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New Classroom almost ready

Our new classroom will shortly be ready for use.  Our thanks to World of Football for donating the portakabin. Derek Clark and his team at D J Clark Decorators have done a great deal of work renovating and painting inside and out.  We will now have a homely and cosy base for the project, which will last us many years.

Working Party So Far

We have had a couple of very busy days with our working party. We are delighted with the turnout and progress made to date.

All the raised beds have been painted with preservative.  They now look like new.

Raised Beds
Spring clean for raised beds

The compost bins now have fronts, which will keep all the material inside and give plenty of ventilation.

Compost bins done
Two very satisfied constructors

Two more beds have been dug over and are ready for use.

Rotavator
Turning over
Beds dug
Two more beds finished

 

 

 

 

 

The seating area is well under way.  The soil has been shifted, the site levelled and we have started to barrow in the hardcore.

starting on seating area
We will have this done in a couple of hours
Seating area in progress
Will that do?

 

 

A lot of work has been done on tidying up the site.  Wherever possible, material has been recycled.

Making use of material on site
Making use of material on site
compost on the move
We can make use of this

Tomorrow, Sunday 8 May is our last day.  Can you come along and help finish the task?

West Craigie Apiary May 2016

West Craigie Apiary     May 2016

Logo
A good place to bee logo

Our apiary site is now looking good thanks to all the volunteers hard work; the first full inspection of all hive colonies has taken place. A new queen bee was found in Anna & Elsa marked and wings clipped, other hives have evidence of a queen laying. The strength of the colonies is not great but at least they have survived the winter. In general neighbouring bee keepers colonies have died off due to the poor end to autumn last year and the recent poor weather.

This month we will be encouraging all our bee colonies to expand in numbers, which will involve first ensuring each hive has a strong queen, then keeping a watch on the egg laying and brood within the frames. As well as double brood boxes per hive we have also placed on the first honey super to encourage bee storage and hopefully surplus for us to remove.

Traditionally the end of May is the start of the bee swarming season; this is the natural instinct of the bees to propagate the species by division, commonly called swarming. Hopefully we will be able to stop our hives from splitting by removing new queen cells and starting new young colonies.

We now have a functioning solar wax extractor where surplus wax, cappings, propolis from old frames can be melted down and bees wax collected.

We will still meet every Sunday and Monday afternoons, there are ample bee suits for all, to take part in the hive manipulations.

Basic Vegetable Growing Course

 

ThEleven of us braved the elements on Thursday 28 April and benefitted from a most informative course.  It was good to see that every group was represented.  We were able to see first hand what can be achieved.  Ben Dell from the Edible Garden Project provided excellent tuition and lots of tips.  The primary one was – read the instructions on the seed packet.  We are looking forward to seeing the results at Craigie’s.

Working Party

Our next working party is on 6/7/8 May from 09:30 – 16:00 each day. Please can you help us?

We have been very busy at Craigies this year, but need to complete some work, before we can look at the next stage and prepare ourselves for two public openings – The Farm Open Day on 5 June and The Power of Food Festival on 18 and 19 June.

Please can you give us some of your time to help us? Some, but not all will require physical effort.

The main task will be to build the common area, which will allow us to add tables, benches and a barbecue to the site.

We will also be planting up hanging baskets for the High Street and for sale in the shop. This one our main sources of income.

The site needs a good clean up and there will be some digging of new plots, ready for groups to take on.

Please try to come along, even if it is just to see the changes.

To aid our planning, please can you let us know if you are likely to help and when you might come along?

Men’s Shed News

Queensferry Men’s Shed have been meeting up each Friday in the classroom.  After coffee and a biscuit, they have been tackling various jobs around the project.  Last week 1 April, a group rotavated the new plot, whilst others set to in the polytunnel.  This week the the team potted on some 1000 plugs and started on the hanging baskets, ready for sale in the shop.  Some just came for coffee and a chat.

Beekeeping Hive Talk

As you can see from attached photo the Apiary site is now taking shape, “double” brood boxes now placed on 5  hives which will lead to them being strong colonies for this Summer with  a further 4 hives awaiting bees which will be bred from existing stock later in the year.

Bees flying
Bees now waking up

Our Winter/ Spring task list is nearly complete thanks to the many attendees on Sundays & Mondays.  Work now will be on general  hive issues :- ensuring that brood frames are healthy, identifying and marking the new Queens, placing on honey supers ,  drinking tea & sitting relaxing at our bench.

There is a notice in Classroom window with walking directions down to the Apiary site to  watch the bees flying during the day.  There are  Bee Aware safety signs on fence & displayed information re bees.

We are still meeting every Sunday and Monday from 1:30 pm, but are more likely to be down at the hives.

PS  even got seed and plants in the ground