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April 2021

Growing vegetables for showing

Throughout this year’s series  The Beechgrove Garden is having a regular slot on their programmes - BBC Scotland 8pm Thursdays, repeated Sundays at 9am on BBC2 and of course on iPlayer - about growing veg for showing. The first programme, broadcast on 1st April, was about growing tatties for showing. Why not have a look, try their hints and tips and start with a few of your early potatoes.

The Black Isle Horticultural Show, to be held on 14th August in Rosemarkie, is a local, friendly and (slightly) competitive show of produce by mainly Black Isle growers.  Although competitive most entrants are average gardeners and allotment holders and there are also classes for children and for novices.  You don’t need to grow ‘special’ veg for the show just reasonably good home grown, and there are also classes for fruit, flowers, house plants, baking, preserves, crafts and photography.  Here’s a link to the show schedule to have a look - BIHS Show Schedule – and do watch The Beechgrove Garden for timely hints not only for showing but for all your gardening.

You could also look at what the RHS says about growing for showing.

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April 2021

Highland Wholefoods Easter Newsletter

announces Easter opening times, refurbishing at the warehouse and new suppliers of honey and milk, and advertises for a new member of the team.  Highland Wholefoods is a workers' co-operative.

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February 2021

Get the TBI Growing Guide

Growveg is advertising a new book  'The Beginner's Guide to Easy Vegetable Gardening'  

As its information and guidance is likely to be more relevant to the south of England than the north of Scotland, anyone looking for gardening advice appropriate to the Black Isle would do better to buy a copy of TBI's 'Growing Guide'  by Sheila Wickens, which can be obtained for £10 by emailing  info@transitionblackisle.org .

You can preview individual chapters of the Guide via the links on our TBI Growing Guide  page.

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October 2020  updated February 2021

Planet Sutherland Sutherland Orchard Project

Planet Sutherland are hoping to expand a pilot apple planting project they started last year, and conducted a survey in autumn 2020 to gather support.

Whilst we're thinking of apple trees in individual gardens, we'd be more than happy to work with villages to establish small orchards, and are also considering fruit bushes.

Ongoing, we hope to develop Apple Days where we can make juice or cider or even just share produce around the villages. 

Our dream? To make Sutherland self sufficient in apples!

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August 2020

Growing your own in Shetland - Transition Turriefield

Welcome to Transition Turriefield, we grow all sorts of fruit and vegetables. You will find us in Sandness, a small community on the very edge of the far west mainland of Shetland.

Here at Turriefield we are passionate about local food. We want as many folk as possible in Shetland to be able to access healthy, fresh, chemical free produce. Having a small carbon footprint for our produce is also important, so we use growing methods that have as little negative environmental impact as possible.

Turriefield Sandness Shetland  ZE2 9PL

01595 870272   turriefield@btinternet.com

website               Facebook

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March 2021

Pocket Orchard planted at Culbokie

Our second pocket orchard is now planted - 3 trees outside the hall in Culbokie. They've been camping out for a year in Anne and Steve Thomas' garden due to Covid! Good to see them in their proper place. The North Kessock Pocket Orchard we planted a year ago is now quite well established (below).

 

 

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September 2019

Local Food initiatives 

You probably know that the Black Isle and immediate hinterland has its own local food producers.  Here are two of them talking about their businesses and the advantages of local growing, taken from the Our Local Larder website   www.blackislelarder.org.

Dan Ross  -  Black Isle Veg Boxes

Jo Hunt  -  Knockfarrel Produce

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July 2020

Need for strong Good Food Nation Bill - Scottish Food Coalition

The Scottish Government are proposing a new law on food – a Good Food Nation Bill.  We believe they have some good ideas, but this law will need to be more ambitious to make the real changes that we think are needed.  Below you can find our proposals. . Legislation can play a crucial role in setting the direction of travel towards a fair, healthy and sustainable food system.

Scottish Food Coalition   proposals    and    website

Scottish Government 'Proposals for Legislation'  December 2018

2021
The Good Food Nation Bill has been kicked into the long grass.

The Programme for Government 2019 to 2020 committed to introducing a Good Food Nation Bill in the current parliamentary term, however due to the rescheduled parliamentary timetable to necessitate the tabling of emergency COVID-19 legislation, the Good Food Nation Bill cannot be tabled in this parliamentary term. 
https://www.gov.scot/policies/food-and-drink/good-food-nation/

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June 2020

Danger - Diamond-back moth on Brassicas

Here is some important information from Archie McLaren, of the Highlands and Islands Growers, about The Diamond-back moth danger to Brassica plants.

Read Archie's article

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How we can help the bees

Here is an article by JJ Gladwin from 2018 about how we can help bumble bees and other invertebrates thrive in our gardens.

Since 1994 JJ Gladwin has been making a garden at Old Allangrange, which was recently the subject of a 'Scottish Garden of the Season' feature on the website Discover Scottish Gardens, which is well worth a look.  View the feature here.

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No Dig Gardening

A member attended a talk organised by Perth Organic Gardeners given by Charles Dowding from Somerset about no-dig gardening. 
https://www.charlesdowding.co.uk/

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"Modified" - A Film About GMOs and Corruption of the Food Supply for Profit

In 2019 TBI director Anne Thomas drew attention to this film as perhaps being one that TBI might show.  At that time however TBI, with Muir Movies, already had a confirmed program of films for this year and a commitment to take three more from Take One Action, so there was no possibility of a TBI showing in the near future.

Anne forwarded a review of what appears to be a very interesting and perhaps disturbing film, which will certainly be borne in mind for a possible TBI showing in the future.

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Food and growing on 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 Black Isle Larder website set up in 2017 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 was restarted in 2016 and has run every year since, 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.

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