BioSS volunteering day at Lauriston Farm

11 July, 2023
BioSS staff weeding a native hedgerow under blue skies

On the 11th of July a team of volunteers from BioSS headed out under blue skies to spend the day volunteering at Lauriston Farm in Edinburgh. Lauriston Farm and Edinburgh Agroecology Co-op are working to create a large scale urban food growing project which is nature rich, and will benefit the local community whilst regenerating the environment.

After a short training session, the team spent the morning weeding a native hedgerow which had been planted the year before. The young trees including hawthorn, dog roses, and rowan were being surrounded by thistles and grasses, so it was important to give them some room to breathe. The purpose of this work is to assist the conversion of degraded pasture land (grasses only) to a more biodiverse agroforestry environment. The work is relevant to the wider goals of the James Hutton Institute and Scottish Government priorities as we collectively work towards understanding and alleviating aspects of the biodiversity crisis and to be active members of our local communities.

The afternoon was spent in the harvest garden preparing a large garlic harvest for curing in order to ensure it stores well. The garlic will form part of their Community Supported Agriculture veg box scheme. The market garden is a project to ensure a sustainable local food supply for deprived areas in North Edinburgh and to connect local people with nature and food production systems. The garden will also assist in preserving older varieties of fruit and vegetables.

We also had a look at the hazel trees we planted in the agroforestry area on our volunteering day in 2022, which appear to be growing well!

Many thanks to Edinburgh Agroecology Co-op and Lauriston Farm for having us - you can learn more about the project here.