Generosity of Individuals

The generosity of individuals is not to be underestimated. It builds community and helps all involved. “How?” I hear you ask. It’s simple – community. We all really like helping others.

This is a perfect example.

Andy, the Site manager, Davie the telehandler driver, Fiona the Sales Agent at Barratt’s Kingslaw Gait have helped donate plasterboard pallets that are turned into raised beds.

Today these pallets were turned into raised beds. Ian and James, my neighbouring Farmers, lent me a huge trailer to collect two loads of pallets. These were disassembled, denailed and built by Aegon’s volunteers. Two beds were built, oiled and nailed and filled. One bed has Brunswick Cabbages – monsters when mature, and another filled with asparagus seedlings.

The team from Aegon left on a high, knowing that in three years there will be asparagus delivered to their offices and took home plums they picked and nutritious fresh veg and eggs for their families. Barratts, because they have done something to help the community, as well as enjoy some of our organic veg.

Ian and James are neighbours and generous so using a trailer was a no brainer.

Here is the most interesting thing, today was a real boost for me; I struggle with depression. The beds that have been made will provide food for local families decades.

There are different sized pallets, and the smaller pallets will be used to make raised beds for nursery schools, families who need them, people who struggle and anyone with an interesting story. The Sanctuary Garden provides the raised bed, the compost and seedlings so the chances of success are high. The feedback from the few donated this year has been incredibly positive. Not because it’s cheaper than the supermarket, but because it makes individuals feel better mentally and physically.

Barratts for pallets, farmers for the trailer, donations to buy compost, a few volunteers and a little work from me.

Thank you all.

It’s busy in the kitchen

As vegetables come out, new ones go in. It’s really important to keep the microbes fed by live roots.

Three of the hens have been donated to Eats Rosyth’s hen run made by the Men’s shed. The white hen was selected because she could get out and dig up my veg. The others were at the bottom of the pecking order so may have an easier life here. They will be spoiled rotten.

More veg donated. The tomatoes are nothing short of delicious; agreement seems unanimous.

A little less conversation, a little more action!

The tomatoes are nothing short of delicious. Really delicious. They taste like they have been slightly seasoned. The lettuce is one of the few where I’ve not harvested a few leaves so it’s almost perfect and huge – it’s in a 12″ seed tray

A 13/16mm LDPE pipe runs the length of the five beds and have two 4mm pipe T’d off that lead to spray heads on stakes. Sounds medieval…

The yellow and red jet spray I thought would be the best, (lower right) but you can see the coverage is where the jets of water land.

The vari-rota has a spinning head, that acts like a field sprinkler and with the flow adjustment allows the water to stay in the bed, rather than into the pathways.

Tis the season for donating vegetables

The season seems to trickle along and then suddenly it goes mad. It’s a joy to watch how quickly everything grows while living in flipflops, shorts and a hat.

The recent heat wave has had temps up to 30C/90-ish and it’s been murdering seedlings. It’s also meant afternoon siestas as it’s way too hot to work.

Does video work?

Let see if this text keeps the image of the video in view

12 tonne trailer of organic mushroom compost

New beds and a hot dry spell

Row five has mostly Cardoons, Mooli, Pak Choi and Kohlrabi. Watering is now a daily job, as the beds dry out in the sun, with the constant breeze has the biggest impact.

Cauliflowers go to flower quickly in the heat. The heads expand and then will turn into flowers and then seed. I may let this one go to seed.

The purple corn has bracing roots forming even though it’s in the poly tunnel protected from any wind. They are rather aracnid-esk.

The farmers cut and left the field and it’s now crispy dry organic hay.

Summer veggies and more beds

6 more beds have appeared and five filled with compost and seedlings. It’s going to be an organic production and needs to ramp up as the economic pressure mounts on households unused to facing food poverty.

A 12 tonne load of organic compost has just been delivered that will more beds can be constructed and filled. It is my hope that another eight 4’x8′ beds can be filled ready for the next batch of seedlings. Carrots, beet and swede will be direct sown, as they are pretty good staples. As plants are harvested seedlings replace them. The plan is to have seedlings, for example, that take 4 or 5 weeks to harvest from the time they are planted out. With 5 beds each planted up a week apart will mean at least 30 lettuce a week until the weather slows that down.

Three donations have recently been made to eats and disappear quickly which is a positive sign. These veggies are organic and nutritious.

Children grew 60 lettuces from six beds!

The School term finishes on Friday so the idea was to let the kids take home some of their produce. Lettuce was the only obvious thing they could take and 60 were harvested from the beds. Photos of excited kids are shared with parents and other pupils; such a shame I can’t share them with you.

Last week nasturtiums were tasted and not everyone had a flower so I harvested my bush in the poly tunnel. Tasting is encouraged and if it was not to their liking, could be ‘spat out’ as we were outside. Success was tasting food, even if you did not like it.

I showed them garlic, onion and three types of courgette from my garden as well as the different coloured eggs.

The school has one rule. “Just be kind”. I wonder if would work in the big bad self-centred world we live in now. I think it would make a huge difference.

Organic vegetables donated to Eats Rosyth

This is the first donation in 2022 to Eats Rosyth; cabbage, lettuce, crookneck (yellow) and romanesco (green ridged) courgettes and shallot scapes used in an omelette for the volunteer’s lunch. It was delicious. Bravo Brenda👩‍🍳

Have you tried scapes? They are onion/shallot/garlic flowers and the stems are used like spring onions. They are delicious to eat raw in a salad or cooked. Before tasting my first one last year, I thought they would taste like overpowering onion; there is an onion flavour but it’s sweet and delicious. All the nutrients going to the flowers to make seeds are in the stems so it’s really good for your health.

What is noticeable about the cabbage is the thickness of the leaves, they feel turgid and fat although not tough or stringy in the slightest. Again the taste difference is remarkable to mass produced ‘industrial’ cabbages. Slug damage is minimal because I spray with onion and garlic concentrate that slugs seem to have an allergic reaction to.

Before now, eggs, cabbages, spinach and lettuce have been given away to volunteers at The Sanctuary Garden.

The Romanesco courgette in the foreground is a monster, the leaves dwarf my hand. That end of the poly tunnel has a jungle feel, all I need is a tiger.

How to build a raised bed from pallets

The aim is to show how easy it is to make a bed. Finding a the right pallet is the hardest part of making this bed. Vinegar and oil are the only materials and cost a couple of pounds.

This is a free course and donations are welcome to help pay for materials and compost.

The only specialised tool I use is a pallet breaker. A claw hammer to pull nails out and knock them back in, a hand saw, mini roller and tray to oil the wood. Materials are vegetable oil and vinegar, mixed about 4:1 the cheapest you can get. A litre or so does one 8’x4′ raised bed. Optional are galvanised nails if you don’t want to reuse the ones pulled out of the pallet. You’re welcome to help, watch and comment or just visit the garden. We have free range chickens in a run so dogs need to be well behaved and obedient.

It takes less than an hour to build a bed and the process will be repeated so you don’t need to be there for the start. The forecast is sunshine and showers at the moment but if it’s absolutely pouring it will be put on hold.

Parking and access.
The road up to the garden is unpaved and has as many potholes as Kingseat main road. There are blind corners and 12 tonnes of tractor use these roads; turn down the radio and keep your eyes peeled.
Please park around the houses and don’t block roads as large tractors and trailers use it all the time.
The ground is uneven so care is required by all. It’s not really suitable for wheel chairs or ambulatory challenged.

Coffee and tea will be available for self service. Be aware there are no toilet facilities except in emergencies.