Garthdee Allotments

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What an effort!

We had a wonderful turnout for our Community Sunday activities today. In fact, with well over twenty plotters and volunteers there, this was our biggest ever February Community Sunday. What a start to the year!

Tuck in time!

With so many willing hands available we got a wonderful amount of work done around the site – weeding, pruning, bonfire prep, pothole filling, litter collection and much, much more. A huge thank you goes to all who found the time to come along and to all who contributed to a magnificent coffee and cake spread.

There was no room at the inn for the old lag’s club.

Community Engagement Opportunities

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.

Community Sunday February

Tiny Tots’ Tatties

It’s always about this time of year that we begin thinking ahead to our new season programme of school visits. Last year was our biggest and most successful so far, with visits from Kingswells and Kaimhill Primaries and Orchard Brae ASN School.

This week Stuart and I had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Donald Gray from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Education and Bob Donald, Director of One Seed Forward.

Bob, Norman, Donald,Stuart.

Bob and Donald are collaborating on a scheme called, Garden Schools and developing an approach they have termed, Cultivating Education.

Here’s the story in they own words:

” The Garden Schools initiative is a collaboration between voluntary organisation One Seed Forward and the School of Education in the University of Aberdeen.

OSF Garden Schools promotes our concept of Cultivating Education, with the aim that every school should be a Garden School, a place where outdoor learning is an integral part of the curriculum even where there is a limited amount of space available on school grounds.

Three schools in Aberdeen took part in the pilot project and an educational programme and materials were created which are now available to all schools

More specific objectives of the Garden Schools initiative are:
• The creation of, or improvement to, a space in the school that can be used as a vegetable garden.
• A developed school educational programme that includes local vegetable growing, health and nutrition benefits, recycling and composting, links to literacy, numeracy, citizenship, science and arts.
• Developing links from garden projects to raise awareness of climate change and climate actions and sustainability.

There is also a Facebook group for teachers, parents and interested parties to share knowledge and materials about growing spaces, as well as being able to ask One Seed Forward any questions. If you would like to join this please follow the link above.”

We had a right good natter and shared experiences and ideas. It was very reassuring to confirm that our own wee programme is built on the right principles and come away enthused with possibilities for the year ahead. We have lots to learn from Bob and Donald and hope very much to stay in touch.

Today’s Terrific Turnout

A big thank you goes to all of our plotters who found the time to turn out for our last Community Sunday of 2018.  It was super to see 24 on site with a combination of new faces and old lags.

With so many willing hands we got through a mountain of seasonal tasks, including a wonderful tidy up of the Primary Plot and raised beds, South Bank planting, lots of leaf gathering and pothole filling.

Of course, you can’t have a Community Sunday without a resident comedian:  this time thanks go to Ron (Plot 65A).

I think we can say, a good time was had by all.  Thanks again, everyone.  (With apologies to Peter, Jacqui, Helen, Stan, Angela, Gavin, Trish, Norman and Mary who somehow missed out on getting their photos taken. Thanks too, to all of the magnificent bakers for a brilliant spread at Coffee and Cake time.

General Meeting Follow Ups

A full report of our recent General Meeting will be along soon, but these bits of information were requested ASAP, so here they are.

The James Hutton Institute offers a soil testing service via Hutton Soils (thanks to Bruce Plot 79 for this tip).

The slides from Fiona Swapp’s fascinating talk are available on her blog.

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