Sunday, 14 February 2010


KorganIconI mentioned the other day that I got a great donation from Freecycle: 22 sacks of manure. About 19 of those are chicken shit.

FUN FACT: 19 sacks of chicken shit smells exactly the same as 19 sacks of baby shit!

I'm in desperate need of shredded paper or straw or whatever. Sucks.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Φ bed built

KorganIconI went ahead and built one of the raised bed designs that I blawged about yesterday. Looks pretty good.

This I like: I hold the planks of wood in place with bamboo pegs. The pegs are inserted at a slight angle. Then, they're cinched at the top. This clamps the wood firmly in the correct position. This way, you don't need nails, screws or extra parts.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Φ beds

KorganIconAfter getting the most awesome Freecycle donation I'm ever likely to get, I've started to get the garden moving.

I got TWENTY TWO bags of manure. Mostly chicken manure, some cow manure too. Also got a small bag of rabbit bedding from another freecycler but nowhere near enough to satisfy the mass of chicken poop that I have. Hopefully I'll figure that out.

So I decided to put more dorky ideas into the garden. I've seperated the raised bed into sections that have the golden ratio inherent to their scale. Like so:

The raised bed isn't to the correct scale so there will be a strip down it's length cut off, with the rest of the bed sectioned as described. Like so:

I think it will look attractive. Anyway, while I was typing all that I had a very nice idea: to raise each section of the raised bed in accordance with its position in the spiral. Like so:

Ah MS Paint, what can't you do? In this sketch, even the height of each section has a relationship to phi, so it all follows the pattern. Well, I don't have the materials or the time to build this right now so it'll have to wait. But now that I've drawn this, I really want it bad. It looks great!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Mastrick Urban Farm

KorganIconI've had this idea for a while, and I wish I could get it off the ground but Aberdeen is so damn apathetic you couldn't get anyone to volunteer to make a sandwich.

In Aberdeen in the UK there's an area called Mastrick, and in Mastrick you'll find this: a big patch of nothing. 4 ACRES of nothing, in fact. This wasted piece of land has been empty for OVER 10 YEARS.

There used to be a part of Woodend Hospital here. Since they demolished that, nothing has replaced it. There has been talk of some stores buying it, Asda and so on. All talk. Nothing has happened with this land for over a decade and it's a real shame.

This area is surrounded mostly by low income housing. There are some shops on the left. To the south there's Woodend hospital. And to the right there's an ICE RINK (wtf).

If you work at Woodend Hospital or if you're a student at Hazlehead Academy, you probably walk through this waste ground to get there.

I was looking at this today on the map and I imagined what it would be like if that whole area was a park. Just a park. A park in central Mastrick filled with grasses, trees, flowers, even vegetables, fruit trees, mosses, rocks, benches. Could you imagine? That would flip Mastrick on its head. And I don't mean some skanky typical Aberdeen park, where the council says, "Alright, here's your half acre of grass with a swing set. There's your fucking park, happy?" I mean a real awesome park that stands out and shows off what's possible.

If there's the slimmest chance in the universe of this ever happening, it won't be because Aberdeen City Council did it. Getting them involved would be like trying to wake the dead. I have more hope for getting locals involved, and even that's a long shot.

I expect I can appeal to those with their own gardens, allotment holders, retired people, and any unemployed people who want to get involved. I could appeal to students at the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the Scottish Agricultural College. It might be worth even appealing to Woodend Hospital. The park would be great for hospital visitors, workers and patients. I could appeal to the local stores.

I don't know about the soil on this land but like I said it's been abandoned for over 10 years and taken over by weeds, which is great. I don't know who owns this land now.

The biggest hurdle I can think of, seriously, is dumb people. Fucking it up for the sake of it.

The other thing I've considered is this: on this land there used to be a hospital. Then they demolished it and left this land for 10 years. What's that about? Is this land toxic? Radioactive? A hellmouth?

I expect I'll return here in a number of years, however, and either find it still vacant, or with a big fat Walmart built there. Or who knows, another ice rink maybe.