery growing is on-going at the site. The main Knotweed problem has been isolated in one unused area of the site and control treatment is also on-going. A foot of topsoil has been added to the new polytunnel/raised-bed area at the back of site. Funding support continues to come in from various sources and will be put to good use.
FUTURE GARDEN DATES
03/11/09 Graham Bell, the CEO of the Kibble Training organisation in Paisley, and Jim Mullen, his Enterprise Manager are visiting the Garden.
07/11/09 12 composting wormstock starter cultures are being delivered to a new section, the Darwin Vermiculturists of Forres who will operate within their Community Garden up there in Moray.
07/11/09 Fireworks and bonfire on the beach opposite the garden entrance organised by the Fairlie Gala Committee.
10/11/09 Rosslyn Miles, our Community Woodland Association officer, is coming back to the Garden to offer advice on the best tree planting scheme and programme for the Garden. Her suggestions will be circulated to all for comment/adoption.
11/11/09 Members of Grow Bute, a new community garden initiative in Rothesay, will visit the Garden. This is the second visit from this group.
27/11/09 Copenhagen Climate Conference countdown: The film "Age of Stupid" will be shown at 7pm. in the Parish Church. Poster advertising the film-show/meeting is here .
FAIRLIE GARDEN REPLICATION
Funding applications have now been submitted for gardens in Millport and Wemyss Bay. A new club, Grow Bute, is currently developing its design for a site in Rothesay.
GLASGOW SHETTLESTON COMMUNITY GROUP
Seamus Connolly of the Glasgow City Council Greenspace Team brought members of their Shettleston Community Group down to see our Garden.The area they have available to them is only the area of our Phase 1 beds but they see the Fairlie model giving access to all ability and age groups as being ideal for their purposes.
GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE
For some time the university has expressed an interest in carrying out research into our innovative Sustainable Food Production [SFP] process. Bill Gow from our offshoot Bothwell Growers assisted Ron Gilchrist on the day of the ShowCase. They were both kept fully engaged with attendees throughout the day. Some of these contacts have since requested further information.
FORRES TRANSITION TOWN COMMUNITY GARDEN
Forres won the Euro Village in Bloom Gold Medal this year. They are a Transition Town and are now starting their community garden on a huge site. Ron & Marion were up last weekend giving a Wormcast Production training course. The plots up there are circular "pods" - each operated by 3 families. This photo shows one pod packed with winter veg. Very impressive! It will be great if we can set up a Fairlie/Forres link.
COMMUNITY WOODLAND ASSOCIATION
OGF are now members of the CWA [ www.communitywoods.org ]. Our local officer is Rosslyn Mills who is an Auchincruive graduate. She visited our Garden and congratulated us on the quality of our produce. She has offered to help us with our tree planting programme and when we are putting the trees into the ground to show us the "tree dance".
FAIRLIE PARISH CHURCH THANKSGIVING SERVICE
We have had a wonderful ye ar in the Garden - new beds, new members and new growth everywhere. It was nice that we had the opportunity to show our appreciation. We had a spectacular basket of produce in front of the altar and a bigger display at the entrance to the Parish Church for the annual Thanksgiving Service. Afterwards the delicious and nutritious produce went to the Church of Scotland South Beach Retirement Home, Ardrossan. It was greatly appreciated by the residents.
JOINT AWARENESS EVENT 10/11/09
The OGF will be holding a joint 'awareness day' with the Fairlie FairTrade Initiative on Saturday October 10th from 11:00am-4.00pm in the Fairlie Parish Church rooms. The Fairlie Fairtrade Initiative will have a display with their new FairTrade catalogue produce and a display with their 'old produce' - all of which will be for sale. Tea/coffee/biscuits will be for sale all day and soup/bread and oatcakes with cheese will be for sale for lunch.There will also be a raffle. If any OGF members can help out with produce for the soup, make soup, help out on the day or set-up the previous evening would they please contact Ann Robinson.
CCF GATHERING STIRLING 2/9/09
Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, took quite some time to examine our display. On the day, he was particularly interested in its replication as the Fairlie-style Bothwell community garden project, the CCF funding award for which he had just announced. Other visitors to the display included Mike Small of the Fife Diet, Neil Anderson of the Newbridge Community Trust and, nearer home, Jonas Cromwell from the Neilston Development Trust.
