Elder Farm Community

NB Minutes and other documents can be found uploaded to blogs

Welcome to Elder Farm Community Website

Formerly known as LEGUP Glasgow, the Elder Farm Community is based in the grounds of the remaining Fairfield Farm Steading at Linthouse.  We are always looking for volunteers and supporters.  For more information please contact us at elderfarm.govan@gmail.com


Meanwhile :

 we have run out of space so have divided the site into 3 :

LEGUP - Linthouse Elderpark Govan Urban Planters 2010 - Jan 2013

Elder Farm Feb 2013 - Dec 2013

Elder Farm Jan 2014 and onwards


Meanwhile, Elder Farm Community - Who Exactly Are We?


Elder Farm, Elder Park and the Common Good Vision
A group dedicated to:

Growing organic foods and to providing a pleasant educational space for the community, wildlife and the bees

Restoring the existing derelict building in accordance with the conditions of the deed of gift for the benefit of the community

Govan was the centre of a heavy ship building industry on the back of which many fortunes were made.  Families of the men who built the ships were crammed into cramped one room spaces and they were ailing.

In 1884, Isabella Elder spent over £37,000 on the purchase of "certain lands situated at Fairfield in the parish of Govan"

At further "considerable" additional cost,buildings were added, trees and shrubs planted, walkways and carriageways laid,"... to provide a suitable public park and recreation ground for the inhabitants of the Burgh of Govan in the immediated neighbourhood of which my husband carried on the business of an Engineer and Shipbuilder and in the welfare of which he ever manifested a deep interest."

The property referred to as "the Park", and Elderpark, was placed into the care of the Commissioners of the Burgh of Govan with certain conditions.

Govan Burgh was later annexed, by the City of Glasgow. 

The City Council Parks Department took over the running of Elderpark.  Since when a couple of keepers cottages were built on the site and then torn down, while the main building already converted into waiting rooms, was used as office and storage space.  Parks eventually became Land and Environmental Services, and about 15 years ago, LES moved their offices to a spanking new site in Bellhouston Park, leaving the Fairfield Farm Steading site to fall into disrepair.  Around 6 years ago Linthouse Housing Association were given ownership of the site along with £167,000 to repair the building and put it back into community use

However they allegedly spent the funds on consultancy fees for a museum / healthy living center estimated to cost around £2.5million, all of which was to be paid for by the National Lottery.   This project was however allegedly rejected by Govan Community who apparently felt that the £2.5million might more usefully be spent on local works to create local jobs.  And in fact according to a local councillor, less than 10% of wages paid on local enterprise over the past ten years has gone to workers with a Govan post code.  Considering funds were laid aside from Europe to create works which would regenerate the heart of Govan and it's economy, it is not exactly clear how one successfully regenerates an economy by paying wages to (with no offence meant) folk more likely to spend wages elsewhere, Edinburgh for example


So folk asked that this project at the very least, delivered training and work experience to locally unemployed workers.

And more folk called for the rebuild to incorporate sustainable solutions

And it was said that National Trust works would soon be needing workers who understood and had worked on projects incorporating sustainable solutions and listed buildings and the Fairfield Steading building, once a farm house is indeed listed. and a sustainable solution would make running the center much cheaper which would by default keep running costs down

But the history of the stones that make up the fabric of the building could have an even earlier history 

Meanwhile the community hold that this sole surviving building is an eyesore and prevailing danger to any youngster naturally attracted to the ruin. And until the building is repaired the gardens are kept locked while there are no gardners present to warn invading youngsters who otherwise will climb walls and fence to access the grounds and explore, not to climb on the roof.  Any attempt to dissuade them is viewed as a challenge. Intruders clamber over the East Pavilion rotting roof, to access either the chimney stack, for a fine view over the park, ortry to access the inner recesses, for pow wows and other group activities.


Mistaken steps tear more holes in the fabric, allowing more rain water in and further damaging the structure. It is only a matter of time before there is a serious injury and a life is lost. The main roof is weak, inner floors are rotten and the West Pavilion roof which volunteers worked to restore at personal cost was destroyed in a fire February 2012. This part of the building was broken into only two weeks after City Properties carried out an expensive and extensive temporary repair.

Currently the building is understood to be under the aegis of LES with City Property as caretaker - managing security and carrying out repairs



Elder Farm Community
The intention of this project is to honour the Deed of Gift, and provide free food for anyone who walks in the gate, as well as a pleasant educational space to commune with nature. The site has suffered from a deal of fires as the community attempt to voice their displeasure about decisions made.  A survey sent out before the Xmas holidays returned over 1000 reponses asking for toilets and an eco community.  The museum was slightly less popular

Since when we have received a digital copy of the original Deed of Gift which was said to have been consumed in the Mitchell library

And we  patiently await a constituted committee to finally get around to fun fund raising events along with letters etc to bring this building back into use with as many mod cons as a sustainable solution and tight budget will allow

The focus which was on finding training experience for the unemployed has sadly fallen to the wayside due to the lack of effort any of those unemployed actually made to help the project get started and it looks like it falls to those with energy from other places to bring it about

However if we can focuse as closely as possible to the original idea of bring work experience to local workers perhaps some deal can be set up with local colleges.


Once the essential basic repairs to the building are in place, all dangers associated with that inherant human need to investigate derelict buildings will be removed and the gates can be left open for the community to enjoy the space in their own leisure time, leisure time being so varied according to the very nature of city life and job shifts.

As a bonus, the space will no longer thwart any team chasing miscreants through the park who are currently able to vanish into the grounds. Open grounds would assist police and community support groups to keep the park safe.  Several attacks including rape were reported over the past years in the unlit area of the park near the Italian Portico and the Farm Building.  Several weapons have been found in the front garden amongst the bags and bags of rubbish raked out from among the brambles, weeds and long grass


Suggestions have been made to invite concerned local organisations and groups to provide a member to a Trust committee or steering group which would be responsible for the redevelopment and eventual running of the project. This should ensure continuity if members should move onto other projects or fall ill etc  Any way the building needs to be fixed up soon


While this building is not a registered Common Good Property, it is strongly felt that the  people of Scotland need to interest themselves in what and where the Common Good Properties are and how they are being managed.   It would be interesting to find out how many members of the community are even aware of the benefits of Common Good Properties, both assets and funds.  Currently Common Good Funds which according to the Glasgow City Council website were in 2012, in the region of £14. 06 million in useable funds (ie in stocks and shares) alone. and available to be spent on entertaining visiting dignatories

Many city assets have been found to have been handed or sold to privatised ownership, instead of being managed by the local community but fortunately for Govan community there are still funds available to us if we can only get a committed constituted team to get down to business




Currently information can be found on Facebook :


  • Elder Farm Community Garden Group

  • Elder Farm Community Trust Group

  • Common Good Glasgow

  • Elder Farm Community

 Jimdo for those who abhore Facebook   http://legup.jimdo.com for early years to Jan 2013 http://elderfarm.jimdo.com for following years until Jan 2014 and 2014 and onwards http://elderfarm2.jimdo.com


The intention is to upload as much information as possible for the community to edit / comment / keep up with events


email elderfarm.govan@gmail.com or commongood.glasgow@gmail.com


text 07708760225 (preferably between 9am – 9pm) Find us on Google maps G51 4AA







Garden Update March 2014


 Well finally we have run out of space and have no more room to upload photos and documents so if you want to know what we are up to you will have to check out the Elder Farm 2014 and Onwards site





Quite busy since last update in October.....






Garden Update 22 October 13


Garden Update 22 October 2013


It has been quite a while since the last report for which I apologise, and this report will be a bit raggedy, probably because we have had such a lack of interested parties to work with committee stuff which is very disheartening. So apologies for the very bitty info, but we move forward, because permaculture is alive and kicking ass


Generally we have had a pretty long hot summer, and stricter job centre rulings insist that we are not supposed to spend more than 16 hours on voluntary work, which makes what should be simple and easy and lot more complicated. Technically the point of the garden is to give a person experience, and chance for reference along with a breathing space to forget about the trials and tribulations of being unemployed, along with which, gardening is not really a clock thing. On top of which, it is not practical to weed or disturb plants during the day firstly because of the bees but also because disturbing roots or plants during the day endangers the connection between plant and the microbes and moisture in the beds. As a result, it seemed more sensible to chose evening to spend allowed hours, which means it has not been open during the day, which has disappointed many potential visitors.




