A lot has been going on these passed few weeks at The Lions Gate.
After putting up flyers for the project around all Napier campuses we’ve managed to get approximately 30 volunteers with very little work indeed. They’ve already started working with us thanks to the tremendous efforts of our horticulturist and volunteer coordinator Kat Dunlop (the harmonious gardener). Last week around 10 student, staff and external volunteers helped to move around three tonnes of leaf mulch from Craiglockhart to Merchiston!
Tam and his amazing techno watering system
Thanks to Tam Collier (Estates) we’ve been donated a timer-based watering system. All we need is some hosing to get it up and running. Tam has been a mine of information and a great support to us over the past few months. It was he who alerted us to the presence of nearly 20 tonnes of rich leaf mulch he’s been amassing at Craiglockhart over the years. Big up to him.
Plant the seed
Planting has begun in the Keder greenhouse and will continue for the foreseeable. So if you’d like to put your green fingers to work please email email@example.com. We’ve got tomatoes, beans, garlic, cabbage, alpine strawberries, nasturtiums, lettuce and kale on the go already.
Oh, and finally we fixed up our ‘silent’ shredder for the first time, so we can mulch on site. Works a treat and is pretty quiet considering what it does.
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.
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’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.
We’ll use some of the trees in both the Lions Gate and the rooftop kitchen allotment/orchard as stand-alones and hedging.
The pack includes; Grey Willow (Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia), Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Cherry (Prunus avium), Downy Birch (Betula pubescens), Elder (Sambucus nigra), Field Maple (Acer campestre), Goat Willow (Salix caprea), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Oak (Quercus robur), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and Dog Rose (Rosa canina). Lot’s of scope for edible hedges, wood harvesting, jams, jellies, sloe gin, christmas decoration and nuts. The trees will also provide windbreaks, wildlife, soften the landscape and lighten the mind.