For over a decade, Soilutions have successfully combined excellent service provision with the application of innovative techniques in the field of contaminated soil and water remediation.
Having founded an award winning soil treatment centre Soilutions’ were keen to further support the reuse of treated contaminated soil. To this end we have developed the concept of mobile orchards where fruit trees are grown in transportable bags which are sited on disused brownfield sites.
Initially 96 trees have been planted in transportable 600mm³ bags that have been custom-made with impermeable sides and a permeable base, together with in built lifting strops. A further four trees were placed in wooden planters made from recycled pallets, which were used to promote the business concept in the Honey Tent at the Royal Highland Show in 2015.
Discussions with local community groups are ongoing with the aim that they can produce wooden planters from scrap timber. The long term aim is grow/graft our own trees and sell these with the wooden planters both online and through retail outlets.
Currently the company has been founded on a basic shareholding status but it may be necessary to change this to a Community Interest Company.
To promote the concept the intension is to have the trees in wooden planters at various Edinburgh Festival venues. The planters will be sponsored thus raising revenue back into the business.
A permanent orchard is planned to be sited at the Torphin Soilutions Treatment Centre (TSTC) on land that has already been restored.
The aim is to become the premier operator in the UK offering a unique service and becoming the market leader of mobile fruit trees. Within the output of the mobile and permanent orchards we also aim to achieve best practice for the flexible range of remediation techniques employed to produce soils that are suitable for reuse in the horticulture market.
The key opportunity is not only from proving the reuse of the treated contaminated soils but also to identify and exploit areas of land that can be used to provide food crops.
The preferred model is to collaborate with owners/operators of site(s) where there is a requirement for enhancement/improvement of the area.
The fruit will be used to make cider, apple juice and other drinks.
Our goal is to reproduce the concept of mobile orchards at several strategically located sites and building a trusted brand.
The most important element of the business plan will be to demonstrate that the mobile orchards can be provided in a sustainable manner.