Well it does seem that all that composting on site, - well I call it trenching – that is digging a trench, adding a generous mix of manure, and organic matter and mixing it all up at the bottom before filling in with the next trench dugouts etc,- seems water wise to have been a success. We had around 18 days without water and frankly a lot longer considering the lightness of the rain, and during that time only watered in new plants, until almost the very end when some of the plants were definitely beginning to wilt, possibly because some of the beds are not so very deep. The whole garden got a thorough drenching again one evening with the hose at this point trying not to disturb any bees, who seemed to be quite happy and accommodating throughout the process. They had been getting a little crabby after the water was run off and we found ourselves unable to fill up the small dishes and butt covers left out for them to drink from Shortly after that it began to rain again and we have more or less managed pretty well apart for not having water to offer dogs, wash pots or hands, etc We always used to have secret stash of rain water collected in the large tyres standing around the garden but someone keeps putting them away


Early August the MacLinnges battered their way into the blue container so it does not have a lock anymore – for some reason they decided to break the glass instead of sliding it back for access. They also broke into the red container smashing everything up inside, making off with several cherished items including chisel and drill sets, pickaxe, stand pipe and key. Since the kids are not often allowed in these days, we tend not to need the pickaxe to help them get out of the boiler pit when they get stuck inside, and have been able to borrow a pipe and key on occasion to fill a couple of water containers. However as soon as we filled up the butts the MacLinnges run it off again. Plants collected for other projects including St Kenneths once the long awaited compost arrives, have also been smashed up.


Compost Bee Garden and Kugel Beds


Yes we do have a compost connection again. Scottish Hydro kindly arranged for a delivery of 12.6 tons of super warm compost for the Shearer Bee Garden. There are a few trees in the garden which have been blocking light and rainfall from the garden. With help from the brilliant Payback Team, limbs hanging very low were taken down, which increased light to the garden. These limbs were neatly cut up by the Payback Team, along with half of the cherry damaged by the Xmas fire, and brought up to Robinson Road along with any organic composting materials we could find, including a large number of very smelly bags of what was once grass clippings, and now more or less silage.


Sheets of cardboard were laid in bed shapes, and the chopped branches and organic materials added. Galgael was raided for three truck loads of beautiful logs, which were used to contain the beds, and all filled with this roasting compost. Now looking at the Kugel kraft material on you tube I realise that it probably would have been better to put the logs in the centre of the beds, and that our small heap of chopped wood was pretty pathetic, but we are in touch with the arbour department and thinking about a Kugel upgrade in a couple of weeks. We waited for St Saviours to come and add finishing touches but time tables could not be stretched, so finally decided to hose down the beds to put out that fire, enticing the interest of a couple of foxes who had been warming their derriers on the warm soil all week, planted up and watered for a couple of days until the rain took over.


Pleasingly the Yacouba Sawadogo bed created at the end of last term had survived and looked sweet, and sturdy although the plants were quite small. In all the bee garden doesn't look brilliant, and definitely needs the young magic. We need to put collective thinking hats on and arrange regular connection with the school. Once the leaves fall, we may be able to upgrade it to ensure that nutrients and water will last. The larger the wood core the greater the organic materials, the more chance of an endless supply of nutrient to the garden for years and the more chance of sweet smelling nectar rich plants. As other plants and fruit trees are introduced, hopefully wildlife will be attracted and this will add more nutrient. And that's permaculture design folks. Funnily enough, we seem to have built a swale along the edge closest to the building. It is funny how you do things because it seems a logical answer, and then find others do it too and have a name for it. These permaculture videos have offered a much clearer insight into why and what. It is great to get video from the true masters, who make it so simple


The garden plants started late this year and trees are only just beginning to turn. So we have a few weeks before that good resource is truly available. Am very keen to get in as much organic matter as parks and friends can throw at us and see if we can get some real Kugel beds in – apparently Kugel mean “huge”, so now is the time to plan and design and see if we can fit in some of these huge wood core beds in the garden. We have made a start on a couple and may have chance of getting in some real tree trunks if we can get enough folk to cart them to the right spot – O I forgot Payback Team – awesome resource.!!


We used grass clippings and woodchip for mulch this year, and am already looking at the woodchip path and thinking about adding that to beds, if we can find a source to replace, fingers crossed. Am also definitely going to promote the chop and drop, which again I nearly incorporated this year but feel weird because everyone else is taking to compost. Now I know there are others out there doing it and making it a success am fired up to go. Of course there has to be a compromise between appearance and what appears to be true permaculture, but then surely that is also part of permaculture design – there are guidelines, understanding and then needs. Perhaps we will even interest parks in making a couple of Kugel beds in Elderpark or around for the games – unless they are already heading in that direction. I have my sights on a couple of beds in the riverside for experiment.



Plants and crops


Clumps of seedlings have been appearing all over the garden thanks to friends and especially Lyndsay and Stephen. Lift a plant leaf and find loads of wee onion chive leek cabbage seedlings. Thanks to which we have loads of onion sets grown from our seed in our garden for next year start.


Our courgettes rapidly turned into gigantic marrows, our cucumbers were delicious, and our carrots, beetroot and potatoes a screaming success. I think the difference this year is we have not interfered with plants at all. No taking off males, no constant prodding and removing leaves. There was an early threat of the leaf thing which may be due to drainage / excess moisture, but we added in a yarrow plant and that seems to have helped or else the weather dried up.


Thanks to Stephen we have a lot of thyme plants around the garden and more onion coming every day Stephens cherry tomatoes were delicious and I hope we have some seed from them. The rest of the tomato story is as usual sad – they grow then they blemish, - added to which tomatoes were late this year. But we still have not added calcium to the soil. I am ignorant – perhaps bone meal is the answer. I cannot find anyone to offer a real opinion. Previously I have never had this problem, but then previously I have always had a bag of calcium aggregate to add to my trenching mix. Here in the city it is either extortionately expensive or hard to find. I have tried potash, chicken pellets, and considered over and over again powdered plaster, but chickened out.. Finally from this wonderful mix of permaculture info on YouTube, it seems crushed rock even old cement will do. Drat we have loads of that lumpy stuff that got wet in the red shed. Ah well next year


We tried corn again this year – thanks to Stephen, and this has been a semi success. The plants were magnificent, getting the ears to turn to something edible was another matter. Probably due to lack of right nutrients, and will replan with wood core next year. Apparently along with many permies am trying to find perfect mix without need for additional artificial nutrient. Apparently, sweet corn is nitrogen hungry – maybe there was a nitrogen lockup, maybe not enough manure, but next year we can try it out in what was this year's patch for beans and peas (but actually mostly phacaelia). Bet the phacaelia comes up again next year. With enough carbon in wood chip and weed matter added it should be interesting .


We are still digging up potatoes, have a number of cabbages, good looking leeks and loads of kale


We have planted in new leeks and also cabbages. The birds ate a lot of the brassica plant leaves this year, so we covered a couple of rows with net. The plants grew big, but were covered in slug poo. Whereas the other plants grew back leaves and looked pretty appetising. Think we will protect the seedlings for a while and then leave nature to it.. It is a great pity we cant have hens so pigeons are the next best thing. Thinking along those line possibly if we bought them some grain they might leave the leaves alone


We have a couple of rats in the garden which is a little worrying, but last years wasp problem turned out OK, so perhaps this will also work itself out. This year the wasps have been nesting further down in the front garden this year amongst the nasturtiums and good luck to them as they defend an access point !!


We have supplied veg to the Vital Spark, and more recently to the Gazelle a couple of times and once to the Dinner Nights, the Galgael and the Preschall. We have also been giving visitors and workers veggies, mostly potatoes, and of course plants galore. Several passers by have offered to come in and help but have not reappeared, lives are very busy, but fingers crossed the survey which goes out through local schools etc over the next week or so may invite more active participation. As always we long to open the gates, bring down the barriers and have this place jumping with families and friends


We may have another shot at a voucher from M&S and are considering an event in the future possibly in connection with all hallo's bonfire night or midwinter solstice








Garden Update 10 July 2013


Garden Update 10 July 2013

Well as some of you may know sadly Steven Allmark passed away early in June – he was sitting in the Garden cooking food for everyone and sharing his glorious radish on day and gone the next and we miss him very much

Steven was a great guy, peacemaker and brilliant at getting things to work. Including us humans

So we have been quite busy over the space of the month of June getting ready for the Govan Fair Fun Day event – apparently some folk were so impressed with Steven they wanted to do an interview with him. I should say so. We hope that when time has healed a bit we can have a page so that family members can recount stories about Steven, because there were many and they were all amazing


We were joined in June by John MacAndrew, a gentleman full of fire, ability and knowledge who has years of working on various historic project including the Glenlee and the Skylark IX which is being refitted for the Dunkirk Flotilla, having been raised from the bottom of the River Leven at Balloch and recognised as being a Dunkirk Veteran

Chris Wright and his team have been into the garden several times to help cut the grass and trim the hedges in order to keep the front garden and orchard looking smart – thanks so much guys it looks great, and Michelle and Chris ZenthenJames have been working hard with slates to create beautiful paths which look very smart

Chris and Tiger were a lucky find – we met them outside the garden one night trying to retrieve some pallets the young team had chucked over for easy access in the future – guys!!!

