Ian and friends worked hard and produced free veg for the community by the end of summer with Fiona's help the team grew great veggies and the community enjoyed free veg well into the Autumn months
The next year started with a few shockers, a great friend and team member passed on, the polytunnels got smashed up a couple of times by the wind and the team determined to build a stable sound greenhouse
We were given a large quantity of recycled wood and polycarbonate, and the team built a huge 17foot by 30 foot greenhouse
The group also won funds from Carbon Footprint and were able to contribute towards volunteers' travel/meal expenses for a season and also buy gear and tools to get some of them back into work
A decision was made to start work on the remaining farm building rooves especially the West and East Pavillions
However the team began to break up. Due to cuts, some lost jobs, some moved, some started new jobs, sadly a couple of friends passed on, and the next year began badly with a fire to the West Pavillion Roof, which was finally given a temporary repair in Dec 2012. However more people came in and helped to create more beds, and also work continued to further insulate and water proof the greenhouse, and create a great space for a woodwork workshop for the young team. But just after hanging the doors, the whole greenhouse was burned down. In fact the whole year was a series of highs and lows, during which the Fairfield Farmhouse Trust - a group set up to address the redevelopment of the building by the community - was disbanded
Finally a decision was made to start again and work for the redevelopment of the building. A meeting was held at the end of January 2013 to formally dissolve LEGUP and the Fairfield Farmhouse Trust. Then a new group was formed - Common Good Glasgow
There is a photographic diary on the Garden Gallery Page
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 and organisations 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 21st September 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.
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.
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.
Received a call from John McBride at Linthouse Housing Association inviting me to a meeting to discuss the Market Garden.
Had a look online to see what I could find regarding the project, and realized that Linthouse Housing Association had put a great deal of effort into trying to save the farmhouse building and find a proper use for the site.
Meeting at Linthouse offices to discuss how to proceed. John McBride outlined the proposal, which was to create a Market Garden in the grounds of the old Fairfield Farm Building. He said that the initial plans had been shelved due to lack of funding, and that this meeting was to establish how to move on.
Council Representative Henry Adomako had arranged soil and some planters to help us get started. James from the Coach House Trust arranged to clear some dangerous sections of the site.
Chris Hill of Govan High School, and the staff from Little Branches Nursery said they would definitely use the facilities, and Tam from the Galgael said some of his guys wanted to get involved.
I volunteered to reduce my work commitments to give me some free time to work on the project. John accepted my offer to try and get things moving, and gave me a set of keys.
I traveled to Milton and visited Ann Dazovic at the Lambhill stables project, met some great people, got some good ideas.
Did some research online, I found many possible sources of funding, but can't access them unless we set up a community group with a constitution.
On site looking at the planters. I felt they would be too high for the kids, particularly those from the Nursery. Thought about building some decking around them, but felt this would be expensive and as there's no power on site, it would be difficult. Decided to build platform around planters using old tyres filled with type 1.
I Found Martin on land share site, he lives in Govan and wants to grow veg. Contacted him by e-mail.
Also placed adverts online asking for free tools and equipment.
I went to see Jewson's Manager John Fleming to ask if they would give us type1 and perhaps some timber to build frame for greenhouse.
He was in a meeting, but will call me.
I Went to see Martin Plant Hire about borrowing some wheelbarrows to fill the planters, Pat Lawlor said no problem.
Then Went to the scrap yard to ask about getting old tyres they said leave it with us and we'll see if he can help.
I Received e-mail from Martin on Landshare site, he's very interested.
Also Placed adverts online giving a brief description of the plan, to raise awareness among other Glaswegians involved in similar projects.
I Shifted the planters into position.
Met Martin on site to show him the plans. Arranged to meet him on Sunday to fill the planters.
Took Mick down to see site with a view to installing greenhouse, he said he'd draw up some plans.
Received call from John at Jewson's, I explained what we were trying to do and he said they would help with materials.
Noticed that the housing association was replacing our bins with wheelie bins.
Received call offering the full 50 tires I requested. Will take delivery on Friday.
Nipped home on my lunch break, went to Howden's and spoke to Stevie and Robert, they offered to try to help by giving us old off cuts of timber. Thanks.
Then popped in to see Gordon Anderson at Govan Housing Association. told him we would take all the old bins. He said he'd check that was o.k. and get back to me.
Received call from John at Jewson's asking me to go over to see him. When I arrived he asked what we needed. I said that besides the type1 and timber, we could use some tools to get started. He said he'd see what he could do.
