Other Growing Groups and Courses

November 2019

Drop-in sessions about food growing strategy for the Highlands 

Emma Whitham of MOO Food has circulated an email about developing a food growing strategy for the Highlands

"My name is Emma and I met you all at the Food Growing networking event a couple of months back at Abriachan.  You might remember me mentioning that on behalf of the Highland Council I am currently in the process of developing a food growing strategy for the Highlands and identifying land that may be used as allotment sites or by communities for the cultivation of vegetables, fruit, herbs or flowers. As part of the community engagement element of developing this strategy I am hosting nine drop-in sessions across the Highlands over the next couple of months.  It would be great if you could come along to one of the events (thank you to those who agreed to co-host with me) and share your experiences, challenges and successes.

"Below is a list of dates

"Details of further events in Aviemore, Nairn, Lochaber, Ullapool and Helmsdale have to be confirmed but I will keep you posted.  Please share details of these events with anyone you know is interested in grow your own.  "Thank you for your help and I look forward to seeing you at one of our events."

  • Muir Hub in Muir of Ord, hosted by MOO Food on 20th November from 1800-2100
  • Highland Council Chamber, Portree, Isle of Skye on 25th November from 1630 to 1830
  • Thurso Community Cafe, Thurso hosted by Thurso Development Trust 4th December from 1500-1800
  • Inverness College, Inverness, hosted by UHI on 5th December from 1600-1830

-------------------------

November 2019

Transition Town Forres'  Community Garden

TTF have a page on their main website about their Community Garden, and the garden also has its own website, mainly intended for garden members and users.

-------------------------

August 2019

Highland Seedlings,  Fearn

TBI recently received an email from Mairi MacPherson, explaining that she was formerly an academic at UHI but had to give up full-time work because of illness and now runs a small growing business in Fearn.  She writes

"I have 1/3 acre garden at home in Fearn and grow many veg, and we're trying to be as sustainable and self-sufficient as possible, but because of my health limitations there is only so much I can do.  I really want to help more folks grow their own and turn their unused grass spaces into food (in a no dig/permaculture way), and I've started to run workshops ever so often.  I also sell veg seedlings which folks can pick up either in person or order online and I ship them to them. There's more about this on my website, www.highlandseedlings.com.  I'd love to start a community garden here in Fearn or do stuff with the primary school, or work with community groups of some sort."

Mairi is interested in joining TBI as an Associate Member, and hopes that we might be able to to come up with ideas for projects, workshops or volunteering opportunities which would benefit both her enterprise and TBI members.  She adds that visitors to the garden are always welcome (location information on the website).  Her contact information is

Mairi MacPherson
Highland Seedlings
Oak Cottage, Hill of Fearn
Tain     IV20 1TJ

highlandseedlings@gmail.com

Main website              https://highlandseedlings.com/
Online shop               https://www.vegseedlings.co.uk/
(nothing available at the moment)

-------------------------

January 2019

Growing in Gairloch

The latest issue of the GALE newsletter contains information about the GALE Gardening Group

GALE Gardening Group;      Tuesday mornings, 10 – 12pm
The GALE Gardening Group at Good for Ewe at Inverasdale is up and running again from 10 - 12 noon on Tuesday mornings!  This group includes parents and children and is for anyone with an interest in growing outdoors or in the polytunnel.  We are still growing lettuces, leeks, broccoli and much more! .   .   .   .   

Get Ready for Growing; 19 Feb, 7.30pm
Join us at the GALE centre after our open house chilli night for a sharing of knowledge to get your gardens off the best start!  Come along and get some advice from our gardening specialists and learn about our growing/outdoor learning project.

Read the GALE newsletter

(GALE is Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum).

November 2018

'Pocket Orchards' in Wester Ross

Former TBI director John Wood and friends have been planting fruit trees in public spaces around the wester Ross villages.  Read more .

November 2018

Grow Forth - Forth Environment Link

Grow Forth is a growing and local food project of  Forth Environment Link, based in Stirling.     From their website:

Food and Growing at Forth Environment Link

Grow Forth is the local food network for the Forth Valley area. We help connect and support communities and local food businesses to grow, source, cook and eat local food. FEL currently has 2 active Food & Growing projects:

  • Stirling Food Hub
  • Dig In Falkirk

Our Stirling Food Hub project is currently funded by the Climate Challenge Fund administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful. We are working with our local communities, schools and food businesses; this project aims to help strengthen the relationship between farm and fork. Understanding that relationship and how it can benefit us all now and in the future is a key aspect of the Stirling Food Hub project.

We want to see local food linked to every aspect of community life. Food is our past, our present and our future and this project celebrates and promotes local food and its place in our lives.

Stirling Food Hub is based down at the Stirling Cycle Hub. We run a variety of different food based activities - look at our events calendar to find out what’s on. We are at the Stirling Cycle Hub on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons, including our Stirling Food Assembly every Thursday from 4.30pm-6.30pm.

If you would like to know more about our Stirling Food Hub contact donna@forthenvironmentlink.org or call 01786 449215

The Food and Growing team are also working in Falkirk on a project called “Dig In Falkirk”.  This initiative is part of a two year project run by Falkirk Council, Falkirk Delivers and Forth Environment Link which aims to encourage more community growing projects across the Falkirk Council area.

If you would like to know more about our Food and Growing work contact emily@forthenvironmentlink.org or call 01786 449 215

Forth Environment link won a Rural Innovators Award this year at the Scottish Rural Parliament - https://www.sra.scot/ria-winners/


FEL website
     http://www.forthenvironmentlink.org/     (currently being upgraded)

Stirling Food Hub
     http://www.forthenvironmentlink.org/projects/grow-forth/get-ready-for-local

Stirling online market
     https://www.neighbourfood.co.uk/markets/stirling/8

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plants with Purpose  and  Appletree Man

November 2018.   Andrew Lear,  who runs the above business at Bankfoot, has sent a long email newsletter.  Andrew writes

"What a summer we had - and what a year for fruit!  Whilst it was very dry (we did have rain on June 23rd - which saved the trees), the high temperatures and sunshine levels kept the developing apples and other fruit expanding endlessly (we've seen Howgate Wonder apples the size of small pumpkins and perfectly carve-able) and turning an unexpected bright red in many cases.

"All my trees produced fruit this year, which gave me a good opportunity to check the labels!  A reminder of the perennial problem of keeping labels intact and having good records!

"The warm sunny weather continued into early autumn (apart from the predicted diversion into torrential rain on our open day in August), and fruit and vegetables from the garden remained abundant.  It seems strange now to be back to eating kale and winter vegetables after being spoiled for choice for so long, but the freezers and pantry are full, and no-one's complaining".

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

Read the newsletter .

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 .

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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)
https://www.facebook.com/MOOFood/

Story
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.

Mission
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 .

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Latest News...

Forthcoming Events…

Saturday 7 December
10:30 Culbokie Woods Christmas work party
NA      Logie Steading Christmas Market
10:00 Fortrose Community Market
Sunday 8 December
NA      Logie Steading Christmas Market
Monday 9 December
NA      Moray College Human Rights Festival 2019 Postponed
Tuesday 10 December
18:30 Extinction Rebellion Election Hustings Inverness
Thursday 12 December
NA      Culbokie Panto 7.30 Findon Hall
Friday 13 December
NA      Culbokie Panto 7.30 Findon Hall

Events to add to calendar? Contact Us.

Cycle Routes Blackisle.
Highland Liftshare. Sign up for free now

TBI Business Directory

Add Your Business

Do you run a sustainable business on or near the Black Isle? Add it to the TBI business directory

Spread The Word...

We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.