Chris has been slowly tidying up the garden, sweeping here hoeing there, trying not to worry about being unemployed – why he is unemployed is a mystery, but currently our gain

So far plants seem to be doing well this summer, which is useful, because the kids keep running off the water. Or were until Daniel and Chris turned the butts around. Luckily for us other water butt handles are broken so a little harder to switch on.

Shearer Bee Candle Project

Well this was very interesting. We spent a week potting up and caring for plants to go into the what turned out to be hard core subsoil – no topsoil at all just grass and moss.

But the pupils of St Saviours are made of tougher material than that and happily waded in with pickaxe and gloves to haul out stones galore, which they used to make a bee cairn. We have heard about Yacouba Sawadogo, who grew trees to stop the desert by planting seed with balls of manure mix. We barrowed a good a mix of leaves, compost and manure from the garden, dug holes and trenches in the tiny space we concentrated on, which was still full of stones, and lined them with moss. Then we added the compost mix, and planted peas, chives, wall flowers, and other been plants on top. Shearer Candle workers kindly watered by hand with buckets for a couple of days, until it rained and we are pleased to report that while the site is a pretty sorry mess, the plants are all still alive even after the heat.

We are hoping that the organic matter and moss will hold the moisture in after the rain, under the soil and the stones will reflect away the heat, and protect from wind. It will be interesting to see if the plants have survived by start of term time for the students to see. The good news is that minutes after we had planted the last of the plants, the bees had already found the flowering plants, and we have not taken out any of the current bee friendly flora to boot.

We have tried asking for topsoil from builders but now may have a source for decent affordable compost either from Scottish Hydro partner plant in Linwood, or from GP Plantscape so fingers crossed Shearer's won't have to put up with the eyesore for much longer and the bees will enjoy the plants we have been growing from seed waiting in the garden

Talking of which the garden is quite buzzing with the happiest of bees, they are holding tails quite high, the phacelia is a huge success, as are other plants. Cabbage seedlings, broccoli, lettuce, herbs including the thyme and chives are doing well. And we planted out some more stock, marigold, sweet william, courgettes and beans. Seedlings have been coming up like mad and Steven is keeping us busy trying to find somewhere to put them all safely.

Actually the beans and peas are not doing very well this year considering the amount of seed we have put in the ground. Usually they do quite well. And out of the three boxes in the pergola space, the middle one is a bit sad, which is strange. The same mix of leaves, compost and manure were put into each. It is a puzzle. The same goes for some of the large tyre planters. Some plants are happy while others just fade away. Rosa, our expert is on holiday til August, but we may just try to start some more seed in case we have a long summer.

The roses are beginning to flower which is lovely, the first one came out on the day of Steven's funeral, so we took a small bouquet of garden flowers down, including some of his radish flowers which are quite beautiful. The front garden has been welded off from the rest of the space, so we access it from the park. We have weeded part of the outer bed and planted sunflowers, also by the corner of the fence coming into the park where the soil had been turned by new fence works in the park

And we put some plants including sunflowers into the beds in the front garden, weeded out more thistle and fireweed, but left some to grow for the bees and birds

Some of the roses are promising to grow fast over the fence already and some of the brambles have taken too

The fruit garden is coming along if swamped a little in phacelia, but since the plants are young, having been taken from our own plants early this year, we will probably leave the phacelia be. We may take cuttings later to grow outside the front fence. Gooseberries should thrive there.

The strawberries have been popular and sweet and we have already given away some cabbage leaves, strawberries, kale, herbs, lettuce, potatoes – they are coming up everywhere – and beetroot.

And the weather is scorching


We had a brilliant meeting with the community police and are hoping to hear more from them with regard to the building upgrade later

meanwhile we have in our spare time been working on documents which will we hope get the building project under way, including a constitution, and a couple of architects have visited the site along with a roofing company and are keen to get started – all we need is a team committed to turning up to meetings to get this thing going – any volunteers?






Garden Update 10 June 13


Elder Farm Garden Update 10 June 2013

We have been very busy since the previous update

First came the garden, then the new fence around the Steading perimeter which meant moving all the wood etc from under the leylandii, which meant bringing in the scrap containers to store stuff and then of course the Govan Fair event, plus the Shearer Bee Garden Project all in the course of a couple of weeks!!

There was a near accident which prompted the Council to gather and reconsider our presence in the garden. Fortunately they decided we were an asset, but decided to build a perimeter fence to stop children from getting onto or near the building which is Dangerous. This has meant welding the gate between front garden and the rest of the garden shut which means we will have to go round and tend the garden from the park. Michelle and MB worked in the garden to create a nice slate feature, and Chris and the team managed to jump in and give the garden a workover before the Weld

We moved all the pallets and odd bits and bags out from the perimeter and Galgael came in to push the boat out – it looks very fine, landing on the Govan Road lawn under a tree and makes you feel like you are on holiday every time you see it

New containers

John Adams and Sons, George V Docks, Govan, have kindly loaned us two scrap containers. How to get them on site was the problem. But we spoke to Andrew Galt of Galt Transport Dumbarton kindly found a window that very Friday, and thanks to everyone, we had space to move them in without any mishap. There was a small problem to keys for the blue container which will be used chiefly for meetings and art works, but Daniel and Steven soon fixed that

We were delighted to find loads of extras in a table and benches – just what we needed for the Govan Fair, and some other useful items which had Steven and Daniel dancing in glee

On top of which we met Joe Harper junior clearing out a flat. Joe's parents, Vera and Joe, have passed away. There were a lot of interesting items in the boxes we found on the pavement, and apparently more to come. We suggested that Joe might like to take everything down to the garden where we could distribute stuff we couldn’t use on the lawn, which he did, and because Joe Harper senior was a skilled craftsman, we ended up with some brilliant tools for our future workshops, and the community got some great stuff from the lawn distribution we held on the Govan Fair Saturday.

Chris, Tiger and Steven have built a stone round table lay out for meetings and other spaces for the Govan Fair event, towards which we were all working til a fine Saturday dawn. The event was a fine turn out with easily 400 visitors over the day, many of whom enjoyed the scientific experiments and projects gratis Glasgow university Science Centre, and the fine treehouse, young and older alike.

Marks and Spencer gave us a £50 voucher which allowed us to buy food for the event, and Chris also brought food down to the garden. Generally the barb-i-q was enjoyed by all and we made around £30 in donations £10 of which went to pay for a guest's taxi, after missing the last bus home.


Shearer Candle Bee Garden

The Bee Garden Project has been moving along. We were invited into St Saviours and Riverside Schools to give a talk about bees and food and then took students along the road to view the site, inviting them to create a design for the Garden. We have been curtailed by information that Scottish Hydro no longer deliver / offer compost. So contacted Asda to see if they could help. Asda have offered a prize for winning design, but are not able to help with loads of compost, so we shall have to find topsoil or maybe just dig over the garden over the summer holidays and plant up slowly. Perhaps some parents and community members will help out. We plan to break ground before the holidays


Keeping the moisture in and the cold and pests out

Using the fleece has had very interesting results

We were inundated with leaf munching varmints last year and invested in a good roll of fleece and some small long net polytunnels with help from Tommy this year, to protect crops from leaf munchers, while hopefully creating a wee micro-climate to keep out the cold and keep in the moisture. Steven took this to an art form, choosing a part of the inner bed to sow seeds galore and creating a fleece polytunnel using the old frame from an occupy popup – knew it would come in handy one day!!

The results have been an unquestionably huge success and Steven's patch is bursting with life in comparison to his chosen tyre seed beds which are virtually bare. We especially seem to be having trouble with thyme seedlings which start out great, and then vanish – whether withering or plain munched by some mouse of bird enjoying the sweetness of the seedlings. Luckily for us Steven has masses of thyme, parsley and chives with radishes, and other plants – all thriving under his polytunnel.

We have used the fleece with carrots and sweet corn, courgettes and cucumber and other seedlings with similar success. It really does seem to keep in the moisture and keep out the pests.