LARGS FLOWER SHOW - FAIRLIE ORGANIC GARDEN EXHIBIT
Our exhibit at the Largs Flower Show was organised for us by Ann Robinson and Agnes & Alastair Ward. Well done to them on showing our produce and spreading the message on what can be done on a brown-field site!
THE ORGANIC GROWERS OF BOTHWELL
Their plans to build a Fairlie-style community garden on a derelict football pich were granted a full CCF award today. Congratulations Bothwell!
NEW FUNDING FOR THE ORGANIC GROWERS OF FAIRLIE
We have just received confirmation that the Organic Growers of Fairlie will be one of six North Ayrshire groups to receive funding from Ayrshire LEADER to assist in their projects. We will be receiving £12,048 to create additional raised beds, poly tunnels and paths.
CUMBRAE COMMUNITY GARDEN
Members of the gardening group from Millport visited the Garden on 13/8/09 and you can see their comments in the Visitors Book. They have already completed the design of their garden to be situated behind the Garrison building and are engaged in the funding exercise. It will be great to network with our neighbours across the water.
CARTS GREENSPACE VISIT
Twenty eight visitors from CARTS GREENSPACE visited the garden on 25/8/09 and managed to arrive just after one shower and then left just before the next shower. They were given a tour of the garden and poly-tunnel and several are off to build wormeries and hot-box composters. Our visitors book is now filled with comments such as 'wonderful' and 'inspirational'. (this was before the tea and biscuits!)
FAIRLIE GARDEN OPEN DAY
The Fairlie Organic Garden open day was held on Saturday 15th. August. After the torrential rain of the previous day and overnight, it stopped 30 minutes before the start much to everyone's relief. The paths were slightly muddy but this was no deterrent to an estimated 100 visitors who came to see the garden and were given garden tours and demonstrations on wormeries and hot-box composting. There was a display of hand-made furniture from Fairlie Furniture Works and a visiting owl and tortoise. Fair Trade produce from around the world together with Fair Trade jewellery was on sale. Fin's farmshop provided food to sample. A ranger from Kelburn Country Centre and a display of novel methods to re-use/recycle materials provided a lot of interest. An exhibition of old Fairlie pictures and postcards held people in long discussions of how Fairlie had changed over the years. Those who did come were eventually able to sit in the sunshine and enjoy the Kirk Cafe home baking, teas and coffees and Michelle's Fast Foods in the village Main Street provided hot rolls delivered to order, which were greatly enjoyed.
Click here or on the picture for a slide show of photographs taken during the open day.
LARGS GARDENERS VISIT
After a day of torrential rain the sun came out for 2 hours just when the Largs Gardeners came to visit the garden. They were shown around the garden and learned all about wormeries and hot-box composting. Afterwards they wandered around the garden and commented on the variety and vigour of the vegetables being grown. Shortly after they left the rain came on again so we must invite them to our open day if they can 'fix' the weather again!
Our village librarian has definitely been studying the gardening books in Fairlie library! (click on image for a larger picture)
The Western Regional Transition Town Gathering is to be held in West Kilbride on Saturday 11th. July. For further information download this poster and to register a place for this free event see this link .After the event the delegates have been invited to visit the Fairlie Garden.
ROYAL VISIT TO OUR GARDENING SCOTLAND 2009 EXHIBIT
A team from the Organic Gardeners of Fairlie built a small replica of the Fairlie Community Garden at the Gardening Scotland 2009 Show at Ingliston which was held on 29th-31st May at Ingliston. The exhibit included three raised-beds filled with vegetables grown in Fairlie, working hot-box composting boxes and and two wormeries. The writhing collection of worms was a great hit with most of the children but some of their mothers were not so sure.... Throughout the three days of the show there was a constant stream of gardeners interested in our processes with some probing questions. Many gardeners left with plans to build composters and wormeries including some husbands being told that they were "starting to build tomorrow".
The highlight of the weekend was a visit to the exhibit from H.R.H Princess Anne who spent some time with Ron Gilchrist learning about hot-box composting, wormeries and the techniques of waste recycling and building gardens on brown-field sites. There were also visits from the Scottish Minister of the Environment Roseanna Cunningham and Beechgrove Garden hosts Jim McColl and Carol Baxter. The team from Fairlie did a lot of talking!
The additional member of the team was a magnificant European Eagle Owl named Taz kindly loaned by World of Wings in Cumbernauld who were on an adjacent stand. (Taz may be useful if we ever have a rabbit problem?)
