Community fruit takes root

Persevere Community Garden got off to a great start on Wednesday when the first apple trees were planted in bare ground beneath the towering high flats of Persevere Court.

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How to plant a fruit tree. Charlotte Encombe of Greener Leith shows Councillor Gordon Munro how it’s done (he’s in smart clothes, by the way, because he’s off to chair a meeting of Leith Neighbourhood Parnership).

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Wind blew, sun shot between clouds and spades struck surprisingly hard ground. It’s going to take a lot of digging to prepare the plots for summer flowers and crops of veg. But that didn’t deter any of the volunteers from at least six different community groups in Leith.

First, of course, we had to get rid of some litter and there was a surprising amount of itlitterpicking lurking beneath the prickly Berberis bushes round the walls. We filled several bags with the usual grotty cocktail of plastic bags, old bottles and false teeth (no kidding!) and then the good bit came.

With expert guidance from Charlotte we planted healthy looking young fruit trees Alastair Tibbitt has ordered from the Scottish fruit specialist, John Butterworth. None of your Golden Delicious here, these are rare old varieties with names like James Grieve (an Edinburgh favourite of long ago), Lady Sudeley and Ribston Pippin. On the plot shared by Leith Open Space and Greener Leith we now have a variety called George Cave which John says will bear “small, crisp sweet-sharp fruit.”

And so to a hot drink in Persevere Community Flat and time to daydream about the way the garden will look in a few months time. We’re hoping you will come and help us with the hard work!

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