After watching the Carol Klein Cottage Garden Series, we were persuaded to invest in a bag of grit and another of topsoil to mix in with the compost. Carol also places a layer of grit over sown seed which stops seeds being washed away and holds of other weed which seems to work. Adding a layer of grit over a newly potted up plant and around the roses does seem to cheer them up. Some seeds still have not come up, but in general it seems to work


Soil improvement and compost

The wood chippings seem to be keeping down the weeds, definitely keep in the moisture , and may be preventing the slugs from sailing on into the crops. In clearing space to bring in the scrap containers from Adam, we moved and stored some chippings and used a lot to mulch up the tatties some of which have been planted quite close together. We were a bit fearful of using raw green wood chips, but the plants seem to like them in general.

It is very pleasant learning about stuff, perhaps in a few years we shall all have some good opinions of our own based on our own experiences and understanding.

On the advice of a friend who swears that this is all the compost he uses, we have tried more phacelia this year. This fixes nitrogen into the ground, has a pretty blue nectar rich flower, and is easy to dig back into the soil.


Quick Tyre on Clydebrae St kindly delivered more tyres to layout for seating for the Saturday Fun Day Event, and we made some tyres towers to hold compost materials – OK weeds – collected from around the garden. Previously, we noticed that pulled weeds bumped into tyre towers break down quite quickly into compost – perhaps the black tyres absorb the heat. Three of four stacked hold quite a few weeds which will break down until we are ready to bring them all up to the compost heap.


The Garden

So far this year we have been able to offer leeks and rhubarb to visitors and workers to take home and have been able to take some down to the Vital Spark for their Community Dinner Nights twice along with oregano and parsley, but now thanks to the rain and sunshine and Steven's green thumb we have been able to offer glorious tasty radishes and the odd kale leaf, while the cabbage, sweet corn, broccoli, parsley and chives are coming up all over the place. Moved some seedlings and plants around yesterday and hey then it rained – God is so good to us :)


The slug war does not really seem to have taken off this year. Slugs are being chucked over the wall – which seems to be a simpler and more effective solution to beer traps etc, but it is early days yet


We transferred broccoli, cabbage and sweet corn around the garden and into pots along with flower seedlings which have been grown for interest colour smell and bee friendly properties

Clumps of mint and lemon balm have been popular with visitors and we are happy to add in a few flowering plants to make their gardens grow


The young team of course have been busy taking home seeds and plants for their doorsteps and Nana’s gardens, and more parents are coming in to see what all the joy is about

Because the young people are really enjoying the garden this year

Of course we haven't hit the holidays yet, but everyone is mostly joking and laughing and perhaps they are beginning to believe that we really are working hard to get to the stage when we can get the building upgraded asap. Which I believe is any time now.


Steven has bought a beauty of a watering can it holds a lake of water. He loves to water even after a big thunderstorm. Trouble is that you can overwater some plants and even make them water dependant. We have dug so much organic matter into the ground over the past 3 years or more so that plants can survive without watering. Plants that have a good root system pick up nutrients from the soil, making them tastier and also more filling – since they satisfy the body's need for trace minerals. Working out watering may not correct water too little – I generally judge it from the plant itself, and or the position . Recent events – plants whose roots systems have just been disturbed, I like to water in every day until it rains, or if they are wilting after a drought.


All the potatoes, except the very first ones planted, are coming up.

Sadly the peas and beans don’t seem to be doing so well this year, or the sweetpeas. Usually they are very easy to grow.

Plants in the middle box in the pergola space do not seem to be thriving well. We have tried new plants and some seem to be OK while others which are thriving in the other two boxes are struggling here. It is a mystery, because all more or less got the same mix of leaves, compost, manure and wood chip covering. The big tyre planters are not doing very well either, well that is some of the plants don't seem to like the environment, especially courgettes and cucumbers, even though the pumpkins seemed very happy with tyres last year.

The roses are coming along, but a couple of the plants have been trampled

We have planted the surviving grape plant in one of the pergola boxes – hopefully this will be its final and successful home. It certainly has survived many disasters including over a year stuck in a pot hardly being watered at all


Steven, Daniel, Chris and the Total Ground Care Team, Chris and Tiger, and Rosa and family have all been terrific assets to the garden. Rosa is an experienced garden. Daniel and Steven are strong and able and so interested in the idea of building projects such as creating electricity etc, Steven is wonderful with the young people and has had them playing tig and other games. He is also a resilient member, soothing our worries with “it'll come, you'll see”, and when tempers are heated he is the peacemaker, steadfastly staying friends with everyone and refusing to allow old issues to spoil the day.


Chris and the Total Ground Care Team have been in several times dropping off grass clippings, and mowing the outer lawn and keeping the orchard, the front garden lawn and hedges in trim

We have tried to keep a few groups of thistle and fireweed around and went out into the Park to create artistic groupings of the same in the bed outside the fence – one to keep folk from climbing the fences along with brambles and roses grown on the fence and two because the blooms are attractive, and nectar rich, and the birds like the seed. However LES have seen fit to strim these down so we shall have to think of something else – perhaps gooseberries would be an acceptable solution.






Garden Update 15 May 13

Garden Update 15 May 2013

Friends of Elder Farm

Tommy, David, Michelle, Daniel, Stevie, Rosa and Veronica, Kashya, Lucy, Morgan, Chris, John Paul, Sky, Kiera, Thomas, Katherine, Kaylie, James. DJ, Stewart and many more have all been stars this month. And new friends plus a great bag of toffees have made it to the garden this month and promised to come again – thanks for the support guys

Google Map

We asked Google map for an update and they have provided a new map showing the building before the West Pavilion roof was burned down, which clearly shows the greenhouse being built and all the beds

We now have an address 1019 Govan Road G51 4AA and a letter box gratis the Dan Steve team

Elder Park

Friend of Elder Park had a seed sowing day, we opened the south gate and a couple of fruit trees have been added to the border. We have sent Raymond Sutton LES a map designating weedkiller free zones including the Riverside Bed. We need to consider the outside beds which are a bit scrappy - perhaps some quince?

Pergola and Black Box Cold Frames

Stevie and Daniel ripped out the rest of the burned polycarbonate, while Michelle cleared up and scrubbed uprights, we barrowed a lot of dubious compost / coke into the North Garden to make bigger beds for the pretty weeds which we like but tend to take over in the garden. The cleared space should allow a more garden friendly layout of containers / workshops when they arrive and provide a nice courtyard sheltered from north and east winds. Daniel suggests using an old car to make a generator to run lighting for this complex with sensor camera

A number of large tyres and three new boxes have been filled with a variety of compost, manure etc, and covered in wood chip ready for seedlings currently growing in tyres and a black box cold frame. Most of the tyre wall bedding is mixed with debris from the fire and only suitable for flowers and climbing bee / bird plants which we hope won’t be affected. Polytunnels (gratis Tommy), gravel and wood chip have all been brought in to play to combat leaf munchers, weeds and drought After watching Carol Klein’s Cottage Garden series, we bought a ton of gravel, another of topsoil to mix with the compost and already seedlings are coming through – (NB It would seem that the seeds planted on the barren day are coming through faster than seeds planted on the advised moon day )

Boxes and giant tyres have been filled with compost leaves and manure mix ready for beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, cucumber and tomatoes. Supports for the beans have been added.

We are using a couple of black boxes as cold frames. The young team brought in zuccini and cucumber seed which we planted into pots and placed in a black box cold frame with some gourd seed. Stevie planted corn which is already coming, along with sweet william, stock, carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage, some of which, taking advantage of the constant rain, have already been planted out in the small polytunnels. Stevie, John G and Taylor planted beans, sweetpea, and pea with support.

Garden Beds

Stevie has taken to the garden like a duck with green fingers, planting out lots of soft fruit some from our own cutting in the fruit corner beside the chamomile lawn. A fox died so Dan planted him in the fruit corner. The fruit has been interplanted with kale because they are still so small, and may not grow much despite the muck and graft. A border of rhubarb and wallflower borders the chamomile lawn which has mostly been weeded, excepting a few flowering plants for bees and pollinators til other flowers come on. Stevie, David, Rosa, Daniel have all planted potatoes, while the young team and Stevie sowed sunflowers, carrots, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli. John G and Taylor planted beans and peas with pallet support Rosa watched over seed planting in planters, tyres, and beds. The tomatoes are a bit slow this year, but the all around the garden, seedlings are peeping through, cuttings are taking, chives and thyme from last year are starting to flower, while the wallflower continues to shine. Remaining climbers have been bedded with Yarrow and Herb Robert.

