We had a fantastic day on Wednesday with the Seed Truck at Dunnikier Primary, setting up a wormery. We had a great team of kids from the school’s Eco Group, and we had a crisp, cold, December day – perfect winter garden preparation weather.
Dunnikier Primary is right in the middle of Kirkcaldy, near the train station, and is in an area that doesn’t have much green space. So the school was very pleased when the council gave them the use of the old janitor’s garden – but they weren’t sure where to start. “Call in the Seed Truck!” they said. So in we came and it made sense to start at the beginning – to make your garden grow, what can be more important than the best soil? And the secret to making excellent compost for improving the soil is to befriend nature’s hardest worker – the lowly worm.
So to start the day we teamed up with the council to get a bumper delivery of humus from the council – thanks to Scott Clelland, the Kirkcaldy Area Parks Team Leader. Just as soon as the pupils had all disappeared in from the school playground, in comes the cavalry – or more accurately, a tractor and trailer expertly driven by flourescent jacketed Alan Anderson. This was the cue that the school’s Eco-Group was waiting for, and it was the work of moments to dispense rakes, wheelbarrows, gloves, shovels and spades into eager hands. We got a quick rallying photograph (of course including the Seed Truck flag) before we got to work.
There were two Seed Truckers on the scene that day – Fergus Walker and James Chapman. Fergus is a dab hand with building things out of wood, and James, with his background in Permaculture, is a multi-talented individual when it comes to gardens and working with kids. So the Eco-group split up into two teams, the worm-box builders and the mulchers. The mulchers set to work loading the well-rotted leaf mould from the trailer and barrowing it round to the garden, while the builders set to work sawing and nailing to build an Annelid Des Res in record time. The key to the design of the box in this case is insulation, meaning that the worms will not freeze and die if it gets too cold, and also be more active in the winter. We re-used an old pallet to form the basis of the double-walled structure.
The worms we are using are the blue nose worm, which are excellent composters (unlike the usual earthworm, which prefers soil not old vegetable peelings, so isn’t ideal). The site we got ours from, www.compostworms.co.uk, states the following:
The Blue Nose worm has been examined by biology experts who have devised the latin name Eisenia Hortensis and also Dendrobeaena Veneta. Whatever its true name, it remains a fantastic worm that will just about eat any waste from farms, kitchens and gardens, and is therefore the worm we recommend for all domestic wormeries.
Blue Nose worms —
- Breed well
- Produce excellent worm castings
- Grow to a good size
- Travel well in containers
- Produces indoors or outdoors
- Always live near the surface
- Are big eaters — producing lots of worm castings
- Perfect for garden composting
The day also marked the first step to the setting up of a brand new Seed Truck Network, which will support six gardening projects across central Scotland to get going growing their own food ready for spring. Setting out from our base in Burntisland in Fife, we will be going out to Ceres Primary School (Fife), Dunnikier Primary School (Fife), Holy Cross High School (Hamilton), The Fife Maggie’s Centre, The Children 1st Chill Out Zone in Bathgate, and a new community garden project at Maryhill Community Central Halls in Glasgow. The gardens are at different stages of action, from bare sites with no soil, to ready set up gardens – some with lots of help and expertise, some with just a few volunteers. The Seed Truck will be on hand to help wherever it can with a mix of practical workshops.
I think the photos tell the story better than I can tell it in words, so it’s over to the camera for the rest.