A BALFRON community group is getting a very special delivery in time for Christmas, thanks to staff at Stirling Council and Blair Drummond Safari Park – a huge load of elephant dung!
Set up in March 2015, ‘Incredible Edible Balfron’ has successfully grown herbs and vegetables in three plots in the village, with some being picked and eaten by passers-by and the rest used in community events as tasters.
Now the community beds have been cleared for winter so it’s time to condition the soil for next year’s crops, and staff in Stirling Council Land Services and Blair Drummond Safari Park are working together to source some extra special fertiliser for the group.
Susan Nisbet of Incredible Edible tells G63: “Apparently elephant poo is as good as it gets in the manure world so we are grateful to the support from Stirling Council and Blair Drummond Safari Park who are providing us with some jumbo nutrients for our veggie beds.
“We held our first workshop to create ‘bug hotels’ recently which was a huge success with over 30 hotels made by local children across the village, and workshops on bee-keeping are planned over the winter too. We’re now looking into opportunities to build raised beds in the community to give further options for planting wild flowers, herbs and veggies to various groups including the Scouts and local primary school.”
Gavin Hughes from Blair Drummond Safari Park adds: “We were more than happy to support a local project such as IEB. An adult elephant passes between 20-40kg of dung per day, so we have a readily available supply. It’s great to see a waste product going to good use. We hope the dung provided will establish a productive vegetable patch.”
Help with transporting the elephant manure to the Balfron vegetable beds came from Kevin McCormick, Land Services officer for Balfron, who says: “We provided a tractor-trailer and two operatives to assist.
“It’s not a request you get every day but we hope it works well as the group are doing some great work. We hope to build on our relationship with local partners to aid more Edible Border projects throughout the Stirling Council area, in conjunction with the Food For Life programme.”