A commercial-sized polytunnel serves the Birkhill residents through the Spring, Summer & Autumn months - with plenty left over for snacks during workshop sessions, surplus to be sold on our honesty stall and extra to go to our local community food larders in Earlston & Lauder. There are also a number of raised beds comprising an outdoor garden space. We create our own compost, mixing in all the cuttings from Birkhill gardening, as well as all the leaves collected on the nine-acre smallholding, with the copious amounts of alpaca dung produced by our fibrous friends cut in for good measure.
In April of 2022, we were delighted to have been awarded substantial grant support from the Government's Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund, which enabled us, in conjunction with the Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre (SBRCC), to launch a natural dye garden. We planted a host of plants that have been associated over centuries with the natural dye process. The learning curve was steep but our resident dye expert, Sunshine Stewart, traversed the mountain of knowledge with tenacity and curiosity, developing our very own dye programme along the way, as well as number of workshops and kits available to the public.
During the winters months, we offer volunteering opportunities in the gardens here on Mondays 9-11am. During the growing season, there are more opportunities throughout the week. Contact us if you are interested in helping.