Went to Martin Plant Hire to pick up wheelbarrows, someone had moved them. Pat couldn't find them. He tried the other branches but had no luck. He promised to help next time we needed anything.
Drove down to Ayrshire to collect my wheelbarrow and my brother in law lent me another.
Went to EK for vegetable growing training course with Mathew. He offered to come down to look at the site.
Martin didn't show but Steven and Mick helped me fill the planters. Thanks guys.
Arranged to meet Ian from the garage at site after work to collect tires.
Tyres arrived, kids stole padlock as I was shifting them. Note to self, lock the gates while working.
Visited Sheila at Coach House Trust for to see their project and ask for any advice about how we should proceed. Sheila showed me round and suggested a few ideas. Great Place.
Old Housing Assoc bins arrived. Thanks Gordon.
Received call from John Fleming from Jewsons. He will give us all we asked for, thanks John.
Delivery arranged for Friday.
Nipped home from work at lunchtime, e-mailed all the schools in Govan to make them aware about the free compost bins Waste Aware were providing. I tried to order them, but was told the schools had to call up themselves.
Needed to find secure place to keep tools that Jewson's will give us. Couldn't get a hold of John. On way home from work called in to see Liz at Pierce Institute and Pat Cassidy Elder Park Workspace. They both offered storage space, thanks guys.
Met with Tam from Galgeal, he introduced me to Dougie who wants to be part of the garden project.
Received delivery of Jewson's materials. Thanks again John.
I went down to the site and positioned the tiyes around planters and filled with type 1.
On site again, created some extra planters using the tyres and filled with soil.
Met with Mathew, showed him site. He gave some great advice. Thanks.
John McBride arrived to show someone round, he told me about Bellahouston park having some spare planters.
Came home and called Thales and BAE about getting some old pallets to build extra planters.
Back down to site to shift type1, got soaked to the skin, hope the weather improves.
Tom Hanrattay from Thales called he has 15 pallets. we collect Friday morning.
Called Tam at Galgael to see if they could pick up the pallets. Tam said their truck would be up in Argyle, but said he'd ask Fiona to help out.
Meeting at Linthouse Housing John not present, get well soon John.
Helen Kyle chaired the meeting.
We discussed setting up a community group, and Katie from GSWRA said she'd arrange the drawing up of a constitution.
I asked for residents to be notified about the project, suggested we arrange a meeting to invite any interested residents.
Everyone agreed, we arranged meeting for Thursday 15th at 6pm.
Work day scheduled for following Saturday to get site clear and safe for visitors.
Went to Bellahouston Park to enquire about planters, but was told they had used them all.
Met with Fiona went to Thales collected pallets. Dougie arrived to help. Fiona and Dougie said they would be happy to help as much as they could to get things going. Thanks guys.
Spotted free greenhouse frame in the snips, called to arrange collection.
Thought about using plastic perspex to create murals to brighten up the site, placed ads online, Freeshare, Gumtree etc.
Dougie did security assessment of the site. He discovered many ways to easily climb in.
Received an e-mail from John Gordon regarding information about some possible funding from Action Earth, thanks John.
E-mailed Police to ask if they could arrange a meeting on site to advise us on security. Received a reply and called to discuss. They no longer offer this service except in circumstances where lots of money is at stake.
Received e-mail from someone on Freeshare website about the plastic sheets we need to fill greenhouse frame. Arranged to collect on Saturday.
Received e-mail from Peter Lavelle at Glasgow wood Recycling. He said they would be happy to help. Thanks Peter.
Joined Justfortheloveofit website, found 29 new contacts from Vegan Chefs to Environmental Activists, all within 1 mile of Elder Park. Sent each an e-mail about the project in case they would be interested.
Discovered that we have some funding, but it must be spent on growing kits from NVA as these are mobile units which can be moved from site to site. The Fairfield Farm site is one of 4 projects across Glasgow that are part sponsored by NVA.
Spoke with Jon Clarke at NVA regarding Sage kits. Kits will take 4/6 weeks to make once they are ordered. He said he'd e-mail details of the kits along with the price list.
Gillian called to say they were working on flyers to advertise project and invite local people to a meeting at the LUV Gallery. Thanks Gillian.
Hooked up with Fiona, went to collect greenhouse frame. We also popped into see boss at Autoglass who agreed to give us crates to covert into planters.
Received e-mail containing details of NVA kits price list and a request to meet me and John on site. Thanks Jon. Responded with my availability for the meeting.
