Author Archives: Chris Booth

Orchard is waking up

applesGreetings from the Orchard. This is an update on the orch­ard going  to all those who have been along to help since the first shovel of earth was dug in 2009. We had our first work­day of 2012 on the last Saturday in February 2012. It was warm, the cro­cuses were out and the bees were ven­tur­ing out from the hive.

We were able to start put­ting up the wires for the fruit trees against the large stone wall. Nearly fin­ished the wooden fur­niture. We build anoth­er sec­tion of the dry stone wall and checked all the labels on the fruit trees. Sadly we also cut down the old apple tree which died last sea­son. We also drank tea and cof­fee and ate bis­cuits and looked at what we all achieved last year.

Here are some of the things that happened at the orch­ard in 2011.

  • We planted 50 trees and bushes
  • We star­ted build­ing a low dry stone­wall along the path
  • We put in a table and two benches
  • The bee keep­ers got to work. The hive was put in place and the bees made honey
  • We had a won­der­ful Apple Day atten­ded by 50 people and made a huge amount of apple juice
  • We con­tin­ued the work of keep­ing the trees free from weeds and strimmed the area
  • Sadly the shed was broken into and some of the apples disappeared
  • It rained too much but luck­ily not on workdays.
  • We had our Wassailing cel­eb­ra­tion on a crisp Saturday morn­ing in January

We were able to to as much as we did because of money from the Climate Challenge Fund to pay for trees etc. We also had paid work­ers but sadly they fin­ished in early spring. We have used up the grant money for trees & tools but a great deal has been achieved.  Most import­ant has been the volun­teers and vis­it­ors. It is the com­munity who make hap­pen with the help from moth­er nature. So thanks to all who helped in 2011.  We are look­ing for­ward to the year ahead and please come and join in whatever way you can.

Our first job on our next Workday  Saturday 31st March will be to put up the sup­ports for the apple tun­nel and plant the trees. Further workdays:

  • Saturday 28th April
  • Saturday 26th May
  • Saturday 30th June
  • Saturday 28th July
  • Saturday 25th August
  • Saturday 29th Sept
  • Saturday 27th October
  • Saturday 24th November

If you want to know more ring: Mary Jane Elton 669 5129  or  Diana Cairns 669 4981

Wassailing Celebration

Come and join in  a Wassailing Celebration at the Community Orchard on January 28th.

There will be a nor­mal work day in the orch­ard from 10am to 12 noon, fol­lowed by the was­sail­ing cel­eb­ra­tion from 12 till 2pm. The Apple Wassail is tra­di­tion­ally per­formed in the winter to bless the trees with songs and offer­ings of cider.

There will be an inform­al work­shop to learn some was­sail songs, includ­ing a newly writ­ten Edinburgh Wassail and a song spe­cif­ic to the trees in the Donkeyfield Orchard. This will take place on Monday 23 Janaury at 7 Rosefield Avenue, 7:30 – 9:00pm. Please let Jane know if you are plan­ning to come.

Orchard Work Day

The next work day at the Community Orchard will be on 28 January 2012, from 10 am — 2 pm.

We shall prob­ably work for  a couple of hours and then do some was­sail­ing to encour­age next season’s fruitfulness.

Get your Porty branded T‑shirts!

A must-have for Porty fans near and far!

Home sweet home t-shirtPrice £12.50 for adults, £9 for kids.

We have 2 styles both made from Fairtrade cot­ton, I Love Porty and our pop­u­lar Home Sweet Home design com­plete with grid co-ordin­ates for Porty Prom.

All sizes avail­able in fest­ive red or white — S – XL stand­ard fit and 10 – 16 lady fit plus 4 chil­dren’s sizes to suit age 5 – 13. We also have some in Porty pink, roy­al blue or grey for the ladies.

Get your orders in quickly in time to catch the Xmas post! Call 0131 669 1124 — we can deliv­er locally…

Orchard party cancelled

Bonfire at last year's orchard solstice partyUnfortunately the Orchard Solstice Party planned for 17 December has had to be can­celled because of lack of avail­able people to organ­ise it.
We are instead plan­ning to do some was­sail­ing to encour­age next sea­son’s fruit­ful­ness at the next orch­ard work day on 28 January 2012, from 10 am — 2 pm.  We shall prob­ably work for  a couple of hours and then do the was­sail­ing.  More inform­a­tion about this will be avail­able in due course.
In the mean­time, the orch­ard group would like to wish every­one a very happy and peace­ful fest­ive sea­son and we look for­ward to see­ing you early in the new year.

Donkeyfield Community Orchard Apple Day and Hallowe’en Party

apple day poster 2011Sat 29th October 2 – 4pm

All wel­come!

  • Apple crush­ing and press­ing – bring apples and bottles to take home some juice
  • Apple dook­ing and oth­er games
  • Bring home bak­ing to share
  • Fancy dress

If you have any apples that we could col­lect to juice please con­tact Diana as soon as possible.

Many thanks – we hope to see you there.

Donkeyfield Community Orchard is at Brunstane Road South, Gilberstoun, just oppos­ite Brunstane station.

Poster for Apple Day 2011 to down­load and print out.


Blow me! An urban wind farm

Great piece on the STV news about our pro­posed tur­bine. Also the Evening News has a story on the wind tur­bine plans. (Thanks to all who’ve registered their sup­port on the Energyshare site — we cur­rently have 227 sup­port­ers, and have moved up to 1st place, but we need to stay there, and that aint going to be easy! If you haven’t signed up yet, get on over to The Evening News edit­or­i­al (bot­tom of this page, under the ‘Sick Kids’ lead­er) is also help­fully supportive.

There’s also a fas­cin­at­ing art­icle on loc­al cur­ren­cies by Steve Burgess (with help from Justin and Eva).


Back our Energyshare bid to boost community power

What the proposed wind turbine might look like

Artist’s impres­sion of the pro­posed wind turbine

A unique part­ner­ship between two Edinburgh com­munity groups has been estab­lished to devel­op a com­munity owned wind tur­bine on the coast between Portobello and Leith.

We would really appre­ci­ate it if you, your fam­ily, neigh­bours and friends back our bid by click­ing on the title in the box on the right to reach the web­site, and regis­ter­ing your sup­port for our tur­bine project!

PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town and Greener Leith have joined forces to con­duct detailed feas­ib­il­ity work on a site with­in the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works. Early sur­veys sug­gest a wind tur­bine on this site has the poten­tial to gen­er­ate enough renew­able energy to sup­ply the annu­al elec­tri­city needs of 300‑1300 house­holds, depend­ing on the size of tur­bine installed. Continue read­ing

Market stalls for June

Remember the Portobello Organic Market is on this Saturday, June 4 at Brighton Park from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Hope you can make it along!

The stalls this month will be: Continue read­ing

Portobello Organic Market, this Saturday 4th June

Fantastic loc­ally-pro­duced, sea­son­al and organ­ic food, drink, arts & crafts for sale.

This Saturday there will be new stalls by Kaori Simpson (Japanese noodle bar) and Burgh Bakes (marsh­mal­low cakes).

Where: Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello When: 9.30am — 1.30pm For more inform­a­tion vis­it the mar­ket page.