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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

Everyone, from private individuals to businesses and organisations, is invited to help shape a local food strategy for Scotland. This consultation is the first stage in a strategy to make high quality food accessible to all and promote the benefits of local food.

The introduction to the consultation states

Scotland has some of the best food and drink in the world, enjoyed around the globe and creating jobs the length and breadth of the country. Since 2007 the Scottish Government has dramatically improved the landscape for food in Scotland, from school lunches to whisky exports, from allotment provision to agricultural innovation.

The people of Scotland deserve to have access to the best produce Scotland has to offer, whether they're growing it themselves, buying it directly from a local producer, choosing it at a convenience store or supermarket, being served it at school, or in any number of other settings. Low income should not be a barrier to a healthy, balanced diet.
.   .   .   .
Local production has enormous potential to enrich lives, improve diets, reduce food miles and keep value in communities. We want to make sure that we're learning from others, adopting good practice, and removing the barriers that are stopping people growing, using, choosing or buying Scottish food at every opportunity.

Read the consultation document

Responding to the consultation      (closes 26 November)

HGFP  Consultation Workshop

On 4 October Highland Good Food Partnership held an online workshop attended by about thirty people from local groups interested in promoting local food. Topics discussed included

  • Why is local food important?
  • What do we want to see from a Local Food plan? - nationally and locally.
  • How can Scotland grow more of what it eats and eat more of what it grows?

One purpose of the workshop was to develop responses to the national consultation by HGFP and Highland Council, whose Community Growing Co-ordinator Kirsty Ellen was present.


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. The road from Paris to Glasgow goes through the farm gate. COP26 in Glasgow in November is our best chance to get the world on track to tackle climate change. 


May 2021

From the Open Food Network newsletter

We noticed a disappointing let-down and an interesting curiosity in a recent newsletter from OFN (an international network of online food markets).  The let-down was an article entitled '21st Century Agro-ecology' by the CEO of Open Food Network UK Lynne Davis, which asks readers to imagine the healthiest landscape they can, and contrasts their likely imaginings with the monocultural landscape of industrialised agriculture geared to maximising productivity, and the dominance of global agro-industrial corporations.  The author refers to the problem of 'how we get from here to there',  but fails to make a single practical suggestion as to how we might start to move our food and farming systems towards a more agro-ecological future.

In passing she refers to the curiosity, the misnamed 'Farmbot' - a garden-scale robot designed to automate growing operations in presisely-constructed raised beds.  The video is entertaining, but it is difficult to imagine the machines being anything other than a new toy for gardening techno-geeks.  Watch it at



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 .

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


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!


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

website               Facebook


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).




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

Dan Ross  -  Black Isle Veg Boxes

Jo Hunt  -  Knockfarrel Produce


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

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.


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


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.


No Dig Gardening

A member attended a talk organised by Perth Organic Gardeners given by Charles Dowding from Somerset about no-dig gardening.


"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.


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  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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