Other Growing Groups and Courses

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:

What an amazing harvest this year, ‘bushelfuls’ of apples and some very big ripe pears too! Our apple masher and press has been put to very good use, the record probably achieved at a busy Blairgowrie Market with over 350 litres of juice produced. Many people are noticing that a mix of cookers and eaters makes the best juice, the extra acidity giving it a wow factor.
. . . . .

Read the newsletter


MOO Food   Muir of Ord

(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 .


Nairn & District Gardening Club 2017 Programme

All indoor meetings take place on the first Thursday of the month
from 7.30pm at Nairn Community & Arts Centre (unless otherwise stated).

Next meetings

Thursday, Sep 14th 7.30pm
Painting Scotland’s Landscapes and Nature: journeying by rail  
Leo du Feu (Nairn Book and Arts Festival Event)

Saturday, Sep 16th pm
Visit to the orchard at Pluscarden Abbey 

Thursday, October 5th  
The future is orange; or is it?
Stephen Jack: Local Grower of Organic Carrots 

Saturday, October 14th   10-12pm    
Autumn Coffee Morning and Garden Produce Sale 
Royal Legion Hall, Nairn 

Thursday, Nov 2nd 7.30pm       
How to prune your fruit trees
Chris Pepper: Brodie Castle
Thursday, Dec 7th  7.30pm        
AGM, Gardening Quiz, Christmas Table Centre Competition & Raffle

Thursday, Dec 14th                          

View and download the full programme.

GrowVeg.com Garden Planner

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.

Latest News...

Help raise funds for TBI when you shop online

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
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.