Picked up Dougie, went to Bishopbriggs picked up plastic sheets, and dropped them off at site.
Visited Bellahouton park to see Gavin Jackson, he wasn't in. Spoke with Tam the foreman there, he told me DRS are responsible for the building.
Arranged with Tam to have his Elder Park Maintenance Team drop off grass cuttings etc once we have our composting area ready.
Called DRS for clarification on who is responsible for maintenance of the farm building. Contact wasn't there, so I left a message.
Called BAE to ask if they would help with the project. Spoke with Charles who asked me to e-mail a list of what we may need.
Contacted Henry to ask if he had a contact at Land Services who could help us with plastic bottles for the greenhouse. He e-mailed back with the details. Thanks Henry.
Herris fencing arrived.
Received copy of EKDEV Trust constitution to use as a template for our group. Thanks Mathew.
Received e-mail from Recycling Manager at Land and Environmental Services giving me a contact for the plastic bottles we need for the greenhouse.
Met Helen and Gillian at the LUV Gallery to prepare for the meeting. A number of local people arrived wanting to know more about the plans. I gave an overview of the project, what had happened so far, and what we wanted to do next.
I proposed that the site was not really big enough for many people to grow all their vegetables in the way that they do in allotments. I suggested that we use the site as a centre for people to come and learn and exchange ideas about food growing, offering tips and training and using it as a base for branching out throughout the local area. I explained that as a member of EKDEV Trust I was involved in a schools project in East Kilbride and that we could mimic that in the Govan area, helping them to build their own growing facilities.
We discussed the planned work day and everyone who attended said they were interested in getting involved and left their contact details.
Katie called to say that she had managed to arrange a clear up team to help with the site.
Met with GSWRA community team, they did a great job of clearing the site of all remaining waste, thanks guys.
Gordon and Robert get to grips with the greenhouse frame
The first work day went very well. There was a great turnout. Gordon McKay brought a number of helpers from The Friends of Elder Park. Fiona and Dougie brought volunteers from the Galgael and a number of other locals arrived to lend a hand.
It was great to see so many people on site, all enthusiastically getting stuck in.
At the end of the day we had an informal meeting to plan what we wanted to do next.
A few people wanted to work out who would lead the group and be on the committee, I felt we should wait as some people were not present, and they may disagree with our choices.
In the end it was decided that we would informally elect four committee members and leave room for others to join. Myself, Dougie, Fiona and Scott were nominated.
Everyone agreed to return on Saturday’s to continue what we had started.
Met with Bill Pritchard from Govan Preservation Society. He gave me a copy of their constitution and some good advice about how to create a community group. Thanks Bill.
Met with Jon Clark Director of NVA. We had a look at the site and discussed what should be done.
We discussed the NVA list of products. I explained that I’d rather have water butts and storage as opposed to planters as I felt we could make planters easily from recycled materials.
Bill Pritchard called to say that he had arranged for us to use the boardroom at Elder Park Workspace for our committee meeting. Thanks Bill.
First meeting of the committee Dougie couldn’t attend as he was unwell.
I showed Scott and Fiona the constitutions that I had obtained from other similar groups but they felt that having a written constitution was wrong as it was bureaucratic and we should work out with the system.
I explained the situation regarding the NVA growing kits and suggested that we choose what we wanted from the list. Fiona felt that we should not use any of the kit offered by NVA as they would be getting exposure for their company. We talked about the possibility of other sites to give us more growing capacity, and Scott suggested we utilize the guerilla gardening technique of planting veg on roundabouts and other available spaces. I expressed my hope that we could perhaps become a Social Enterprise Company thus providing jobs for local people such as those who had completed their training with the Galgael and Katie’s GSWRA clear up team. Fiona and Scott felt that this would not be healthy as money would be involved, and that we should ensure that we remain a charity. I pointed out that the Galgael are a charity, but they do have a written constitution and the do create paid employment, but I was outvoted 2 to 1. We agreed to disagree and set to work on making a list of materials and jobs for Saturday.
