We had the pleasure of welcoming Stephen Bly to Garthdee Field today. Stephen is Aberdeen City Council’s Community Engagement Officer.
It was good to have the opportunity to show Stephen around and tell him something of our efforts and projects to promote active community engagement over recent years.
Better still, Stephen was able to give us all sorts of pointers and leads to possible future community collaborations and activities. Watch this space for details of new projects we hope to see started in the weeks and months ahead.
Greenspace Scotland’s latest e-bulletin contained this reminder:
“Grow Wild is giving you the opportunity to apply for a free wildflower seed kit, with everything you need to get your group sowing and growing. You don’t need growing experience, just enthusiasm, a shared space to transform and a group of people to help make it happen! Apply using the online form and in March 2019 they’ll take you on a growing journey. Bring more colour and wildlife to your community, school or workplace next Spring! Deadline 8 February“.
These free seeds could help us refresh our Wildflower Garden and seed the North Bank that we have started to develop. I’m delighted to report Ron (Plot 65a) has taken this in hand and put an application in for GFAA.
The RHS has launched a new funding and support initiative called, “Greening Grey Britain with Communities in 2019”. They are looking for new projects that will bring seasoned community gardeners together with young green-fingered recruits. To the right projects, they are offering expert hands-on support and up to £500 worth of plants and materials.
In their own words, they say, “Imagine forgotten littered corners reborn as vibrant wildflower meadows, car parks lined with trees to slow down storm water or disused areas becoming productive gardens, with food to share with the community”.
Projects have to fit with one or more of three themes.
Grow for people
Grow for the planet
Grow for wildlife
Thinking of our own site, several areas spring to mind as being ripe for development. Is anyone itching to take up the challenge of building a bid or have ideas for possible projects?
I know it’s hard to believe right now, but this permafrost will lift and the growing season is just around the corner – or perhaps I’ve just been driven round the bend.
For many plotters the Gone to Seed Tarland Seed Swap and Potato Day event marks the start of the season. This community-based event is a great place to exchange locally grown, traditional varieties of vegetable and flower seeds, with many examples available free.
You will find links to the event on our Diary Page via the tab above. The Diary also gives advance notice of our Community Sunday dates for the year ahead – I know you would not want to miss them!
A number of plotters have reported problems with their polytunnels recently. Some have reported that the covers perforate after a season or so and some have arrived on site to find that they have taken off in a gale and were last seen heading for the North Sea. When I researched a possible purchase, I found it very difficult to tell which make and model was a bargain and which an investment.
Val on Plot 23 has suggested a novel alternative – the Polycrub.
I didn’t know much about Polycrubs, so I sent off a query to the makers/sellers asking:
Did they make a model close to the 8′ by 6′ that the Council allows?
Are they suitable for self-builders?
Do they deliver to Aberdeen?
What would the costs be?
Here’s the response I got back from the Maree, their General Manager:
“Many thanks for your e-mail. Polycrubs are popular with community groups and of course began life here with us as a community project. Our smallest Polycrub is approx. 3 x 3m (10 x 10 feet) – delivered prices are noted below and we have also attached some info sheets.
The price includes everything required for the external structure of the kit, except cement for the posts. The kit comes with a ground plan and full construction notes for a level site and should be built in accordance with these. We find that anyone with suitable building experience has the capacity to erect a polycrub.
There are two options for delivery to your address:
Option 1 Delivery by ordinary flat-bed/curtain sider truck. This option meansthat the kit would have to be off-loaded from the truck by hand. None of the components are heavy but customers need to be aware that the sheets are long and pliable. Sheets can be like a sail in anything but the calmest of condition and are prone to lift in any sort of wind, so the customer should liaise with the haulage company to make sure that the delivery takes place on a calm day and extreme care needs to be taken when off-loading. The cost of a 3 x 3m using this option would be £2688 including VAT.
Option 2 Delivery by Hi-ab truck. With this option, the kit will be lifted off using the crane on the truck. The kit bundle does not need to be opened up when it reaches site and weather conditions are not as important. The cost of a 3 x 3m using this option would be £2928 including VAT.
If a customer decides to place an order, we will invoice for the cost of the kit. Once that is paid, we’ll arrange to have the kit delivered. Delivery usually takes around 2-3 weeks, depending on the weather/ haulier availability.”
For convenience I have added a permanent link on our Links Page. Please speak with Val if you want any more background information.