Garthdee Allotments

Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Volunteers’ successes and a call for help

We had a great day at the site today with our Volunteer Squad in fine form. Doug (himself a volunteer) led an effort to rebuild a plot fence, while Steve (Plot 72) with volunteers Mike, Jack and Jordi were building a path to give access to our new wildlife patch up on the Mound at the Northwest corner. Meanwhile I had the pleasure of watching Gordon Bennett showing off his woodworking skills building a raised wheelchair-friendly veggie bed.

Gordon shows off his skills

The final group of Irene, Veronica and Karolina worked in the Community Garden trimming, weeding and planting up. Irene puts in a power of work each time she comes on site and has led many of our successful new developments.

Irene shows the weeds no mercy

We are very lucky to have the help of so many dedicated volunteers, but in some ways we are victims of our own success. We often have ten or a dozen helpers on site at a time and we really need more plotters involved in leading the small work parties.

If you could host a group of two or three volunteers working on your plot, or lead them in a community activity on the wider site on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday from time to time it would be a great help.

If you think you would be able to help please speak to me, Anne, Steve or Stuart in the first instance.

Shed/Greenhouse Opportunity

Stuart received this email recently. If you are interested, please contact Ashleigh directly by phone or email – details below.


Good Morning Stuart,

My name is Ashleigh Cooke, we came to see you last Saturday at the plots regarding the greenhouse and shed we have.


My husband and I are moving into a new house on Friday and the previous owners are leaving us their greenhouse and shed, we have no use for them so instead of them going to waste we wondered if anyone at the plots would like to have them for free. Either to use as their own, or possibly use the parts to re-purpose their current greenhouses/sheds. I have not had a chance to really investigate either of them, but the previous owners did say they have had them both for a long time and that their grandchildren had broken a few of the glass windows on the greenhouse whilst playing football, and that the shed had seen better days (the door looked crooked and possibly close to falling off).

We do not want any cash for either of these items so they are up for grabs if you or anyone else would like them, the only thing is we have no means of transporting them so whoever would like to take them would have to come and pick them up.

The house is located on Holburn street next to the roundabout at Asda so it’s not too far from where the plots are. We will be at the house from Friday evening through Monday if anyone wanted to drop by and take a look, and possibly take them both away.

My contact details are:
Email – ashleigh.cooke2956@hotmail.com
Mobile – 07415004569

Please feel free to contact me if you, or anyone else would like to arrange a time to come and see/collect these items.

Thank you!

Ashleigh & Michael Cooke


Soil improver delivery

Soil Conditioner Arrival

The Volunteer Squad was on hand to help today when Angus Craig arrived with the expected 130 plus bags of soil conditioner.

Here’s how Angus describes his product:

I have some 100% natural soil conditioner that I’ve been using on our farm and at home in our poly tunnel seeing great results. The conditioner is a by-product of the Buchan Biogas Anaerobic Digestion plant that is on our farm. The conditioner is made from precision chopped plant matter which has had the methane gas extracted from it to supply Peterhead homes with domestic gas. Meaning the conditioner is 100% renewable and better for the environment than artificially produced soil conditioner whilst still providing high levels of NPK. 

The conditioner is a great source of organic matter, ideal for improving soil structure and improving plants ability to hold on to moisture. 

This is the only soil conditioner of its kind for sale in Scotland which I am selling for £4 a bag. So far I have had a few big orders a bit further afield than Peterhead, however if I can fill my trailer I am willing to deliver further afield within Aberdeenshire. It would be greatly appreciated if you could pass on some of this information to your plotters.

Kind regards, Angus Craig

Plotters who missed out on the original offer are welcome to contact Stuart Oram (Plot 8) with new requests as we may well have another delivery in the weeks ahead.

Prep for our wildlife pond

A team of our volunteers started work on a new wildlife pond up on the Mound last Sunday.

Pond construction team at work
Left to Right: Irene, Minta,Doug, Hilary

Adding the pond is one of several initiatives to encourage biodiversity on site being lead by Steve (Plot 72) on behalf of the Committee and our plotters and volunteers. Other features planned for the Mound include log piles and bug hotels. Recycled materials will be used wherever possible.

If plotters or volunteers have ideas for further projects to enhance biodiversity in our green communal spaces and across the site please get in touch with Steve directly, or by commenting below. He would love to hear from you.

The Garden Jungle

This is the title of a newish book (2019) by Dave Goulson, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex. It’s subtitled, “Gardening to Save the Planet” and that pretty well tells you what to expect.

This is no dull textbook however. It’s a lively read and full of unexpected and practical ideas as well as lots of good humour.

I was surprised to read for example, that the Oxford Junior Dictionary has removed the words, newt, acorn, minnow, kingfisher and dandelion. Why? Because these words are no longer considered relevant for children.

It seems to me this is a mistake on so many levels, it’s almost criminal.

Photo Credit: Phil on Plot 35

Amazon Link if you want to know more.

GFAA CCAF Benefits

Following our successful application for funding from the Community Climate Asset Fund (CCAF), we have been able to purchase a small wood chipping machine and ten rainwater storage tanks.

The wood-chipping machine has so far proved useful in our community garden where the prunings from the orchard have been converted into wood-chip. It’s a dinky little machine and will only accept single stalk branches with a diameter no more than two inches.

A number of our Volunteers have been trained in its use and have agreed to process suitable materials throughout the year ahead. This will reduce the amount of brush material we have to burnin site.

All ten rainwater tanks have been allocated to various plots on site with some being used to collect water from sheds or greenhouses and others just free-standing with an open collector arrangement using polythene sheet to capture the rainwater as the pictures show.

If further funding opportunities arise we would hope to acquire more rainwater tanks to meet demand

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