The dandelions are beginning to show. Ding is coming out in pink blossom, the big old cherries around the garden look great in pink and white. Michelle and Rosa have been working in the herb chi and we are looking for new herbs to add to empty spaces

Looks like we are a month ahead of last year and plants have a good chance to survive drought or another rainy summer. The wood chip is a bit twiggy, and we still don’t have a generator to refine it, but we are picking out the twigs and have spread it all over the new beds in the old greenhouse / pergola space. It looks great and we will probably spread more around once the wild flowers in the Orchard and South Garden have come through.

Wildlife in the Garden

David helped Daniel and Stevie cut a barrel in half to make a new water feature at the gate. It looks great and saved the lilly. We hope the reeds will keep the water clean and the iris will like the damp, but are keeping an eye out for leaf munchers – which seem to have disappeared since the bath was ripped out. If they reappear we shall fill up the tub with more gravel and soil and have a boggy planter instead but currently it is a great place to start off seeds and also provides water for our garden friends.

We have scattered more wild flower seed, and gave some to the young team to take home.

We have been madly hoeing, but remembering last years beautiful wild patch, we have decided to save corners for “weeds” which feed bees and birds (with seed) so a space for those creeping buttercups which drive us crazy; another for nettles which are great for compost and popular with butterflies; another for dockens – the birds love the seed; thistle and fireweed – again the seed is loved. And of course loads of lemon balm and hopefully cat mint which drove the bees crazy last year.

The rocket is already flowering and we have a bumble bee who seems to like the container. We filled in the holes in the gate bed hoping the wasps won’t nest there again this year although they are a boon to gardens feeding on aphids etc.

Tommy’s small polytunnels seem to be fending off the pigeons. The mice may have had more success, but there is a new cat in town, so they seem to be a little rarer these days. Still the year is young. There are a pair of blue tits visiting the garden. The robins came back last winter and seem happy, as are the wrens, the magpies, the gulls and pigeons. They all seem to like Lidl Digestive Biscuits

Tasks & Projects

Message from the Chair Sunday, May 05, 2013 1:14 PM Subject: Bikes at the Govan fair 7 June evening

Getting a bike procession at the Govan Fair this year. Trying to get as many kids adults on binged and bannered and unusual bikes as poss. Will post leaflet soon. Please tell friends bike people and others who may be interested.
Will organise a few banner and bling workshops nearer time. If you want to help out with this drop me a line. Bike workshops in the Elder Farm community garden on the Saturday fun day to. More later. In the common good.

If you have any unused bikes The Govan Community Bike Workshop 60 Shaw Street, Govan wants them
Saturdays from 11.00am Thursday evenings from 5.30 – 8.30pm
The Bike Project needs your support / donations; if you have an unwanted bicycle they will put it to good use. Donations of broken bikes and bike parts gratefully accepted as long as not completely rusted up

They also need any spare tools for a new workshop, so any unused spanners, wrenches, sockets, pumps donated would be a great help at this time. The bike workshop is run completely by volunteers to repair and fix up bikes for anyone who needs one and can’t afford one

The bikes are sold to raise funds for the project and a minor repairs service is also available but they could use some help, so if you are able to give a few hours to help restore old bikes please get in touch http://unitycentreglasgow.org/?page_id=397
Verge were in touch and looking to consider how they might get involved with the flotilla idea – we have tried to contact Alison to get the Luv Gallery for artspace and storage

Shearer Candles Bee Garden, Asda and Oxfam Event

Schools are back after a plethora of holidays and we went down to Govan Campus to talk to some of the students and show them the site. Students will think about a design over the weekend. Glasgow City Fruit and Fish Market residue is being used for bio fuel these days and Scottish Hydro have stopped making compost as well which was a bit worrying so Asda were called in to see if they could help. But a raised bed plan may reduce a need for more compost. And we should have loads of grass clippings and wood chip to hold in water, in case it doesn’t rain. We are considering a combined Oxfam IF / barbi / digging event to entice parents and the community to lend a hand with the digging. Mrs Barnett from Shearers Candles has indicated First may join the fun, but we may still need help from the brilliant Payback Team to dig / tidy up plus manure from Pollock Park. Asda have offered a prize for best design

Future Cob and Energy Fun Workshops

Dreams are afoot to get wind and solar features running; make a start on the barbi / kitchen area, and thanks to a big download session of instruction on making bee hotels, rocket stoves, cob ovens with bench outlet, and cob shelter, there is promise of many interesting summer work shop sessions, including a cargo bike if we can borrow a MIG welder for a couple of days

Stevie gave us a sharpening workshop, sharp hoes will help keep the weeds springing up in the rain and sunshine in check - Tommy has been providing lunch :)

Uprights in the greenhouse have been scraped and look great but we still have more to do

The wood pile has been swept out and rebuilt and the boat needs new supports and a final resting place

The compost bins have been started – leaves and chip and earth mounds need sorting

Wish List

Jim McMillan from Sunny Govan have invited us to leave him a weekly wish-list

First item has to be a MIG Welder for a couple of days to make cargo bikes

A couple of adult scrap frames two working spindles

And cheap cheaper cheapest / free haulage for containers

Volunteers to help make flags and banners for bike flotilla

Paint vinyl matt/silk - blue /yellow / red / green

2.4kv generator






Garden Update 8 May 13


Garden Update May 8 2013


Tommy, David, Michelle, Daniel, Stevie, Rosa and Veronica, Kashya, Lucy, Morgan, Chris, John Paul, Sky, Kiera, Thomas, Katherine, Kaylie, James. DJ, Stewart and many more have all been stars this past month. And new friends made this month have promised to come again




Stevie and Daniel then ripped out the rest of the burned polycarbonate, while we cleaned up, removing the big bed at the east end, barrowing a lot of dubious compost / coke into the North Garden ready for the pretty weeds we hope to transplant out of the garden as they come up. The new space should allow a more garden friendly layout of containers / workshops when they come and provide a nice courtyard sheltered from north and east winds. Daniel suggests using an old car to make a generator to run lighting for this complex with sensor camera




There are also plans to get the wind and solar features running, make a start on the barbi / kitchen area and thanks to a big download session of instructions on how to make bee hotels, rocket stoves cob ovens with bench outlet there is a promise of many interesting summer work shop sessions, including a cargo bike if we can lay our hands on a MIG welder for a couple of days




A number of large tyres and three new boxes have been filled with a variety of compost, manure etc, and covered in wood chip ready for seedlings currently growing in tyres and a black box cold frame. Most of the tyre wall bedding is mixed with debris from the fire and only suitable for flowers and climbing bee / bird plants which we hope won’t be affected. Polytunnels (gratis Tommy), gravel and wood chip have all been brought in to play to combat leaf munchers, weeds and drought After watching Carol Klein’s Cottage Garden series, we bought a ton of gravel, another of topsoil to mix with the compost and already seedlings are coming through – (NB It would seem that the seeds planted on the barren day are coming through faster than seeds planted on the advised moon day )




Looks like we are a month ahead of last year and plants have a good chance to survive drought or another rainy summer. The wood chip is a bit twiggy, and we still don’t have a generator to chip it again, but we are picking out the twigs and have spread it all over the new beds in the old greenhouse / pergola space. Will it keep slugs away or attract them? Will it look nice or a mess? Time will tell, but it can’t be worse than dry bake soil and we will probably use it around, once the seedlings are up. Wild flowers have been sown around, especially in the orchard and South Garden.




Stevie who is a qualified electrician, has taken to the garden like a duck with green fingers, planting out lots of successful fruit cuttings plus canes and small bushes in the fruit corner beside the chamomile lawn.


David, Rosa and the young team helped Stevie plant loads of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli, while John G and Taylor planted beans and peas with pallet support




David helped Daniel and Stevie cut a barrel in half to make a new water feature at the gate. It looks great and saved the lilly. We hope the reeds will keep the water clean and the iris will like the damp, but are keeping an eye out for leaf munchers – which seem to have disappeared since the bath was ripped out. If they reappear we shall fill up the tub with more gravel and soil and have a boggy planter instead but currently it is a great place to start off seeds and also provides water for our garden friends.




Stevie gave us a sharpening workshop, sharp hoes will help keep the weeds springing up in the rain and sunshine in check, and Tommy, Michelle and Rosa are top weeders. By the way Tommy has been providing lunch :)




Verge were in touch and looking to consider how they might get involved with the float idea


We have thought about having an Enough to Feed the World IF event in the garden and a plan is afoot for a community bike rally / river of bikes for the Govan Fair - see Message from the Chair below.








Message from the Chair Sunday, May 05, 2013 1:14 PM


Subject: Bikes at the Govan fair 7 June evening




Getting a bike procession at the Govan Fair this year. Trying to get as many kids adults on binged and bannered and unusual bikes as poss. Will post leaflet soon. Please tell friends bike people and others who may be interested.
Will organise a few banner and bling workshops nearer time. If you want to help out with this drop me a line. Bike workshops in the Elder Farm community garden on the Saturday fun day to. More later. In the common good.


