It’s been a while.

Autumn’s rolling on quite beautifully over at the allotments. With the uncertainty of building works, over the summer the beds have become quite neglected. But the lack of weeding has left behind a skeleton of interesting grasses, leftover green manures and magnificent seed heads. Nature has taken over in true permaculture style with the forrest garden area filled with apples, raspberries blackberries and plenty of perennial herbs.


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This year we are in contact with a wonderful community gardener. With Sarah’s help she has and will continue to provide regular workshops and tutorials for the group. It’s great to be able to have somebody so knowledgeable on board! Alongside Sarah we will also be having each semester a worksop from a team member at The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

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At the moment for the society we have been busy bees with planning and negotiations for the new space, the new plot will only be a stones throw away from the current one so the move will be pretty straight forward (fingers crossed!). It really is exciting for us and all this change provides the group with a fantastic opportunity to design a whole new space for growing, learning and hanging out. Hopefully we’ll be set up and ready to go for the new growing season in spring.  For more regular updates and news about workshops check out our Facebook group: The University Of Edinburgh Allotment and Permaculture Society .

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Sunday 22nd March – Kitchen Garden and AGM

The seedlings have started to germinate:
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The ‘make your own kitchen garden’ also worked well! Everybody got stuck in:
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The AGM also went well with a new committee. See facebook for details.

We will also be running a stall on 1st April at central and be giving away free seeds. Please keep an eye on facebook for details.

Wednesday 18th March – Planters

Today we spent some time dismantling some palettes in order to build the planters.
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Work went well, until we had pulled out loads of nails and screws:
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We then started to build the planters for Edinburgh’s Edible Garden – planters up somewhere in Central that are temporary and can be used to attract attention to the allotments and the problem we are facing now. Work went well!
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….Though we ran out of screws. Work will continue this weekend. It’s looking to be a pretty busy day this Sunday!

Sunday 15th March – Seeds and Surveys

Today it was predominantly planting of seeds that was happening:
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There have been quite a few seeds planted already. These include cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, kohl rabi and the onions:
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Nothing has germinated yet, but it is still early days. I will continue to take photos so we can see the change in our seedlings!

If you haven’t already, if you are an Edinburgh student, please fill in this survey about community growing. https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/commuity-growing This is to let the University know that we don’t want to lose our allotment, and that many people want to see the allotments moved to a new place once the new building is created. So the more people who fill in the survey the bigger our voice for moving the allotments to somewhere great!

Don’t forget that it is the AGM next week, and ‘Make your own kitchen garden’ day. Please come down and vote, and stand for a place if you would like. Everybody is welcome to stand and it is not formal – you don’t need to prepare a speech. Looking forward to seeing you soon! 🙂

Wednesday 4th March – KB Expansion Meeting

We’ve just found out that our beautiful allotment at KB will be turned into a construction site and road in September.
This means that now we’re going to need to fight for new spaces that are accessible for students and the university community to grow food. We think there are exciting ideas and proposals to be made, and we want to make sure we have as much power as possible to make sure the University can’t ignore this growing community.

So, the first thing everyone can do is join the society! It’s totally free and will help us show that there are lots of students who want to see the allotments continue.
JOIN HERE: http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/society/allotment_permacult/

Wednesday 25th February

Today there was not actually that much to do! We just fed the birds and then weeded around some of the dead stuff on the hill. Everything is looking ready for the next stage. There were even some signs of new life – the rosemary is doing really well.
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On Saturday (weather depending) I will get some compost ready for everyone on Sunday. We already have the new seeds. Looks like the fun starts this weekend!

Tuesday 17th February-Pruning Workshop

Today, in true Innovative Learning Week style, was the Pruning workshop. I started off by showing how to prune the apple trees. In general, this is done late winter/early spring, so now is a good time. The aim of pruning is to remove all damaged shoots and arrange the tree so that the most light gets into it. So if two shoots are crossing over each other and likely to get tangled, the weaker shoot should be cut off. Less than 25% of a tree should be removed though, as cutting opens places for fungi and infection to get in. After explaining this, everyone got started on pruning the trees.

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For blackcurrant bushes the aim is to create a sphere shape, again to get as much light onto the plant as possible. With raspberry canes, you should cut them back to the first year of growth.

Pruning helps trees, shrubs and bushes to be effective in the amount of fruit they are producing, which leads to a better crop.

We also cut the brambles back as they were strangling some of the smaller trees. The twigs have been piled on the side to create a home for hedgehogs.

Sunday 15th February-Weeding the Herb Spiral

First off, I’ve taken a photo of the lovely signs you all made last week:

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They just need nailing to the posts then they are ready to go!

Today we had lovely weather as well, and we worked on weeding the herb spiral.

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It is all looking very neat and tidy now. The seeds were also sorted and the Treasurer has sorted out buying all the the new seeds ready for this year. Is everyone ready for spring?

Sunday 8th February – Allotment Awakening!

Today was the big day – the first day of the year that everything started to happen again at the allotments 🙂

First of all we started by giving the inside of the polytunnel a new lease of life:

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There were lots of projects going on everywhere, including sourcing wood, building and painting signs, weeding and compost bin planning.

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We now have a new compost bin system!

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Later on in the day it started to get colder and dark…

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…but by the end was looking more beautiful than ever!

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At the end we moved onto painting new signs for the beds and sampling some home cooking. It was a beautiful day – let’s hope the weather stays this nice!

Sunday 1st February

Great meet up this afternoon!

We started by planning what will happen next week at the Allotment Re-Awakening. We then moved on to cleaning up the tools ready for the beginning of the season:

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A few newbies also came down so we dug over a few of the beds with the brassicas in them.

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Eventually though, it got too cold to stay as the sun went behind the trees. There has been a nice improvement though:

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The plan for next week is to have a sort of the compost and have a proper plan for what goes in which bin. There will also be building of new planters and sign painting! So if anyone wants to come along it is not just gardening next week  – it is art and building too!

If anyone has any compost you can bring that down too to start the new composting bins off  🙂 Next weeks plan looks great! 😛