Other Growing Groups and Courses

GROW Places in Austria

Some time ago Toni Clark drew attention to the European GROW Observatory project  (see below).  Now TBI Director Vanessa Halhead has found links to practical projects in Austria which are putting the GROW principles into practice.

GROW  Observatory

Toni has drawn attention to this European organisation.    From their website:

The GROW Observatory (GROW) is a European-wide project engaging thousands of growers, scientists and others passionate about the land. We will discover together, using simple tools to better manage soil and grow food, while contributing to vital scientific environmental monitoring.

Our vision is to support the emergence of a movement of citizens generating, sharing and using information on growing and the land.

This can lead to more sustainable land use practices, better soil and land governance and policy, and a unique data repository for science. Through this, people gain a voice on local issues and tailored advice on which new crops to plant, when to water, sow and harvest. In turn, their insight will underpin better-informed decision­-making and policy objectives, while improving soil, land use, climate change adaptation and our overall sustainability.

Visit the GROW  website .


Plants with Purpose  and  Appletree Man

Margaret & Andrew Lear,  who run the above business at Bankfoot, have sent a long email newsletter:

The awful, persistent and relentless waves of ice, snow, wind and sleet that came with the "beast from the east" have not been good for getting through a record number of fruit tree orders! There have been many days when we couldn't lift trees or get them on the road, and folk have been snowed in and unable to collect too.. Even our favourite March off-loading point for the final orders, Portobello Market, was cancelled due to weather conditions! Hard to believe that by this time in 2017, nearly all the trees were breaking bud and marching out of dormancy. 

Read the newsletter

GrowVeg.co.uk  Garden Planner

GrowVeg offer a Garden Planner application for PC or Mac, with a 7 day free trial and then a subscription of £19 for 1 year or £29 for two years.  You can find out more by viewing their email, which has the headings below and links and video, or by visiting their website at www.growveg.co.uk.

This arrived as an email, with the headings below.  See the full email with links and video here.

Is Your Garden as Productive as it Could Be?
A well-planned garden helps you avoid common issues that affect the health and productivity of your plants.

Plan For Success
Using the Garden Planner, you can easily identify the best growing position for each plant’s needs by moving them around until you get the perfect layout

Use Space Efficiently
See how many plants will fit into each area in your garden without overcrowding and discover which plants can occupy the same space at different times of the year.

Plant at the Right Time
Once you’ve decided where to grow everything you’ll receive reminders by email when it's time to start planting, specifically for your garden and your climate

Helpful Advice & Tips
You'll find detailed advice on the best ways to keep your plants healthy and productive, plus handy maintenance & troubleshooting tips to save you time and money.


MOO Food   Muir of Ord

March 2018         News update    from Emma Whitham

Earlier this year MOO Food planted a 50 tree community orchard in Muir of Ord, with a selection of trees, including varieties of apple, pear, cherry, plum and hazel.  Tarradale Primary School pupils worked with MOO Food volunteers to plant trees along with Cllr Angela Maclean and over 30 volunteers from the community.  The community are very keen to be involved and I have been overwhelmed by the amount of offers of help and folks generosity.

Our community fridge will be launched at the end of the month with an official opening day on Saturday 31st March at 2pm.  During term time Tarradale Primary School pupils will look after the fridge Monday to Friday ensuring it is clean and presentable.  Anyone interested in helping clean the fridge at weekends or during school holidays should contact Emma Whitham to discuss volunteering opportunities.

We received some brilliant news recently that our ‘Growing Our Future’ behaviour change project will be funded by the Scottish Government Climate Challenge Fund for two years.  This means we can recruit three members of staff to implement the project.  We are currently recruiting, the 16th March 2018 is the closing date.  For more information please contact Emma Whitham.

We are having our first AGM on Monday 26th March 1900 at the Muir Hub so if yo would like to get involved with MOO Food, please come along.

Please visit our website www.moofood.org or our Facebook page to keep up to date with our news.

If you have any questions please contact Emma at emma@moofood.org

Emma Whitham.

(Earlier information from Facebook,  October 2017)

MOO Food is a social enterprise based in Muir of Ord with a vision to create an inclusive hub for producing environmentally conscious food that sustains a healthy, empowered, low carbon community.

To inspire healthy, environmentally friendly living and give the Muir of Ord community opportunity to reduce carbon footprint and contribute to the production of affordable, chemical free food. Whilst providing hands-on learning opportunities and increasing social capital.

MOO Food Aims

  • to improve access to affordable, local, seasonal, chemical free fruit and vegetables.
  • to inspire healthy, sustainable, green living
  • to provide opportunities for the community to be active
  • to empower the community by increasing knowledge and confidence through delivering a suite of courses on growing fruit and veg, food preparation, nutrition, waste reduction and composting, and ongoing support
  • to increase social capital by bringing people together and facilitating sharing of knowledge and skills within the community and to prepare the younger generation for the future
  • to facilitate an organic waste collection service and community composting
  • to be inclusive

MOO Food wins Carbon Clever funding.   Emma Whitham emailed on 9 October

Just found out we have been awarded £9990 from the Highland Council Carbon Clever Fund for phase 1 of MOO Incredible Edible project.  This means will be progressing with community fridge, orchard and growing boxes.

In an earlier email Emma had outlined the project for which MOO were seeking funding

MOO Food is very much in its infancy, although we are building momentum. By the end of this week we will find out whether or not we have been awarded money from the Highland Council Carbon Clever fund to support our MOO Incredible Edible project.  The purpose of this project is to create and maintain community food growing spaces within Muir of Ord, including an orchard and growing spaces for the benefit of local people and wildlife. If awarded this money we propose to plant an orchard (along with pupils from Tarradale Primary School) on 17th Nov as part of Muir of Ord’s first Apple Day event.

We will also install 50 growing boxes throughout the village that will be used to grow vegetables for everyone to harvest and enjoy. This fund will also be used to purchase our Community Fridge.  All will be supported and maintained by MOO Food volunteers.  This will be our first project, which fills us with much excitement.

MOO Food has also applied to the Climate Challenge Fund for funding for a more ambitious project called  'Growing our Future'.  View the project summary .

After the end of October MOO Food will have a website at  www.moofood.org

Meanwhile catch up with them on  Facebook  or email Emma at  MOOFood@mail.com


The Seed Co-operative        

From their website at        https://www.seedcooperative.org.uk/

The Seed Co-operative has come into being as an initiative of the Biodynamic Association, supported by Garden Organic and the Organic Research Centre, working with Open Pollinated Seeds and experienced seedsman Hans Steenbergen.

Although initiated by the Biodynamic Association, for the Seed Co-operative to be a success a wide collaboration of people will need to be involved.  Farmers, growers, home gardeners, chefs, professionals and amateurs, everyone involved in building a resilient food system, will be able to benefit through access to seeds, advice and training from the Seed Co-operative.

The future of farming, by default, lies in the hands of younger generations.  After many years that have seen the average age of a UK farmer increasing towards retirement age, new blood is coming in to farming.  Many young people entering farming have not inherited their farms and are starting small, often in social enterprises or Community Supported Agriculture.  Although the economics need to be proven it is hoped that seed growing might provide another enterprise for small farms.

The Seed Co-operative were finalists in the Future Food category at the September 2017 BBC Food and Farming awards, and celebrate this achievement on their website and in their September newsletter .



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