Work day. Another great turnout and the sun was shining. We started work on creating the fruit garden. Fiona brought some plants to get us started. Thanks Fiona
Update July 11
Well we worked hard last year digging in loads of manure and odd topsoil and then set our minds to completing the greenhouse so that by now all would be plain sailing growing seeds and turning soil and planting
We set up the greenhouse got it water proof and wind proof and added fancy doors and set up a workshop area where we hoped to be working with the young team
And then someone came along a burned it down
So it's start again time
What are the problems and what are the solutions
Well the biggest problem is the unstable nature of the Farm Building Roof which is an attraction to the young teams various sizes and skills
The roof is ready to collapse and so we have to keep the perimeter secured to try to prevent the wee varmints from hurting themselves
This has led to a war - the young team feel that we are dispalcing them from a site which has been theirs for years to sneak over the walls and have a can or just mess around
We dont want to stop them coming in but the building is dangerous and they wont keep away from it
and so the war is on - and the damage has been clear
We need to form a group to take on the restoration of the building and return it to what it was gifted to be in the first place, place of educational and recreational community use. We are always talking about a Kitchen and Workshop area with Toilets and showers for park users especially the football teams
We have had loads of people coming in who want to help but we need to get a proper lease sorted out
Anyway this is all happening again again.. meanwhile the aim is to make the garden look as nice as we can to attract local interest
Previously the parts of the garden bordering the park have not been within our remit and so have been a bit of a wilderness- not a very good advert
It is not until you come in through the gates that you find our garden
And this I think has not helped us in our goal - getting the community to care about the place - as far as many people are concerned the site is too long derelict
So we have chosen to try to grow a wide selection of bee friendly nectar rich plants to look and smell nice and also provice food for bees and birds AnD draw folk in to have a closer look
We are a little short on workers - some have moved on to jobs, some have moved out of the area and some have passed on and some just cant make it for one reason or another - but as soon as one leaves another pops their head around the door and asks if we would like a hand so am very hopeful to have something nice to look at by May June
Anyway there are some photos of the greenhouse before and after etc in the gallery, and we am going to put up new photos as we progress with our new beds etc - when we can remember to take a photo - really dealing with the clinker is pretty grimy and the last thing you want to do is use dirty hands to pull a camera out in case it gets damaged
Meanwhile we hope your year is heading in the right direction
The Farm Building was damaged early 2012 by vandals who started a petrol fire after all the hard work volunteers put into the project with their own money and hard work to try to repair the roof
Fianlly the council insurers gave the go ahead for a temporary roof to protect the stone work
There are stones in the building which seem to come from earlier times perhaps a temple ?
Anyway a temporary roof on the west wing is in place and windows and access bricked up to stop varmints
Sadly no further news on protecting the rest of the building
Many community members look forward to shower room and toilets for the footballers in the park and a community kitchen in the West Wing using the central part for a community workshop area and a barn floor upstairs for recreational use - one day maybe Govan folk will be able to say they repaired that ancient building
September and August update 2012
Apologies for the silence but we really have been busy and not had much time for the pc let alone updating and editing images etc When we remember we take a picture usually too late to get the real before and after effect - perhaps that is a good thing
So really this is just a brief note to work with the pictures in the gallery
OK so we have been working very hard this summer shifting tons of earth and manure and more earth and cleaned up and weeded in the rain well some sunny days too. Tommy, Sean, Donna, Isaac, Rich and Alexi, Stewart, Stephen, Andrew, Sandra, Dylan, Gareth, Jaden, Lucy, Scott,
John, Edward, Joseph, Connor, and many others have done a hard days stint or few to get things done and Ida has been working her green fingers to the bone - yes that winter crop is growing bigger
Govan High came in and painted a wall with gorgeous vigour and colour,
and some of our members have been artistic in their own way, painting
slates and we have a couple of new mosaics and Carol made us some
gorgeous new flags which look great
Galgael came in early doors and fixed guttening to the roof of the
beautiful greenhouse and the shelter which was built using the perspex kindly recycled / donated by DeCaux for which we are extremely grateful - we have been inundated with offers to buy the stuff but honestly we have only started - the outer skin is there but we have plans for an inner skin and hopefully underfloor heating system using a compost tower - watch this space. so now we have somewhere to sit in the rain, and work out of the rain and to entertain, and of course to grow our tomatoes and such and collect rainwater
Of course the wee varmints who scurry in and out of the gates and over the walls and fences think it is a howl to run off the water but we are hopefully resolving that - the trouble is that young people are attracted to the old building which is very dangerous with a whole floor ready to collapse, not to mention the burned roof - so until we get that fixed we are forced to try to keep young people from coming in when there are no members to keep an eye out - we have worked with community police on the question with some success - they have been brilliant in supporting out project and very very helpful and already some ideas are giving way to even better ones - again watch this space -
