Open meeting – first steps towards productivity

(Photos by David Vallis)

We were all very delighted by the great turnout and feedback at the first open meeting for the project on Friday 24th July. We counted 51 participants, and added 10 new expressions of interest to our list. We take it as a good sign that there was interest in all areas of the project from learning more about growing food (6),  growing more at home (5), and individual (3) or group (2) plots in the Community Gardens.  And almost everyone (9) also putting their hands up for volunteering to help with setting up and running the project – including a generous donation of 4 apple trees! We will be in touch with everybody who signed up with more information shortly.

If you weren’t able to make it – never fear – the information boards about PLANT and the project will be displayed in the windows of the Harbour Cafe starting Tuesday, 28th of July. And you can sign up online here. But – the lovely home-made cakes and cordials are now all gone….(sorry, we forgot to take any pictures of those).

We have had some very useful comments, including suggestions for:

  • Sale of surplus produce from the Community Gardens and from the home growers
  • Garden activities:
    • A children’s Saturday gardening club
    • Tie –in to youth achievement/asdan opportunities via high schools/education service e.g. enterprise leadership
    • Offering saltire award opportunities
    • Indoor activities for winter/rainy days
    • Bugs and creepy crawlies workshops – connect with James Hutton Institute to find out about good and bad pests!
  • Additional equipment for the garden:
    • tables and seats in the garden so that we can have lunch together
    • things for activities – shovels, footballs, goals.
    • a gazebo or sheltered seating area for visitors to sit and enjoy the space
  • Development of the curling pond area in line with its heritage

There was also a call for the work plan for the community garden being posted on the blog “to help folk identify what they might be able to help with” and to keep the residents local to the garden site informed. Having just received the planning permission, it is still early days but we will put further information up on this blog as soon as a clear plan of action is developed. We would like to echo Peter Duncan’s assurance to the local residents concerned about parking in Pond Lane and disturbance due to the site set up, that we will do everything to make sure this does not become an issue. As Fife Allotment Officer, Peter Duncan has had much experience in developing similar projects, ensuring minimal disturbance at development stage and a longterm traffic/parking management. We are confident that in close collaboration with him we will be able to ensure that we will remain good neighbours. Peter said that he is keen to keep communication with the local residents open, keeping everyone abreast the programme of works. In the meantime, he declared his door open to any further enquiries and comments – you can contact him directly via email. In the future, all Garden users will be encouraged to walk or cycle to the garden, or will be directed to park at the existing car park opposite the tennis court. The plot holder agreements will stipulate restrictions on parking locally, with violations resulting in removal of the plot. This will be supported by clear signage at the site and at entry to this part of Pond Lane. Please feel free to get in touch with us with anything further via email.

And finally – a big thank you to Tayport Beaver and Cub Scouts Leaders, Bruce Davidson and Mark Irwin, for making the hall available for this meeting, and good luck with plans for kitchen and bathroom renovations in the hall!

Added on 30 July 2015: Planning application report and permission (including all of the conditions) are now available on the Fife Council website here.

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