A new member of Social Enterprise Scotland

The criteria for becoming a member are clear and match the general aims of The Sanctuary Garden. There is some work we’re looking forward to, in order to become fully compliant in 2024

Making Slug Snake Oil at Carron Primary School

Demonstrated making a syrup that is diluted and sprayed or watered onto the plants. It’s genuinely effective against slugs and caterpillars and cheap and easy to make. All you need is onion, garlic and sugar. Here is the recipe link

The last day of the season at Burntisland Primary School

The season started with building raised beds with children who enjoyed the process and had a great deal of satisfaction when the beds were filled with compost.

It started with two classes at a time, and then reduced to one class of 30 children to give each child more time ‘doing’, rather than standing around. Lots was planted, mostly seedlings by the children and it all grew.

On Friday the children were asked what did they enjoy.

  • Planting seedlings and seeds
  • Learning about how plants grow
  • Tasting vegetables
  • Being outside
  • Four children said they did not like mud on their hands 
  • All the children wanted baby chicks to be brought to the school.

These are board beans planted from seed by the children that will provide beans that can be tasted and enjoyed or spat out in the garden. I hope the school can raise funds for this important project to carry on.

The Sanctuary Garden Chicks on Tour

There are a few I’ve missed and this does not count all the garden visits.

Children ask such interesting questions. My favourite was “what is a chicken’s favourite colour” My mind had red because they peck relentlessly at blood. The drinker is red so I said “red” and pointed at the drinker. Phew…

“How do you kill a chicken?”
“Do chickens really come out of an egg” I’d shown an egg as a comparison to the size of the 3 week old chick
“Can they fly?”
“Can I take one home?”
“Are you going to eat them?”
“How do you make chicken nuggets?”
“Does the rooster like another hen, when he does not like the one he’s with?” This was a 12 year old asking me (I nearly cried)

The disconnect between where food is produced and a packet of processed food, is real.

I love taking chicks to schools; I had no idea how much joy it would bring me. If you would like a visit, get in touch.

Burntisland Primary School

The children have grown produce!

The last Friday of June is the last day of term so we can expect courgettes to be marrows and pumpkins ready for Halloween!

Busy in and out of the garden

Visited Beanstalk nursery with baby chicks, lettuce is doing well in the polytunnel, Buff orpington chicks, Carron Primary School pupils planting their own seedlings and a stand at the West Fife Show with RHET (Royal Highland Educational Trust) where 100 pots of salad were planted up and taken home.

It’s a busy time of the year

If you want lots of content have a look on instagram or facebook @the.sanctuary.garden

Seedings in soil and different composts, chilli flowers already, aubergines, runner beans and tomatoes

Lots of pallet projects – raised beds and a design for the new toilet, based on Shrek’s long-drop

The usual chores, cutting grass, collecting eggs and dehydrating.

Rescue hens

The British hen welfare trust organised the distribution of these hens. 20 hens fitted into 7 crates and have settled into the huts and there is not much squawking and fighting. They have some feathers; it won’t take long.

Bird Flu and more hens

Just outside the DEFRA 3km circle and have 20 new rescue hens arriving this weekend

The Sanctuary Garden is the red dot in the north, Eats Rosyth, where two hens are spoiled rotten, is in the south. We need to keep an eye on the girls and make sure none of them are unwell.
We are able to get the 20 rescue hens but need to be sure to follow hygene precautions.

These runs will have a tarpaulin roof and allow the hens to have some additional space reducing the risk of spreading birdflu


We are feeling excited…

Things are growing in the Sanctuary – overwintering plants, tiny chicks and… ideas. 

Ideas, plans, hopes and dreams for what The Sanctuary Garden could be this year, next year and into the future.

Many of you already know that there are plans to build a housing estate on land directly adjacent to the Sanctuary. Beautiful farmland lost to housing, but we also see beautiful people on our doorstep who, through interacting with us in a variety of ways, could learn to love, grow, cook and eat locally grown, wholesome food. And not to mention you – yes, you, reader – now! You’re with us now, and have been for yonks – you’ve known what we’re about before we even really do. This amorphous vision of good food, nature and the outdoors, hard work, clean and local, personal – this is us, and we so appreciate you being with us as we begin this journey. 

In this moment, we are the seed packet. Not a single seed, a bit further along than that – but a seed packet filled with tiny little beads of hope, inspiration and determination. This spring we plant the seeds. 

Have you ever grown asparagus from seed? The seeds are small – maybe a bit bigger than a lentil, black, shiny and with an impenetrable look about them. You plant them under cover in early January and up pops the most fragile looking frond. And thus it stays, producing tiny little fronds, which slowly increase in size – surely, you think to yourself, I’ll be eating a delicious plate of asparagus soon?

Friends, the asparagus is a slow-grower. There is a traditional Chinese saying that goes something like this: ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.’ Harsh, but honest! Whilst asparagus will be ready to harvest well before 20 years, you will need to give it 2-3 years before you eat from it. It will then honour you for years, producing more spears every year, requiring very little upkeep, producing new plants that you can lift and transplant… it is a fruitful friend.

And yet, right now, we are the seed. Inert, just ideas in a drawer somewhere. Yet just as seeds transform with warmth, water and care, we are about to begin our journey (we also appreciate warmth, water and care 😂). Time, effort and gumption are about to transform our ideas into reality – we’re no radish, going whole-hog ready to eat in a matter of weeks, we’re no tatties, a full crop in one growing season – we are the asparagus, hard black seed to tiny frond to tender plant – but we see the fruitful future ahead. Each idea, a seed planted into this year’s warming soil, to take this beautiful vision and let it grow: to nurture nature, our bodies and our souls. 

Radishes, Mystery Mix, Real Seeds: https://www.realseeds.co.uk/radish.html

Come along, friends.

🌱If you had a wee bitty land, some time and ideas – what would you do with it? Personally, I’m desperate for a yurt and a wood-burning stove, but that might be a bit self-serving, I fear! 😂 Let us know what you would do in the comments below – we promise to respond. 🌱

Best wishes from The Sanctuary Garden