Food is a topic close to the hearts of many and Transition Black Isle is no exception.
As well as tantalising the tastebuds, fresh, local produce is good for happiness, our own health and that of the planet.
A vast proportion of what people eat is transported hundreds or thousands of miles by truck, train, ship and plane, causing massive emissions of greenhouse gases, which are causing dangerous climate change.
Taking strawberries in December or air-freighted sugar snap peas from Asia for granted doesn't make a lot of sense.
The Black Isle
The Black Isle is a fertile area, perfect for growing a broad range of crops and rearing poultry and livestock. Supporting local producers boosts the local economy - and, crucially, the closer the food is from source to plate, the better it tastes! Growing and eating locally is satisfying, tasty and fun. And being in tune with the turning of the seasons means there's always something different on the horizon to look forward to.
Our new (2017) Black Isle Larder website at www.blackislelarder.org replaces our earlier Local Larder booklet, and provides an extensive directory of producers and suppliers of local food and places to eat and drink on and around the Black Isle.
Transition Black Isle's food group kicked off with two flagship projects in 2010, thanks to funding from the Climate Challenge Fund run by Keep Scotland Beautiful. Grow North and the Highland Food Challenge helped householders across the Black Isle savour a greater proportion of local food and cut their carbon footprints. We set up two community gardens, one of which, at Culbokie, is still active though now less closely associated with TBI.
The Grow North project has continued through 2016 and 2017, with practical workshops on a variety of topics and open garden days in the summer - see the Grow North page and the calendar for details. Two other very popular regular events are our Gardeners' Question Time in January and Potato Day in March, at which over sixty varieties of seed potatoes are on sale.
The drop-down menu on the Food tab at the top of the page offers some links to projects and resources.
TBI director Vanessa Halhead has drawn attention to this Worldwatch article about how Cuba has transformed its Agricultural in a small-scale and sustainable way since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"Four Important Lessons from Cuba’s Urban Food Survival Strategy"
The Fife Diet was an ambitious healthy and local growing and eating project run in Fife over several years. The culmination of its work was the production of a wonderful growing, cooking and eating 'calendar', not relating to any particular year, offering a wealth of help, advice and recipes for healthy eating month by month. It has been made available online, but via a publishing system which makes it very difficult to read. There may also be browser issues - Chrome seems to handle it better than Firefox.
Try this link to get at least an overall impression. There is a zoom control at bottom left, and a more useful full-screen control at bottom right. When in full screen use keyboard left and right arrows to turn the pages.
Here are links to two community growing schemes in the north of England
With easyfundraising.org.uk, you can help raise funds for TBI every time you shop online at a wide range of popular sites, without adding a penny to the cost of your purchase.Find out more and sign up
Add Your Business
Do you run a sustainable business on or near the Black Isle? Add it to the TBI business directory