Author Archives: peter_upton

Mushroom Growing course

There will be a Mushroom Growing Course on Saturday the 19th of February, between 10am and 12 noon. Come along and learn from Dr Neville Kilkenny the fas­cin­at­ing art of grow­ing edible mush­rooms on wooden logs, and take home your own inn­ocu­lated log! This is an indoor course lim­ited to 12 places. The course is free, but we sug­gest a dona­tion of £5. Please reserve your place early to avoid dis­ap­point­ment! (NB This course is now full, but register your interest with us in case we are able to lay on anoth­er mush­room event.)

Winter Solstice celebration bonfire warms the cockles

On Saturday 18th of December, 2 — 4pm, PEDAL held a Winter Solstice Celebration at Donkeyfield Community Orchard. Around 40 people came along to cel­eb­rate this most sea­son­al of events, includ­ing sev­er­al folk who had nev­er been to the orch­ard before — not bad for sub-zero tem­per­at­ures. The trees were was­sailed in fine fash­ion (thanks to Gordon for the loc­al cider, and Mairi for the song from the Winter’s Night con­cert), Peter brewed up some fine mulled wine and cre­ated a fant­ast­ic­ally warm­ing fire, Beth told a great story and some lovely lan­terns were made.

Apple Day feedback — how was it for you??!

We had a won­der­ful Apple Day/ Halloween cel­eb­ra­tion on Saturday 30th of October, with near per­fect weath­er, a bon­fire, many pounds of apples being juiced, tof­fee apples, peel­ing com­pet­i­tion, Splat the Rotten Apple and folk turn­ing up in won­der­ful fancy dress. Many thanks to all who came and to all who helped.

However, if you were there, we’d be very pleased if you would take a moment to send us your com­ments and feed­back. What did you like ? What would have made it bet­ter? Are you likely to join in future com­munity events at the orch­ard? Woteva! — we look for­ward to hear­ing from you.

Please send com­ments to:

St Philip’s campaign and pledge

Sunday 26th September saw the launch of a cam­paign by St Philips church to sup­port the con­greg­a­tion and church hall users in redu­cing their car­bon emis­sions by 10% with­in a year.

At har­vest sunday mass, there was a present­a­tion on cli­mate change and things we can all do to reduce our car­bon foot­print. Over the fol­low­ing year, there will be oppor­tun­it­ies for people to make pledges, receive more inform­a­tion on how to ful­fill these, and report back on the changes they’ve made.

Summer Pruning course

Many folk would like to gain con­fid­ence in prun­ing fruit trees and fruit bushes. The Summer Pruning course to be run at the Community Orchard off Brunstane Road South on the even­ing (6.30pm‑8.30pm) of Thursday 19th of August is for those who want to learn how to get the most from their fruit trees etc by judi­cious prun­ing. Contact Peter Upton or Polly Cooke if you’d like to register for this one-off even­ing course. There’ll be a book­ing fee of £10 to reserve your place, though there’ll be no fur­ther cost.

Bread Making course

If you are inter­ested in learn­ing how to bake your own bread, please con­tact Polly Cooke or Peter Upton at PEDAL. There will be a small charge for the course to cov­er mater­i­als and hire of premises, but we aim to keep this to a minimum.

Container Growing Course — Town Hall

The first PEDAL Container Growing course will begin on Saturday 5th of June at 2pm. Using a strip of cleared ash path at the back of Portobello Town Hall, Course Tutor Dave Roberts will instruct par­ti­cipants on the con­struc­tion of tim­ber raised beds and the prin­ciples of garden­ing in these and oth­er con­tain­ers. The course is aimed at those inter­ested in grow­ing more of their own fresh salads, greens and fruit but with lim­ited space. If you’d like to sign up to the next course, con­tact Peter Upton at

Dig In Porty! Free courses on growing your own veg

Would you be inter­ested in learn­ing to grow more of your own fruit and veg?

We hope to offer a short course over 4 Saturdays, begin­ning on the 29th of May at Telferton Allotments. At the moment we are only able to offer the course to six people on a first-come, first-served basis. This course on grow­ing Spring and Summer Greens will cov­er the the­ory and prac­tice of dig­ging, under­stand­ing your soil, com­post, seed sow­ing  and care of your plants.

If there is suf­fi­cient interest we’d like to run oth­er courses on how to grow in raised beds & con­tain­ers, and on grow­ing potatoes.

Courses are being offered free, although there will be a small charge (£10) to cov­er the cost of seeds and some materials.

If you or someone you know is inter­ested in these courses, or in being kept informed of oth­er courses PEDAL may offer in the future, please con­tact Peter ( or Polly (

We look for­ward to hear­ing from you!