If you have any unused bikes The Govan Community Bike Workshop 60 Shaw Street, Govan wants them
Saturdays from 11.00am Thursday evenings from 5.30 – 8.30pm
The Bike Project needs your support / donations; if you have an unwanted bicycle they will put it to good use. Donations of broken bikes and bike parts gratefully accepted as long as not completely rusted up


They also need any spare tools for a new workshop, so any unused spanners, wrenches, sockets, pumps donated would be a great help at this time. The bike workshop is run completely by volunteers to repair and fix up bikes for anyone who needs one and can’t afford one


The bikes are sold to raise funds for the project and a minor repairs service is also available but they could use some help, so if you are able to give a few hours to help restore old bikes please get in touch http://unitycentreglasgow.org/?page_id=397







Garden Update 24 April 13


Elder Farm Garden update 24 April 2013


We have been working hard to get a good crop of free food growing for the community last year and already have sown many seeds vegetable and flowering for the birds and bees in an attempt to attract the community's attention and to feed everyone


Already the young team have taken over some of the planters, and sown seed


And we have some new members who are already taking an interest and providing huge support to the group


Our young team have been creating beautiful artworks but have also been having fun in our new treehouse, which is not yet complete but they are enjoying to help Daniel and co build it


And then we have been moving that old hardcore round the block again as we empty and refill ginormous tyres to create space and provide bedding for plants


It looks like we may have 11 tyre beds for cucumber and zuccini to expand and grow some fruit for us


Stevie has brought in a plethora of canes and fruit bushes which have mostly been planted together with our own cuttings which have taken in a well manured spot in the corner of the garden beside the camomile lawn which has also taken


We think we will use the spaces between bushes this year for kale and cabbage if they will allow us - the manure may be a problem in which case we have loads of seeding potatoes to plant


We are planting peas and beans where last years taters grew and cabbage cauliflower and broccoli where the beans were


Having created new boxes where the old greenhouse used to be we hope to grow corn beans and tomatoes here


And we have resuscitated the old plastic bottle greenhouse frame with poly carbonate sheeting on the sides plus a door, thanks to John G and Stevie, which will also have tomatoes


The carrots are being grown in the black boxes as are currently the cauliflower and cabbage seedlings , and we are also using tyres to sow seeds


Inspired by Carol Klein who favours the use of gravel, we invested in a ton and are using that to protect our seeds and hopefully keep in the moisture while warming the surface too


We pulled out the old bath earlier in the year and have wondered if this was the source of the wee pests which nibbled our greens to bits, but have just split a small keg in half and put our water lilly in there - this we will keep an eye on


If the holes come back we will fill it up with soil and just keep it wet enough for the lilly to grow


But getting rid of the plastic has been a great boon to us this season even though we have had to dismantle some of the bedding to do it - well we just will end up building better and it keeps us strong


First the payback team came in a removed a heap that we were sending piece by piece to the city dump, then the boys took off the roof parts and LES sent a hiab around to pick that heap up. We now have another two heaps quite the size of the first two and are hoping that LES will send the hiab around for us again and that is it done dusted


We kind of gave up on the recycling for a while, we would put out the blue bin and it was never cleared


We gave a lot of our metal to the Payback Team as thanks for their splendid help and still have a sack of tins to recycle. But we may have enough seedlings to offer for donations but lost many small pots in the fire. One idea is to repot the seedlings into tins cans and old crisp packets - we shall see


So that is about it - the garden is coming on nicely, we have many friends, the community seems to like us and God is sending in the rain and sun in what seems to be the correct doses :)


O and we have finally got an address and postcode 1019 Govan Road G51 4AA


now to build a letter box :)


We hope to see you all very soon









Garden Update 18 Apr 13

Elder Farm Garden update 18 April 2013

JR Adam & Sons a local Scrap Merchants in Govan have very kindly offered to loan us 3 containers to use for storage and workshop space, on condition that we give them back when the building is completed. The containers will be damaged, but we should be able to adapt them to our needs and will be very useful. But we need to find a haulage company who will be able to deliver due to the need for a hiab. We also have identified a haulage company which will give us reduced rates to deliver the containers to the garden but it will still cost around £130

Friends of Elder Park Members Christine Brunton (Treasurer FOEP); Margo Phillips (FOEP) popped in to the garden. Raymond Sutton came down to visit the garden and has offered to get the light outside the south gate lit to aid security and also has approved our perimeter plan if we send him a map with weedkiller free zones marked

He kindly sent in a hiab to take the residue polycarbonate away. Residue polycarbonate? Read on....

Mr Stone and co from St Constantine’s came in to use some polycarbonate and ended up taking a couple of saws to the burnt greenhouse frame one Saturday afternoon. We decided to use some funding to hire a chainsaw, but then the incomparable Daniel cycled in. Within an hour he had removed two sections of frame, while we head-hunted landsman Chris from Total Ground Care Clydebank. His still saw had broken down so we hired him another for a week, in return for his assistance in cutting up the joints of burnt wood and plastic. By Dinner Night time, Daniel, Chris and Stevie had got half of the burnt roof joists down and, Daniel and Stevie came back in the next day to finish the job. Vitals were bought to keep them going and Tommy cooked up a delicious storm. Chris came back with grass plugs and cuttings

On Saturday the young uns came in and helped Daniel to build a treehouse, which is part finished, and on Sunday and Monday, sowed wild flower seed with Rosa around the garden especially in the orchard. We also gave wild flower seed to Morgan who with Lucy and David have again produced some lovely painted slates

Rosa and Tommy have been watering, weeding and hoeing around the garden. The fruit bed has been dug over and topped with a layer of compost, compost has been added to beds and the heap is greatly reduced. The young team Rosa and Stevie have have adopted a space and sown sunflowers, sweetpeas, carrots, lettuce, spicy salad, lettuce, coriander, chives, peppers, radish, thyme, red cabbage and cauliflower, kale seedlings. Several soft fruit cuttings from last year have taken and a planter has been adopted for new cuttings

Schools are back this week and we hope to get news from Govan Campus as to whether the students will manage to come up with a design for Shearers Bee Garden in the near future. We may need a need a hand from the Payback Team to ready the site for the planting which will hopefully start in May. We have already kind of booked a couple of weeks with them, so shall try to use it wisely. And we hope to get some manure from Pollock Park and compost from Blochairn

Uprights in the greenhouse need scraping down before being topped off for climbing plants, and the boxes need a top up. A couple of big tyres have been moved to the orchard and planted

Bob and Ian painted a brilliant sign on the metal topping the wall Elder Farm Garden which looks fantastic, and we have had a number of visitors popping in to give a hand or say hallo, including John Glancy who helped Stevie finish off putting polycarbonate walls and a door onto the old bottle greenhouse frame which should keep the tomatoes happy

Now that all is calm, Stevie has decided that all the polycarbonate has to go and has started to attack the remaining melt. This will mean digging, moving, rebuilding, replanting – hey that is our speciality :)






Garden Update 9 Apr 13


Garden Update April 09 2013

We have had quite a bit of help in this week especially from Rosa and family, Bob, Ian, Jim, Gary, David, Tommy and Gavin. Gavin went into the front garden early this month with a very determined air and raked out another couple of bags of rubbish in the sun sleet and snow, while Bob and Martha barrowed leaves compost and manure into boxes - thanks.

We later added some logs to edge beds and it all looks great.

Joe Tierney arrived with pallet truck to move the black boxes around which was a breeze for the mighty Ian, who then helped Bob dig out tyres, move them around and fill them up again. As those who have been around for a while know, this is our speciality – word out for anyone wanting to keep fit. Meanwhile Jim and Tommy arranged nets and Rosa, Kasya Gavin and Tommy have been sorting out the rest of the garden

BAE Union have been very supportive in our struggle to get the upgrade going and we have been allocated £200 funds for the group.

