Thursday 1st April | Keena Wildman

For her #100DaysOfGreenNevis project, cellist Keena Wildman is creating her own vegetable garden!

We first heard from Keena on day three of our campaign. You can read her post here.

An update from my Nevis Victory Garden:

So, turns out I’m still learning about the differences in climate between Central Scotland and Upstate New York.. March 1st was definitely too soon for lettuce and carrots! They have been hanging on and sprouting growth has been slow, but we are persevering!

In addition to growing vegetables, my partner and I are also working on gardening methods that aren’t harmful to our environment, and some that even help! My mom works in organic farming and one of the most important things she’s taught me is it’s not just about what you’re growing, the soil you grow things in is so important! As the weather is getting warmer and people are starting to get out their gardening tools, have a think about what chemicals you may be using for things like fertiliser, weed killer, or grass seed! Instead of a ‘chemical’ weed killer, trying boiling water with salt and vinegar! My final words on weeds is a quote from my mom “There’s no such thing as a weed, just an inappropriately placed plant”…

Our Backyard Projects:

We have planted a wildflower bed of plants known to attract and benefit bees! Bees are integral to many of our ecosystems and they are endangered! If you ever find a bee in your house, please don’t kill it, but use a glass or jar and a piece of paper to take it outside! (Worth brushing up on your knowledge of how to identify bees versus wasps!)

‘Missy, our dog’ protecting the wildflower bed’

Pesty Foxes! We have loads of urban/suburban foxes around where we live, and we also have a hedge and a protective dog; not a great equation! We don’t want to use chemicals or anything that might harm the foxes because they are just trying to survive like the rest of us! Here are a couple things we’ve found really discourage them from entering our garden:

1. They don’t like unfamiliar things. Having a motion sensor light (or water sprinkler) and moving things around in your garden day-to-day will make them uneasy to enter. 

2. White wine vinegar – They don’t like the scent even after it’s dried! Leave out in small containers where you know they like to frequent. 

3. Human Male Urine – Right, I know this is weird, but I promise it works. We were desperate and read that if you have the urine of a male human, foxes will scent read that as a predator and it will deter them. We poured it on the hedge above where they like to go through and by the fence they like to climb over. I wouldn’t share this except for IT WORKS!! We’ve been doing this for a couple weeks now and have seen NO FOXES in our garden! A bit weird, but it’s definitely the most effective thing we’ve done!

I hope this has given you some things to think about when you go out and enjoy your gardening this spring!

From 1 February 2021, Nevis is running #100DaysOfGreenNevis, where our musicians, staff and trustees will each take on a task for 100 days linked to Sustainability. We’d love you to join us, either by following the campaign online to get ideas of what you can do, or to show us you own actions for us to share. If you would like to know more, do get in touch at georgina@nevisensemble.org 

Nevis Ensemble’s #GreenNevis campaign in 2019 won the Environmental Sustainability award at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music, and was shortlisted for Best Campaign by Julie’s Bicycle.