86. Schools out for Summer

With the school holidays coming to an end we hosted our first ‘End of Summer’ Open Day up in the community garden. Our local visitors were treated to numerous activities, including nature trails, bird feeder making, mud and water painting and cooking demonstrations and tasting. We harvested lots of peas, spinach, salad and berries!

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It was great to see adults and children trying new things, picking straight from the ground and eating the freshest fruits and vegetables.

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With 20 or so people on site there was a great atmosphere and buzz of activity – It really provided a glimpse into what the garden could be and offer to the local community once fully established.
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A day of simple, wholesome, engaging with nature fun (not an ipad or iphone in sight, except for taking the obligatory photos!) – Are these not the best kind of days? We definitely think so! ~Claire Jellemabeechbrae-harvest-day-5

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85. Tunnel Vision

We are super excited to now have our second polytunnel in situ, with two 9m x 2 m raised beds ready to be filled and planted.  It is so big, empty it felt like being in an air hanger, and it even has double sliding doors!  2nd-polytunnel-beechbrae

After the time it took us to put up the first tunnel, we got First Polytunnels experts in to build the new one. They were so super and speedy – taking a little over a day and a half to erect the tunnel. (frame, polythene and doors) 2nd-polytunnel-beechbrae-2

We ladies then spent many hours lugging sleepers and barrows full of soil to get the beds sorted – Some serious hard graft under the heat of the Scottish sunshine!picture1

We may be a little late into the growing season, but were going to plant plant and plant some more and hope for a warm start to Autumn. Also looking forward to getting some less hardy fruit trees growing in there and some grape vines…  ~Claire Jellema2nd-polytunnel-beechbrae-3

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84. New Beechbrae Staff

Things are growing at Beechbrae this spring- and it isn’t just our plants and trees. Thanks to Climate Challenge Fund we’ve been able to take on 2 more people- Sammy and Claire!20160530_115652

Sammy (left) will be working to help folk in Blackridge reduce food waste in our homes. Claire (right) will be working to grow local veg and help folk learn how to grow (and get to taste) local seasonal food. We’re really looking forward to seeing what this year brings!!

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83. Beechbrae Polytunnel 3 of 3

Now, we have finally come to part 3 of 3 with our first polytunnel at Beechbrae. After Part 1 & Part 2 with several skilled and super helpful friends we set about to get the polytunnel skinned and usable. We enlisted help from friend and polytunnel guru Deidre to teach Sammy and Ally how to skin a polytunnel. After the first hour with the tunnel Dee confirmed to me that Ally had bought the most complicated polytunnel she had ever seen.

With a team of 3 ladies we worked until the dark pulling and handing on plastic until our knuckles couldn’t move anymore.

And Finally- a working polytunnel!!

Thank you to everyone who helped along the way. Please pop in to eat some of the tasty fruits from your labour anytime!!

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82. CCF Funding Beechbrae Again!!

Just a quick update to say that we are thrilled to have been granted funding for the 2nd year from the Climate Challenge Fund. Stay tuned as we begin recruiting and gearing up for this year!!

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81. Beechbrae Polytunnel Party part 2 of 3

Following on from part 1 in October, we were determined to get this polytunnel up and ready to go for springtime. We had another lovely group of folks come volunteer to help from Nourish Food Leaders and beyond.

We gathered on what started off as a beautiful calm and sunny day ready for the work and as we got stuck in the winds picked up. By the end of the day we were all in our hats and gloves as the snow lightly settled on us.

Yet again, what we thought could be finished in a day still needed another to follow, but serious progress was made. Thanks so much for all your help team!! Stay tuned for the continuation of the story.

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80. Seed & Tree Festival

In February we had the privilege of attending and participating in the Seed and Tree Festival held in the St. Francis Centre in the Gorbals, Glasgow. This event was organised by Helping Britain Blossom and Common Good Food and was a day full of challenges, ideas and inspiration.

There were several talks and workshops throughout the day with the main challenge being deciding which one to attend. We learned about seed saving & sovereignty, community growing, celebrating the orchards though old traditions such as wassailing and many more. Ally participated in the Orchard Collective Scotland as we discussed ways to move forward with our visions.

We were visited in the morning by the First Minister who took a keen interest in community growing and the future prospect of seeing Scottish fruit in Scottish shops.

In the late afternoon we headed out to the nearby Gorbals Rose Garden & community orchard for mulled cider and many beautiful wassail songs.

As dusk settled we headed back inside for very tasty curries and a wild celebratory ceilidh.

It was a beautiful day.

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79. Food Waste Reduction & a Hot Composter at Blackridge Primary

Sammy and Ally have been working a lot with the P7 class around food waste. We’ve been learning about how composting food works, ways to avoid food waste and the difference between Sell Before, Best Before and Use By Dates. We also worked hard to construct the super hot composter ready to be used once the construction finishes at Blackridge Primary. Beechbrae Composter 4

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78. Climate Riders visit Beechbrae

Beechbrae Orchard got a visit from the Climate Cyclers one windy and cold November afternoon. They were on a 70 mile #climaterevolution cycle to

“A group of us are getting on our bikes on Friday to tell a story. A story of why we must move quickly from a reliance on fossil fuels and consuming more than is sustainable to a low-carbon future – AND how we can move from our past industrial age based on fossil fuel to a new positive low-carbon economy and society which values nature-based solutions.” Click here to read more about the motivations behind the cycle.

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77. Harvesting Apples from Beechbrae Orchard

Over 3 the last 3 years, 5 different classes from Blackridge Primary School planted the apple trees in Beechbrae Orchard. This autumn was special as some of the apple trees at Beechbrae Orchard finally have apples on them!! The P7 class took a nature walk up from the school ending at the orchard where everyone got to pick an apple from the trees.20151030_093458
It was the last day before Halloween so everyone was dressed in their Halloween Costumes. 20151030_094352Beechbrae Orchard Harvest
20151030_10485920150917_14143720151030_100317 We had several varieties of apples and after walking back to the school we cut them up and the whole class gobbled them up.

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