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Food and Growing

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May 2022   From Skye Climate Action newsletter

Community Food Growing

The Highland Council's Community Food Growing Strategy was published in February.  To tackle inequalities, improve inclusion and respond to the climate emergency, the Strategy's vision is "By 2027 Highland communities are resilient, empowered and supported to grow their own food.

"The Strategy document gives examples of community growing across Highland, including edible villages, school projects, community orchards and community gardens, such as the Raasay Walled Garden.  The Strategy seeks to support growers across Highland, improve access to land for community food growing, and help community groups and schools to set up projects on Council land and school grounds.  There is an action plan, and the Council will try to source funds, land, connect people to groups, information and resources and help with things like tool libraries.

More information about how to start community food growing is in the Guidance Document.


Both documents referred to are in a highly unsatisfactory double page .PDF format.  We have complained to Highland Council and other organisations about their continued use of this format.

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May 2022

'Unexpected Garden' in Alness - Dandelion and Feis Ross

On an industrial estate in Alness, something surprising is putting out new green shoots.  Tucked in amongst concrete lots and corrugated buildings, discover salad leaves, herbs and flowers growing below the ribs of a polytunnel.  This is The Field, a community garden created by arts organisation Fèis Rois, which provides opportunities for people of all ages to participate in traditional music, song and dance; youth group The Place and The Blooming Gardeners, a charity that gives adults with learning disabilities hands-on experience in horticulture.

Together, they’re using natural methods to grow regional foods to harvest, cook and share with both visitors and volunteers – whilst cultivating seeds to recreate the crop year-on-year. Come and visit to enjoy music workshops, concerts and meals made using the freshest possible ingredients. Discover broad beans from the Black Isle and tomatoes from Dingwall ripening in special, no-dig vegetable beds – where the soil is left to work its magic undisturbed.  With seeds exchanged for produce and saved to share at the end of the season, it’s a kitchen garden designed to flourish far into the future.

Read more

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April - May  2022

Newsletter from the Open Food Network   with seed sowing advice and a recipe for dandelion tea.

Celebrating such a beautiful and symbolic time of the year, we are focusing on the beauty of new beginnings.

Here at the Open Food Network UK we are constantly inspired by the innovation and resilience of our community, finding new ways to nourish and take better care of our home whilst keeping the people in the UK well fed.

Nature doesn’t rush things so we shouldn’t either. Let’s embrace this time where nature is slowly waking up to refresh, find our balance, and take our time.

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May 2022

Latest newsletter from Highland Wholefoods

We are Hiring

As a workers cooperative, Highland Wholefoods is a great place to work.  We offer pretty good working conditions and benefits, along with the opportunity to get involved in the running of the business.  For permanant workers there is also the opportunity to become a member - and own the business. 

We are currently looking for 2, or more, people to join our team - please share with anyone you know who would love to work here.

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January 2022

France bans plastic packaging for fresh vegetables

A law banning plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables came into force in France on New Year’s Day, to end what the government has called the “aberration” of overwrapped carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental campaigners and exasperated shoppers urge other countries to do the same.

Emmanuel Macron has called the ban on plastic packaging of fresh produce “a real revolution” and said France was taking the lead globally with its law to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040.

The Guardian     Angelique Chrisafis      31 December 2021

Read the full article

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January 2022

The future of Food?

'The Economist'  magazine's latest Technology Quarterly contains a number of articles on aspects of the future of food, including technologies for producing meat without animals and milk without cows, and urban 'vertical farms'.

Technology can help deliver cleaner, greener delicious food

Cows are no longer essential for meat and milk

Meat no longer requires animal slaughter

Microbes are being used more and more to make delicious food

Vertical farms are growing more and more vegetables in urban areas

Feeding 9bn people will mean reimagining the edible world

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December 2021

Good Food Nation Bill

 The Bill requires the Scottish Government and certain public bodies to create good food nation plans to support social and economic wellbeing, the environment, health, and economic development. According to the Scottish Government, these plans will help ensure good quality, locally sourced and produced food is a practical everyday reality for everyone.

Overview and background

The Scottish Food Coalition feels that the bill as it stands is inadequate, and has written an article saying how they think it could be improved.

They have also prepared a  PDF summary  of Good Food Nation principles and what they see as the deficiencies of the current bill.

Scottish Parliament research briefing


This would seem like a good time of year to take a look at the Highland Food Activity Map on the Highland Good Food Partnership website.

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October 2021

Scottish Government consultation - Local food for Everyone

In August 2021 the Scottish Government launched a consultation on local food.

Read the consultation and discussion document

(The consultation is now closed).

Highland Council's response to the consultation

HGFP's response to the consultation

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Get the TBI Growing Guide

Anyone looking for gardening advice appropriate to the Black Isle should 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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July 2021

Highland Council signs Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration

From the Highland Good Food Partnership July newsletter

On Thursday 24th June the Highland Council agreed to sign the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration. The Glasgow Declaration is a commitment by local governments around the world to take joined-up action on food to tackle climate change, and a call on national governments to do the same. Food and farming account for almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions and there's no way to meet the Paris targets without changing the food system.

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Local food in action

From the HGFP Facebook page

Here's some good news - and if it works on Raasay, it must be possible throughout the Highlands - mustn't it?

The cook at Raasay Primary School has been campaigning for the Highland Council to allow her to use produce from Raasay's Walled Garden whereever possible for school meals.

Having previously had success in getting @Raasay Community Stores set up as a supplier, enabling the purchase of Raasay venison by the school, we are delighted that the Walled Garden has now also become a supplier!

We are providing a weekly Veg Box, drastically reducing the food miles involved and ensuring that the youngsters in the community are aware of and benefiting from local seasonal produce grown without herbicides and pesticides.

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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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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.  [Suspended in 2020 owing to Covid-19 -resuming 2022]. 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.  [GQT suspended, Potato Day running in restricted format].

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