Raymond Sutton, the new Works Manager LES Southside will be visiting on the 11th, to discuss the flood lighting in the park, general security and possible weed killer free spaces to plant up with flowers and herbs


Art Works We have had a couple of art workshops Saturday Sunday and Monday which have produced some excellent work including finally some large colourful boards advertising the Garden Is Open to anyone passing, which can be lifted out and in as needed. Ms Leahy popped in and we have promised to have a meeting sometime with Friend of Elder Park. In general we have had a brilliant time with some smashing artwork to show for it and we still managed to put some work into the garden which is looking very nice and tidy and ready for seed sowing in the next few weeks

Am considering asking teachers to show students a piece of rotting wood, which may dissuade future adventurers / climbers. Perhaps if the students were to crumble the wood in their hands, while the teacher explains that this is the condition of much of the structure currently holding up the roof they might think again about climbing all over it this summer






Garden Update 27 Mar 13


Garden Report 27 March 2013

  1. Funding – We need £38 Plus £5 delivery for grit bulk bag – maybe some potato seeds onion sets?? Generator for £40 would allow us to chip bark / wood and more if someone could pick it up? £10 delivery account attached see LEGUP Elder Farm Account Oct 12 – Mar 13

  2. David Rosa Danya & MB have planted 1st carrots onions potatoes - see jimdo blog

  3. Tasks to do :

  • Finish strim front garden / orchard / scatter wild seed / sow some seed have asked LED for grit /chippings – smashed bricks??

  • Finish making pergola boxes and fill

  • Clear burnt polycarbonate from the top of the frame as best we can / else cut top off / replace with new beams – in spirit of recycling should try to see if the first is possible

  1. Communications :

  • BAE Union – nak bar and general support

  • John Adams (regarding containers)

  • Salvation Army – interested in supporting community free food

  • FOEP

  • FOEP braved elements for Lady Elder Celebrations unfortunately I missed the part and did not meet some members – another time / meeting to be set up?

  • Planting in the park – excess flowering plants to park – need to negotiate areas free from weedkiller – wood chipped spaces ?

  • Lock Park Gate cut off – police incident – kids set a fire beside the container, we just caught it

  • Get Flood Light Elder Park lit

  • Waiting call back Ken Owler City Properties and Raymond Sutton LES

  1. Common Good advertising Ideas

  • Are YOU a Common Good Asset ? Badges, t shirts, iron on transfer?

  • Shortened COSLA version – print out example cases for flyers - different story different flyer – using pictures large print and clear wording – the shorter the more likely people with read it

  1. Encouraging Community to Grow Their Own –

  • Getting more manure next week + some for Bee Garden end April beginning May – to be discussed with Shearers / schools / payback

  • School projects update

  • Govan Campus now have seed + instructions / photographs (see PDF) – they may return a design end of April – plant up garden May – parents may help or ask help payback team

  • Possible co-project with Galgael – Worm bin / Bee box workshops? Family Events

  • Considering a website to cover project – families could use password to access pupil gallery

  • Need clearer picture of cost to discuss with Shearer

  • St Constantine’s are having problems with their bottle greenhouse, we have offered sheets of polycarbonate

  1. Common Good Forum & Elder Farm Jimdo Website are being updated but could use some help

  2. Dinner nights talk / film nights – urban roots have loads of DVD's to borrow






Garden Update 13 Mar 13


Garden Update 13 March 2013

Well amazingly, despite the fire which changed the hard won Greenhouse from a dry wind proof living / meeting / workspace to a sad charred frame - we seem to be on track.

Crusty bits of charred / melted polycarbonate stubbornly cling in places to this aforementioned frame - so very solidly built added to which the screws remain fast. Since we dont have the manpower to pull the structure down and put it all in a skip, we are making do with the small resources we do have, and been very busy clearing out the old tyres and other charred remains, and burying the heaps of remaining clinker into new beds created out of tyres and the remaining plastic melted sheets which we cannot shift, along the back and side walls

Having buried this clinker under mounds of topsoil, leaves, manure, and compost, we still do not intend to grow foodstuffs here, but expect sweet peas, and other climbing plants will not object too much.

In fact we hope to attract all kinds of wildlife to the garden this year including bees, butterflies, hedgehogs and perhaps a few cats to keep the mouse population down. Seeds and plants have been carefully chosen after pouring for hours over the bee keepers seasonal guide and EBay offers.

Other boxes in the space are being built for food. These are new boxes, cleared of all clinker, which we have already begun to fill with leaf litter, manure and compost. We look forward to beans, tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes and corn

We thought the sole surviving grape vine was lost in the fire along with cuttings taken last year, but found it yesterday while clearing up the last debris from the fire, growing strong. Depending on how far down the root goes, this might enjoy to be moved into one of the new boxes to climb all over the frame. Hops would also be fun - great plant for scrambling vigorously up a wall or frame, great plant for beer, and great plant for sleep

Most of the tyres, amazingly, were charred but still in tact, and have in the main, been recycled to the orchard area, along with tons of compost and manure, to create new beds for roses, brambles, and honeysuckle, as well as other plants which we hope will bring admiration from park users this year

Previously we have not gardened in the spaces closest to the parks, which has meant that these spaces have been neglected and used for rubbish, while the garden remains a secret.

"Didn't even know you were here"

is a frequent remark.

How to alert the public to our existence. Suggestions have included leaving a notice with opening hours, but since most of us are unemployed and have other commitments, there are still too few able to commit, so it is too hard to exactly state every day when someone will be in, which is why we have used a street board "Garden is Open" in the past. But this has been commandeered by Govan Dinnernights

We have tried advertising on Gumtree and are hoping a few projects with schools will bring in more gardener / key holders, but have up til now been very busy getting the basic structure right, moving boxes and planters around, getting the burned frame to begin to look less like a train wreck and more like a phoenix rising from the ashes with mother nature's help

Creating beds around the perimeter is already attracting interest from passers by, so fingers crossed, heavily manured flowering, climbing plants will rocket up and along the fences and walls, smell gorgeous and attract even more attention to the site, including birds, bees and butterflies.

Although regular workers have been thin on the ground, fortune seems to send help our way when we desperately need it and friends seem to pop in just at the right times, bringing with them good cheer. energy and often a helping hand - mother nature's timing as usual is perfect

Last year the Community Payback Team came in and over 3 weekends made a huge difference, and last weekend they came back and performed another miracle, removing a wagonful of rubbish from the site, moving planters around, topping up the new bed in the orchard, creating a new bed in the outside garden, digging out tyres, and filling them with manure and compost and raking up the rubbish in the front garden

This week we have dug over what will probably be the fruit garden, into which we hope to plant some six or more cuttings from fruit bushes taken last year, and most of the other beds, into some of which we have planted our first tatters, onions and shallots, and first carrots

A couple of weeks ago the young team filled and wheeled barrows of compost and manure into the orchard garden bed - which we hope to see filled with meadow nectar rich flowers this year. They also sowed bluebell, wild garlic, and sweet woodruff seed into beds around the front garden and wild flower seeds into tyres set up in the orchard pyramid as a cold frame. And they painted the seed names on the tyres so we can remember what was sown there as the year passes - some of the seedlings may not show until much later in the year

And so we have begun our new year with a new name, a new umbrella group and a fresh start - so far so good, may the Good Spirit keep us on track this summer for an abundant continual harvest of free good food for the community and a wonderful space for everyone to enjoy







Garden Update 27 Feb 13


Garden Report 27 Feb 13

  1. Power to the Bees and a Fresh Start

We have been very very busy recently, building beds around the garden to :

  1. Feed the Bees

  2. Provide a space for all those weeds we like but dont really want seeding into the vegetable patches

  3. Provide something for the public to enjoy

  4. Advertise the presence of the garden – it is amazing that after 3 years loads of people don;t seem to know we are here – in a way having a secret garden is nice, but we would love more members in the community to enjoy it too

  5. Recycle the burned tyres

  6. Make a Fresh Start

  1. Since the fire we have been filling two dustbins regularly every week with detritus from the fire.

  1. LES have been very kind but one bin was rejected. Polycarbonate cinders were everywhere. And although we shovelled a lot of the nasty stuff into the bottom of beds, edged with tyres and bits of melted polycarb we cant shift, there was still a lot of coke left. So we tried the bin, But some eejit left the lid off overnight, letting in the rain and making the bin very heavy. Back came the bin and we shovelled the contents ++ loads more into 3 gigantic tyres, kindly provided by Quick Shifft Tyres, Clydebrae St, which the Community Payback Team have kindly topped up with manure and compost.

  2. Heaps of manure, compost and topsoil from beds closest to the fire - in case they also were polluted with burnoff – have been shovelled onto quantities of coke, in tyre beds, edged in places by melted polycarbonate we can't shift. These beds are not for foodstuffs.

  3. Instead we aim to plant nectar rich plants, and may the bees be happy with that. Cotoneasters dug up from the orchard area have already been planted – here's hoping they don't notice the coke 2ft down, and grow well, providing flowers & winter berries for the birds.

Garden Report 27 Feb 13 continued . .

