I contacted Albert Houston at Edinburgh Napier Stores to see if we could repurpose anything they had up there and so eek more value out of it. He was happy to oblige and today we brought back some crates, stools, chairs and a filing cabinet. Many thanks Albert et al.
Cablecom Electrics have started installing power and data points for us in The Lions Gate and our Keder poly tunnel on the rooftop allotment, enabling the interactive layer of our design to start taking shape.
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.
I was gifted £10 by Edinburgh Napier’s Sustainability Office (thank you!), and so rescued a couple of sad-looking apple trees from Tesco’s – a ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ and a ‘Discovery’.
Delighted to have Neil Fyffe on site today to measure up a bespoke trunk bench to go around the mature sycamore in The Lions Gate. Neil is a master wood craftsman with decades of experience.
Our 6m x 3m Keder polytunnel/greenhouse was erected today. The guys have travelled up from Evesham in the Cotswolds and worked their socks off, so it was assembled in under six hours on our rooftop kitchen allotment, round the back of the kitchen’s at Merchiston.
I had visited the Keder stall during our interactive permaculture exhibit at Scotland’s Garden Festival back in June 2017 and was impressed by its design and the way that its bubblewrap-esque material was able to take what light is available and scatter more of it interiorly. The kitchen allotment site has a challenging amount of sunlight so it’s good fit. A considerable amount of food and herbs can be grown in here for student, staff and visitor stomachs. Here begins our circular food economy, scope for medicinal growing, and much research too.
Thanks to support from Gordon Solway and Kat Dunlop (the harmonious gardener) we’ve managed to cut back all the shrubs and trees that we’ve removed from the Lions Gate – giving us lots of material to shred (with recently purchased shredder!) and add to the soil to enrich it before planting. There’s scope for some art with this stuff too!
We also took delivery of five free tonnes of compost from Edinburgh Council, via Forth Resource Management – you only pay for delivery and the bags (£65 all in). Thanks to Gordon and Kat for helping to shovel two tonnes of it into The Lions Gate.
I’m working with three groups of students from the School of Computing 3rd year group project module this year. I have two groups looking into hyper-local WI-FI networks so that we can offer up bespoke immersive experiences in both garden sites at Merchiston. Thanks to Stuart Toland (Information Services) for lending a hand. The other group is designing a garden web-app.
Today Kat Dunlop and I met at Merchiston with permaculture pioneer Graham Bell to go over our LAND certification application with the Permaculture Association of Great Britain. LAND certification anchors our project as a locus of permacultural activity and enables it to gain support from the Permaculture Association, whilst opening it up as a permaculture learner and demonstration centre – whereby interested groups and individuals can come and learn about our project and take part too.