The Organic Gardeners of Fairlie are pleased to acknowledge the donation of £240 from the Rotary Club of Hunterston to purchase propagation tables. They will be used to equip our poly-tunnel to produce plants even earlier in the year! Ron Gilchrist and Neil Robertson attend a Rotary meeting in January and gave a presentation on vermi-culture and hotbox composting. As a result several Rotarians have built their own wormeries and are busy composting.
A HAPPY GARDENER
Early vegetables fresh out of the garden!
SOME HAPPY (AND VERY DIRTY!) GARDENER'S CHILDREN
Somehow the pile of builder's sand was more fun than digging in the beds.
Just look at all those new beds! The garden is a hive of activity as beds are allocated and the gardeners get digging.
GARDENING SCOTLAND SHOW 2009
Plans are well in place for our demonstration at the Gardening Scotland Show. We have a mention on the show web page and will have three of our beds built together with with wormeries and hot-boxes. These three beds are part of the garden expansion (see below).
CLIMATE CHALLENGE FUND (CCF) AWARD/GARDEN EXPANSION
The Fairlie Organic Gardeners have been awarded the sum of £47,492 by the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund to extend the garden and improve access. As a result of this award work has already started to build additional beds. Thirty four new beds have been built to date with a set of twenty-four beside the original group and a set of eighteen under construction. Three beds have been held back for use at the Gardening Scotland 2009 show at Ingliston and will be re-built in the garden after the show. So far thirty new beds have been allocated. An advert will be placed in the local newspaper to raise information/interest in the project/beds which are expected to be leased very soon. Two of the new front beds beside the slab path are already taken for gardeners requiring wheelchair access.
GARDENING SCOTLAND PREPARATIONS
At a meeting at Ingliston yesterday, it was decided that OGF should have a row of 3 beds right across the Back Garden arena. The show managers are confident that our demo garden will attract great interest. Our GS2009 group already have a lot of plants growing for the show. It would make our garden much more child friendly if we could have some colourful big flowers and butterflies, made from recycled plastic, and a scarecrow at the end of each bed. Would all those interested in this craftwork, please contact Nancy.
NEW DIGGING TECHNIQUES DEMONSTRATED?
and these beds were supposed to have been designed to give easy access????
PHASE II CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES
The construction continues with a slabbed path being laid from a new pedestrian gate to the potting shed and then on to the poly-tunnel. The interior of the potting shed is also being slabbed.
START OF PHASE II CONSTRUCTION
Caley Construction have started on the installation of an extension to the access road in the site in preparation for further development.This road is to allow easy wheelchair access direct to the plots andconsists of hard-core laid on plastic sheeting to prevent migration ofthe chemicals in the ground.
ZERO WASTE AND WASTE RECYCLING
Visit from Gordon Jackson, Leader of the Zero Waste Tean in the Scottish Executive, Iain Gulland, Director of the Waste Recycling Network Scotland, and Nicki Souter of the Community Recycling Network Scotland to discuss how best to enable groups across Scotland to set up similar community food production projects in their towns / villages.
SAGS - GROWING IN GLASGOW
Our new Presidents, Nancy and Malcolm MacQueen were invited to exhibit Lisa's photographic display to SAGS "Growing in Glasgow" in the Trades Hall, Ingram Street. They also showed a high-quality version of the video from the web-page. Such was the interest in our initiative that they were left with little time to attend the break-out sessions!
PHASE II APPROVAL AND GS2009 SHOWGARDEN
At a meeting at the Climate Challenge office in Stirling, progress was made in establishing our project partners for our showgarden at GS2009 and the development of the next phase of the garden was approved for immediate start.
VISITORS FROM PERTH
Six visitors from the South Perth Community Allotments Project visited our Garden on a beautiful sunny day and were extremely interested in our work and left a donation. Much appreciated.
Gardening Tip from S Perth Allotment Project ... If you want tightbrussel sprout buds, tramp down the soil surrounding the plants.
Trellis Scotland Annual Conference, Cardonald College. Reports were presented on wonderful garden projects which are operating princially for the benefit of disabvantaged groups. It was great to spend time with such wonderful people.
BIGGEST SPONSOR TO DATE TO CONTINUE SUPPORT
At a meeting at Hunterston "A", Magnox North / Energy Solutionsconfirmed that they would wish to be our on-going project partners andwould wish to feature at the Gardening Show as one of our sponsors.