Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Scottish Orchards Gathering

The Scottish Orchards event in the Royal Botanic Gardens on the 16th of June was quite a remarkable place to be. The dark rain clouds hanging over the capital all day did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 100 plus delegates who listened to a wide range of speakers who outlined their projects and their hopes for furthering the cause of fruit growing in Scotland.

Two MSPs were present to give their support after the introduction by John Hancox and then there was a talk by Dr Jim Paterson of the Entire Kintyre campaign. Over 1400 fruit trees have been planted on the Kintyre peninsula. Jim has a vision of such regional orchards all over Scotland. I attended his workshop in the afternoon to find out more about his project. He simply began by asking schools, housing associations and other public bodies and voluntary groups if they would like some trees and if they could donate funds to the campaign. It worked remarkably well and is still continuing as those participating come up with more funds for trees.

Interesting too was Charles Winstanley, chair of NHS Lothian who talked about the creation of community gardens on NHS land for fruit and veg growing. The only drawback here are short-term leases as the land available may be needed for development in the future. Charles outlined the health benefits of patients, staff and local communities growing their own food.

Officialdom was represented by Keith Geddes, the Chair of Central Scotland Green Network. He focused on how activists can influence politicians.

And then there were details from representatives of many of the ongoing projects in Scotland ranging from orchards on public land in Glasgow, St Andrews and Buckhaven to restoration type projects in walled gardens not open to the public.

All the delegates seemed determined to extend the concept of communities growing their own fruit throughout Scotland. I’m sure many plotters and others in Nairn interested in growing fruit and veg would have found themselves instantly at home in the company of the Scottish Orchards folk. Growing your own food can have an empowering effect on individuals and communities as we have witnessed in Nairn and the idea of planting more fruit trees in the community can have the same effect.

John Hancox the chair of Scottish Orchards will be coming to Nairn in November as a guest of Nairn Allotment Society and will be giving a talk in the Community Centre. Watch the website for more details nearer the date.

Monday, 25 June 2012

State of the plots - well done

Hello Everyone,

The quarterly plot inspections were done yesterday. The standard is generally very high and is to be commended. If any improvements are to be made, plot holders will be contacted individually, by email.

Some points for us all to be aware of:

1 Sheds shouldn't be raised off the ground, but be sitting on slabs, to discourage vermin from nesting underneath. If yours is already constructed and is off the ground, a skirt of chicken wire, well buried into the ground, would be enough to keep them out.

2 Plot numbers should be prominently displayed - and if yours is in Gaelic, would you mind displaying the numerals as well please, for those who don't speaka da lingo?

3 If you have an open compost heap, would you ensure that perennial weeds are not flourishing on the top?

4 For the sake of your neighbours as well as yourself, lift or at least cut the tops off perennial weeds before they set seeds.

5 Can we remind new plot holders at Sandown (on the smaller plots) that you are responsible for the borders between your fence and the path? Nectar-rich plants, wild flowers, herbs would make a cheap and easily-maintained border which would attract bees to your plot.

6 Mill Rd shared polytunnels - a lot of these spaces have perennial weeds such as the dreaded mare's tail. Please lift them, out of consideration for your neighours.

All we need now is a spell of lovely weather!
(on behalf of the committee.)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

Sandown 2 Official Opening

Dick and Karen cutting the celebratory cake last night. Over a hundred guests came to the official opening of Sandown 2 by Provost Liz MacDonald. More pictures will be published next week.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Polytunnel discount offer to NAS members

This in from Myles MacRae:

I would just like to inform you and your members that we will offer a 10% discount on all our basic polytunnel kits, all your member would need to do is show us proof of membership.

We have some tunnels on display at or depot in Nairn, best to give us a call before as we may be out on site visits or deliveries.

Myles MacRae
Highland Polytunnels
Unit 8B2 Balmakeith Business Park
Nairn. IV125QR (Scotland)
Tel: 01667 454875
Fax:0560 1123 114

Soil available

Catrina spotted the following ad on Gumtree, might be useful for anyone planning raised beds:

Brian on 01463220821
Excellent quality black top soil removed due to house extension. Must collect - approx 18 tonnes available free to anyone interested.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A big back-packing thank you!

Thanks to all who helped at the bag-packing today, over £600 raised for the ongoing projects at Mill Road and Sandown. Thanks to all who donated and especially to Sainsbury's for allowing the Society the bag-packing slot. A lot of interest was shown in the information boards and the Society's efforts to encourage Nairnshire residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables. More power to Nairn's grow your own revolution! 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Gooseberry plants

We  have   three  gooseberry  plants  they  are  in  pots  at  the  moment  but  need  to  be  planted out,  they  are  £5 each - money  goes  to the  allotment  society.  Also  we  can  get  onion  sacks now  and again and  have  three  at  the  moment if  any one  wants  them,   they  are  free we  are  just    doing  our  bit  for  recycling also  now  and  again  we  get  the  trays  they  use  for  mushrooms  these  are  great  for  setting  up  your  tatties  too  chit,  other  things  we  get  are  the  large  tubs  you  may  have  seen  them  around  the  site  again  they  are  free,  as  they  would  go  into  the  landfill if  not, also  got  loads  of  pots again  if  you  want some  just  ask.  tel  01667 456804

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Co-op cludgie cheque received

The £2,000 cheque from the Co-op community fund has been received by the treasurer and it may not be too long before the toilet is installed at Mill Road.
Dick will get the application in for building warrant as soon as possible and we'll get Dennis & Gordy down to Mill Rd to complete the work.