Royal Edinburgh Community Gardens – September Update

Volunteering

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Plenty of folk have been making the most of the long awaited Indian Summer by getting stuck in at the community gardens. The Columcille gardeners visited us during the middle of the month, and the team were able to use skills picked up in the Columcille wood works group to help us construct trellises for supporting hybrid berries. It was great to get this done, as the Tayberries and Loganberries have been growing on strongly, producing long arching canes that should yield an abundance of tasty berries next year.

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Another long overdue task has been pruning the magnificent privet hedge that forms the Southern boundary of our plot. A team from Lloyds banking group generously donated tools and time to give the venerable hedge a much needed trim (not too drastic!), the resultant material going through the shredder and into the hotbox compost system set up as a result of last month’s thermophilic compost training, organised by Transition Edinburgh South.

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Many other people have participated over the course of the month, to help with the continued development of the site, and reap the bounty of a mixed, yet productive Summer. The Hospital horticulture course concluded with a harvesting session in early September, with participants taking away bags of vegetables, and reflecting on how much had been learned during the six weeks over snacks and drinks in the glasshouse.

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Botanics Harvest Festival.

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In celebration of their new edible gardening project, the Royal Botanical Gardens hosted a harvest festival event in September. The central idea was to showcase the types and quality of produce that can be grown in Scotland. We were asked to contribute produce to the show, that saw over 1000 visitors through the door over the weekend of 17/18th. Our efforts were well received, with ‘best in show’ rosettes for Parsnips and Carrots, and a special commendation for Green Hokkaido Squash, amongst other prizes. Well done to all growers!

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Special Mentions

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Its been great to see Eddie, one of our most committed volunteers, back at the gardens following a spell of ill health.

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On the 16th the gardens hosted a farewell party for Antonia Ineson, who is moving on from the health board. Antonia has been instrumental in making projects like this one happen in Lothian and has been, and continues to be, a great supporter and friend of the project.

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Thanks to Sue and the Shandon Food Group for showcasing and selling some of our produce at their local food event this month, and to Thomas for manning the stall.