Meanwhile we have Gary who is enthusiastic about almost everything - just the kind of fellow we need working here and so strong !!! He is dying to get the wind turbine going, and we
are wondering about making some more to make some security lighting or other - well actually the ideas are pouring in thick and fast - again watch this space. Meanwhile Gary has already
fixed two lawn mowers - he really knows his stuff - and is a veritable Godsend
The vandals have been quite destructive at times but we are keeping strong and think we are reaching the end of this tunnel - When the building is complete we look forward to security lights meanwhile neightbours have been our friend and hang cheerfully out of the windows and doorways to keep an eye on the place
The local community police have been hvery supportive, keeping in close
contact with us, logging reports and speaking with the young team on
our behalf - I believe they also look forward to the day the building is restored
With police support we have tried a few avenues of communication,
including a barbecue. Gillian came in and saved the day cooking up a
storm and they whole event was brilliantly beneficial bringing with it
parents who are keen to help out - which lead to a meeging with a local
football team of skilled workers who are keen to restore the building by next srping - yaay
Meanwhile, we are using vandal grease kindly donated from Elderpark
Boat Club - they are so good to us - and things are looking up
Gary and Stewart and Andrew have all worked really hard greasing the
Gary has fixed a pipe to the gutten which has begun to dry out the
building and We are currently negociating loan of skip and scaffolding
to safely bring down the rotten and burnt parts of the roof and inner
walls and flooring
The team plan to run a car wash to get donations for the materials
required for the building and it looks like Scottish Water are on board
Tne current plan is to keep things simple - toilets and showers in the
east wing - the roof timbers may be good enough to keep here - then a
simple workspace area where folk can hammer and saw and fiddle around
with engines and bikes for the middle part with a good solid floor up top for any kickboxing, yoga dancing and of course the kitchen in the west wing with perhaps an enclosed cafe area under the porches - Sean is still building the outdoor kitchen - which has been torn down by vandals too often to hurt now
We planted a chamomile lawn which looks to have taken, it will be a while before the plants spread out but next summer it should be a nice place to relax - and Ian and Salim and Tommy worked hard on that !!
We have not had much food to offer the community sadly, but still have
managed to give some away to the community, and look forward to some
mpore crops this winter. We hope next years crops will enjoy the lathering of manure from Pollock Park Byre. Perhaps some members will take over a patch and keep it up but the general feeling in the garden is that we like working together generally - Jani has promised to care for the bees next year
The apple tres had quite a lot of fruit but a single apple remains and as for the rest there has been not much in the way of fruit but we have taken cuttings and hope to do better next year
Meeting the community and getting to know the young people and the many people who have come in and given a hand has been the bountiful fruit we have been given this year as has been the
wildlife. We have had a couple of gold finches in the garden, plenty of seagulls, a couple of magpies, the wren has a family, as have the mice and the robin vanished for a while but seems
to be back and has brought a wife with him
Ladybirds butterflies and bees have also been a source of joy for young and old, if the wasps perhaps did not bring so much joy I am still wondering if they are an enemy of slugs - there do not seem to be so many this year. The bees have loved the lemon catnip by te container and we have loved watching them
And it has been a wonderful year for borage and nasturtiums which have
been appreeciated by many
To sum it up we have not had much to offer the community this year but
the community have been very giving to us for which we are extremely thankful
So a big thank you to the community as we near harvest festival and may
your years be bountiful
Update August 11
All in all, everything in the garden is Fan-Dabby-Dosy
A number of new members have joined us including Archie, Lyn, Stewart, Kevin, Kirsty, Michelle, and Miriam and we have enjoyed working with them
Helen Archie and Michelle bring sugar biscuits tea and donuts - we like them very very much !!! :)
Meeting the neighbours
Update June 11
Polytunnels & Greenhouse
Keeping out of the Rain
Beds and Garden Space
Compost and Topsoil
Billy and Savana
Finally what it is all about - the crops.
Notice Nov 10
Meeting of group on Thursday 2 Dec at the Pierce Institute 6:30 pm
Hopefully all members will come along and we can catch up on what is going on
The Elderfarm group currently does not have a constituted committee and therefore unable to apply for funds etc
There fore with no funds to pay for a website we are very glad to take advantage of the free site available from jimdo which is pretty good stuff
HOWEVER in the attempt to put all information up on site for the benefit of the public, we have not enough room so have had to divide the material up into different sites legup, elderfarm and elderfarm2
This is an experiment and hopefully will work
Meanwhile all information and discussion also available on Facebook Elderfarm Community Trust Group site and Elderfarm Community Garden Group site both of which are open to the public
minutes, photos and other documents can be found at these sites