  1. Some of the heavier wood has been strapped together, and held in place with angle brackets. These should hold the remainder of the manure and compost and should be free from contamination so we can grow foodstuffs here. Perhaps tomatoes, beans, hops, maybe even grapes.

  2. All in all we hope the burned frame will mellow into a pergolic space, with nectar rich plants clambering all over. Some of the plastic still refuses to come off but the Mighty Galgael figure they will be able to smash it off with their hammers

  3. This week we have not needed to put out the bins, they are almost empty – yaay!

  4. AND, we have clearer out a lot more stuff thanks to the Payback Team who took it all away in their nice truck to the dump, together with some scrap metal which they use for Xmas.

  5. Most of the tyres in the frie were hardly damaged, possibly because they were filled with soil and rocks. They have been recycled to the orchard to hold some of the tons of: horse manure,:kindly donated and delivered by Pollock Park; cow manure, kindly donated by Scott Dairies and delivered by the Great Galgael; compost, all 20 tons, donated and delivered by Scottish Water, for a very fair fee; and our own compost, for brambles, roses, honeysuckle, thistle and more, to wallow and thrive pleasing we hope, everyone.

  6. Another new bed in the orchard, may be filled with meadow flowers, and a cold frame which holds tyres into which Sky, Chloe, Karly, Lucy, TJ and Kiera set seed, after a busy afternoon filling and carting barrows, and then kindly labelled the tyres to remind us, when we have forgotten, what is growing there

Garden Report 27/02/13 continued . . .

  1. Gavin and the Payback Team got into the front garden and gave it a good rake, and the magnificent David - who has been very busy barrowing leaves, compost and manure into new beds, which Sky, Kiera, Chloe and Thomas later sowed with bluebell, sweet woodruff and wild garlic - planted daffodils near the front gate in the outside garden last month, along with Neil. Neil, as a bonus, put his trusty still saw to work on our behalf - many thanks to all

  2. We made a bed in the outside garden for jerusalem artichokes, honeysuckle and no doubt other stuff including plants we like but do not necessarily want to rampage around the vegetable patch, but which we hope will bring a smile to passers by and feed our friends the guineapigs

  1. Since dog walkers use this area, it would be nice to try a worm bin here for dog poop

  2. These days, in the main, rubbish previously chucked over the fence into the outside garden, tends to end up in the upturned traffic island cone – also thrown into the garden a good while back and upended for that purpose.

  3. So maybe dog walkers will use a worm bin if it is provided, and if we provide compostible bin bags too.

  1. Last year many plants were eaten alive. Tiny holes appeared in leaves but with no slime trails we wondered if bugs were being attracted by the plethora of nasturtiums or stagnant water in the bath. We plan to move nasturtiums to new beds this year, & have replaced the bath with - you guessed it – compost & manure - hoping it will prove to be a great home for the rhubarb.

  2. And now thanks to the Payback Team, we finally have time to dig over the beds again, plant tiny fruit cuttings that seem to have rooted, and hope that the compost and manure will make everything grow wonderfully and smell great. With luck all the new beds will fill with sweet smelling wonderous plants to feed bees and birds, and draw admiration / interest to the site.

  3. We got a lot of hi in the sky apple pie hopes for a great year. Hope that we get the right seeds in at the right time in the right place, hope we provide free good food to the community, hope the community find us and appreciate the space, hope that they will recognise the potential of redeveloping an historic building for the community, by the community and give us support / signatures / ideas / approval.






Garden update 20 Feb 13

Garden Report 20/02/13

  1. Websites Perhaps the chair would like to add updates & docs to FB account using admin account

  • FB Legup.Glasgow has become Common Good Glasgow - Groups : Elder Farm Community Garden

  • Elder Farm Common Good Asset / Elder Farm Community Heritage Trust

  • Weaving it all in : Jimdo account & City Strolls

  1. Police came in – very friendly - happy with name change – it has caused some problems in the past

We hope community police will attend the meeting on 24th - they have invested interest in getting the building done and dusted For example they spotted folk in garden & tried to climb in to investigate (not successfully – the new beds police idea using planting for security )– They have an interest in getting the building done so we can open the garden for all including them

  1. Leases for Gardens – Apparently several long time allotments in Glasgow don’t have a lease

  2. Keys – not giving out any right now

  3. James - Student Photographer would like to take photos of the changes for his credit

  4. Transition Helens burgh would like some assistance

  5. The Young Team are back in helping barrow and sowing seeds - Trying to resolve their divisive issues – we aim to experiment and bring it back to the adults to try

  6. Visit from FOE Maria Leahy who would like to set up meeting – can we discuss worm bins in the park trial for poop ( discuss with Fairlie??)

  7. Pergola / Cold frames and boxes

  8. Bed making around the perimeter and other places including the greenhouse / firehouse / pergola is coming along

  9. Gavin began clearing up the front garden raking etc – we may decide to use some of the compost to give the lawn a dressing and we are making beds where compost has been spilled, etc but don’t want to do too much that will get crushed when the building starts

  10. Instead of buying new we would like to use what we have – ingenious ideas welcome – so in the spirit of recycling / the problem is the solution, we should try to use what we have creatively - pallets and bits of wood, burnt plastic sheets, old greenhouse frames etc before getting new stuff in

  11. As we build we find more things we can use and see other tasks to be done around the garden :

  • Clearing up the leaves etc – there is a permaculture workshop on potato day which discusses lasagne beddings and this is interestingly more or less what we are doing already as we make the new beds

  • Existing beds need light digging over in preparation for planting / seed growing and should we use some for seed beds etc now greenhouse has gone

  • I tried painting the bits plastic hoping the weather will blend it in – considering offering it to young team to improve on but don’t want it garish - bumped into Billy

  • Have made a start on boxes – Galgael took measurement and offered to help build and remove more of plastic from the frame.

  • Am wondering if we could angle grind damaged water butts for cold frames ++ we have garden fleece roll

  • Would like to move black boxes up to the East End & pergola area either pallet truck or emptying contents onto existing beds & refill with layers including broken bricks for worms






Fairfield Farm Article




Fairfield Farm Project


Over the years various groups have tried tirelessly to save the farmhouse in Elder Park. It is a building steeped in history, the oldest house in Govan and could become a vital part in bringing the community back into the Park.


Once again a number of people andorganisations in the area have got together to drive it forward. To make sure we have the best chance in our bids for funds, we have to leave the funding bodies in no doubt of…….


Demand – that the people of Govan want to use it

Sustainability – that after it is built it can “stand on its own 2 feet”

Driven - by the people of Govan

Benefit – that there will be more benefits than just to look good

Consulted – that we continue to consult as many residents as possible for their views


We had an open day on 21stSeptember (2010) in the Library from 1pm until 7pm. We had 70 people attend and give us their views on the ideas. You can give you views anytime as we are on facebook or you can call into the LUV Gallery or hand your ideas into any housing association offices in Govan. If you want to be involved we would welcome new members on to the Focus Group who are working towards becoming a charitable Trust.





Phase 1


Farmhouse – base for a community managed Hub or Wellbing Centre that will be a meeting place for people, promote healthy living and bring more activity into the park.


Gardeners Space - Linthouse, Elderpark, Govan Urban Planter (LEGUP) has transformed the disused courtyard in the last few months to a haven of fruit and vegetables and want their work to flourish throughout Govan.


Café and toilets – 2 important things that bring people to the park and make them stay for a while. One of the most asked for items in any consultation. The café space will double for healthy eating and cookery courses.


A small museum about the history of the Farmhouse, Park and Mrs Elder that will encourage and inform people of Govan about their heritage.


A flexible space for community use.


Phase 2


Further down the line we are considering the possibility of a new small building that could house a not for profit nursery based on healthy eating/outdoor life/ wellbeing for new mums. Local people will work in the nursery providing good quality training and employment.


A training working kitchen will also be incorporated that would work in tandem with the nursery, providing healthy food for children and run numerous cookery courses.



More recently initial discussions have taken place with a School of Herbal Medicine who are looking to become much more community based. This would present further opportunity for combining the work of LEGUP and expand on the current work being carried out with local schools.





It is much more complicated to renovate a listed building but we are investigating the possibility of self build by local people. There is also an opportunity to re-use of materials from any demolitions in the Southern General Hospital. To help bring down running costs and to embrace sustainability we will make sure we maximize green credential within the project.





The Focus group is in the process of becoming a Trust, Co-operative or similar body to manage the development process and run the Farmhouse when it is renovated. The principles are that the management will be mainly local people and the running of the project will be mainly local people volunteering some of their time.



The possibilities are endless but we need you to be positive and help drive it and show that residents surrounding the park want to see it happen.