Catch up with Sustaining Dunbar’s garden outreach projects, run by Carey Douglas.
Belhaven Green Team
Michael and Gordon have been enjoying some outreach to help them with their own garden at home. We added a splash of colour to their borders with some pretty flowers donated by Dunbar in Bloom, thanks Bloomers!
Michael and Gordon chose their favourite veggies to plant, so far we have had potatoes, tomatoes, tender stem broccoli, baby turnips, beetroot and cabbage. Both guys have enjoyed watering and tending their garden and were thrilled with their produce! The broccoli came on a treat and it has been harvested already and was enjoyed with a nice cheese and onion quiche. The turnips went with a comforting, roast chicken dinner. The cabbages were got by the caterpillars: Gordon was fair vexed because we thought we had managed to outwit them with our netting – but you live and learn! It will need to be fleeced next time and maybe some companion planting to encourage them to munch elsewhere. Talking of keeping pests off plants we have decided to make a scarecrow and enter the competition down at Belhaven, keep an eye out for our next post to see how we got on.
Their favourite, (and mine) were the strawberries, ripe as sunshine, their colour was outstanding and they really were juicy droplets of heaven!
The Beehive Garden
We have been busy developing the Beehive Garden which is starting to look lush and vibrant. Now our poly tunnel is up, we have already produced our first peas, lettuce and cucumber! The children are learning about growing and plant care. So far, we have beans, peas, cucumbers, peppers, squash, potatoes, carrots, leeks and tomatoes. We have just planted some basil to go with our tomatoes. Basil and tomato taste great together and they make excellent companion plants too. Gardening and planting in the poly has been a terrific way to introduce the nursery children to growing food. They really are connecting with nature and the environment around them, there are always squeals of delight when the Beehive gates open and the children come piling in!
Some of the children helped assemble our ‘Can o Worms’ worm-farm recently. Worm farms are a great way to use up kitchen scraps and teach children about recycling. Our 2kg of worms will munch their way through the scraps and produce top notch fertiliser as they go! They will also produce a very fragrant worm tea that will provide us with another nutrient rich fertiliser for our veggies.
We had some Royal visitors to the garden during civic week. Each year the royal court plants a tree in the Dunbar Area and this year the Beehive Garden was chosen. After a little bit of research, we decided we would like to have a Stella Cherry. The Stella is a self-fertile tree, so doesn’t need a pollination partner. It will provide us with great tasting cherries to eat straight from the tree. Thank you, Dunbar Garden Centre, for donating the tree and the community shed for the planter.
The garden continues to develop and grow and is looking beautiful. Our wild flowers are full of bees it was fascinating to watch them this morning rolling round and round trying to dislodge the pollen, some of them were exhausted and had a little nap or perhaps they had a nectar hangover!
Today also saw the release of our butterflies, the children had been observing the life cycle of them with their butterfly kits which let them watch the caterpillars grow and develop, all very educational and entertaining! A collection of butterflies may be called a Kaleidoscope, which was a perfect way to describe our painted ladies. A ‘rabble’ can also be used, more suited to the cabbage whites I feel!
Young Volunteers from Dunbar Grammar
Our newest recruits from the Grammar school have enjoyed their induction training and are looking forward to volunteering in the Beehive after the summer holidays.
We are in the process of recruiting new volunteers for the Belhaven hospital project. In the meantime, I will be visiting the hospital so new residents and staff can get to know me. We also hope to join in with Belhaven hospital’s 75th birthday celebrations, some of our volunteers from last time round are going to help us host an afternoon tea.
Beehive Garden Saturday Volunteers
The Beehive is a big garden to tend and we couldn’t do it without the help of our volunteers. Our poly tunnel is up and we are incredibly grateful to all who made this happen. We have had some busy Saturday sessions filling up raised beds, 30 bags of compost from Dunbar Garden Center really helped us on our way. We have been trying to defeat the docks and take out the thistles on the allotment site. We have installed our water butt and it looks like the council are going to install a much-needed outdoor tap, we are over the moon!
We have taken delivery of our beautiful bespoke, graduation arch which the men at the community shed put together for me, thank you. I am delighted with the results and the Bee on the top just makes me smile every time I look at it.