In 2023, Broomhouse Growers acquired a new site in Broomhouse, with the intention of creating a community orchard and nature space, transforming the previously abandoned and unloved bit of land. The project was borne from a desire to expand upon the Broomhouse Community Garden, which is a small and highly developed site. The two sites will work to compliment one another and increase the amount of produce harvested for both growers and the wider community.
The group took advice from the marvellous John Cox at ScottishFruitTrees.com, and planted apple, pear, and plum trees quite close together in lines, with the intention of keeping them under 3m tall and therefore easier to harvest from. They were planted after some heavy rain and then mulched heavily with a mixture of sheep’s wool fleece from a local farmer (the birds love to line their nests with this,) and woodchip from a local gardener. So far they are thriving, and the group are looking forward to having plenty of fruit from next year.
Next to the orchard, the nature space is sandwiched between two three-storey tenements – the group recently cleared all the weeds they could (though the docks are proving to be worthy adversaries,) and sowed a number of wildflower mixes from Scotia Seeds. The recent rainfall has been welcome in this respect.
They have also been keeping a look out for a second-hand water tank so they can collect rainwater from a neighbour’s shed roof, and are looking to set up a seating area for community members to enjoy the space, as well as a small wildlife pond and some bird boxes, to try and make the area more attractive to wildlife.
It has been fantastic to see the dedicated group of volunteers bring this site to life, and we are looking forward to seeing how it develops!
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