Raised beds

Many thanks to Earth Calling, and our first three volunteers Fabian, Gabrielle and Lucie for all their help yesterday making raised beds for our rooftop allotment and shifting those enormous logs from the kitchen area to The Lions Gate. You are all awesome, and the beds look great!

Raised bed construction with Earth Calling and The Permaculture Community Classroom
Raised bed construction with Earth Calling and The Permaculture Community Classroom
Frenetic activity on the roof
Frenetic activity on the roof
Bedism - of a sort
Bedism – of a sort
Earth Calling
Earth Calling
All done
All done
Now, what to put in them...
Now, what to put in them…

Paperwork.

It’s been a challenging process, but Kat and I with the help of the university Health & Safety group have carried out risk assessments and identified suitable insurance certificates to enable volunteer input to The Lions Gate Project.

We’ve also drawn up a Volunteer Policy – with associated forms (consent for use of media, induction checklist and registration document), as well as an evaluation form to gather data on visitor and volunteer experiences of The Lions Gate Project. Thanks to the Research and Innovation Office for supplying an evaluation template that we rejigged for our purposes.

Volunteer Policies and Evaluation Forms
Volunteer Policies and Evaluation Forms

Today, we have three volunteers, Fabien, Lucie and Gabrielle visiting to test the process and help us refine it. Gabrielle and Lucie are kick-starting a similar project at The University of Edinburgh’s Kings Buildings.

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

The Lions Gate has joined the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG).

The FCFCG provide a strong voice for the community growing sector by:

  • representing project interests to governments, funders and other key decision makers
  • developing new funding streams for members
  • Influencing future policy that has a positive impact on members work

Health and Well being Committee

Delighted to have been invited onto a newly-formed committee that Kevin Wright (Engage Manager) has set-up to look at health and well being at the university. Three areas/groups have been developed; body, mind and environment, each with academic, student and professional services representation. I’m an academic voice in the environment group – though there is obviously plenty of cross-over between groups.

An associated ‘health promotion day’ has been organised for the 14th of March at Craiglockhart, where I’ll have a stand to discuss the gardens project’s and permaculture more broadly.

Soil sampling with Dave Smith

Today, Dave Smith from Applied Sciences brought down his soil sampling kit and he, Kat Dunlop and I extracted seven soil samples from both The Lions Gate and kitchen allotment sites. This work forms one of the scientific anchorings of the whole project, from which research can be baselined. The samples will be analysed for organic content, life, and toxicity. We’ll build up a soil profile too.

Auguring - if such a word exists...
Auguring – if such a word exists…

Huge thanks to Dave and his enthusiasm for the project on what was a very cold day and an even colder auger to continually hammer into the ground. Very much hoping that this spells an interdisciplinary relationship that enables many fruitful cross-school partnerships long into the future.

Soil sampling The Lions Gate and kitchen allotment
Soil sampling The Lions Gate and kitchen allotment

Hoggin path

I marked out a meandering, wheelchair accessible path in the Lions gate today for the Estates department to get a quote for the work. The plan is to lay an ochre-coloured hoggin path, edged with wood that will wind its way along the garden from reception area, through food forest, over the entertainment space and up to the ‘digital bothy’. We hope to have it in place by the end of March.

Marking out hoggin path
Marking out hoggin path