Other Growing Groups and Courses


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 2022

Vegetable Gardening course at Allangrange

Whether you have a polytunnel or a window box, our head gardener Alexander will take you through each step of the process to give you the best chance of producing a healthy abundance of vegetables this season.

25th August
Second season: planning and sowing for autumn/winter crops as well as maintaining your summer crops. Weed and pest control including companion planting.

The fourth course in the Black Isle Garden Design series, 'Vegetables for All Seasons'.  (See below for future dates).

Cost      £45   Tea, coffee and cake included

For more information and tickets contact

office@blackislegardendesign.com  or  01463 811304
 

Future course dates (all Thursdays) and topics
The charge will be £45 for each session

6th October
Harvest festival: how to make the most of your produce, end of season advice with lessons on storing and preserving vegetables and fruit.

17 November
Laying the ground for next year: how to make no-dig beds, lessons in compost making, cropping plans and winter jobs. Including fruit tree/shrub pruning.
 

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July 2022

Old Allangrange and Black Isle Brewery Market Garden

Allangrange garden design  office@blackislebeegardendesign.com

The next Open Day at Allangrange is Sunday 11 September 2022

Scotland's Gardens Scheme Allangrange information and pictures  (2022)

Also at Allangrange is the Black Isle Brewery's market garden, which supplies vegetables to the Brewery's bars in Inverness and Fort William  and IV10 in Fortrose, and has been transformed to a more sustainable and regenerative model by redesigning the main garden using agroecological design and growing principles.

https://www.blackislebrewery.com/

Brewery Head Gardener Alex Davies writes about the market garden

We grow our organic vegetables and fruit using agroecological, no-dig and permaculture methods to increase biodiversity and support local flora and fauna.  A good example of this is how we use the spent grain from the brewery – as well as feeding it to our Hebridean sheep, we combine it with green waste from the garden and wood chippings from local tree surgeons to produce the compost in which we grow all our veg - this ‘closed loop’ system acts in a regenerative way, allowing us to give back more than we take from the land.

Read more

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Highland Seedlings / Fearn Free Food Garden

Mairi MacPherson 

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'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 since 2018.  

Pocket Orchards update 2022 - by John Wood

A ‘pocket orchard’ is a small group of community fruit trees which are accessible, where possible, to local residents with no, or minimum driving. The inspiration came from the community orchard in the garden of Cromarty Courthouse Museum, the wonderful gardens at Inverewe, and noticing some neglected apple trees in an overgrown corner of Poolewe.   

Apart from fruit, the orchards are intended to provide spaces and spring blossom to lift people’s spirits, create some hope for the future, and encourage pollinators. The basis of the idea is that people and the planet cannot be separated and must work together for mutual benefit. We aim to build an abundance of resources for both people and the planet in a landscape that has been so badly damaged over the last 200 years. Food production is therefore only one of several objectives. 

So far, the pocket orchards project has planted 250 fruit trees in Wester Ross, across 32 sites. Nine of these sites have been planted at or in conjunction with local schools – Ullapool and Plockton High Schools, and Badcaul, Balnaluib, Poolewe, Kinlochewe, Shieldaig and Applecross primaries. We hope to add trees at Lochcarron and Gairloch primary schools next year. 

The biggest orchard so far is at Gairloch High School with 37 trees; the smallest is a single tree, trained on the wall of Bridge Cottage cafe in Poolewe (the original tree, planted in the winter of 2016/7).  

Blossom, spring 2021 on the original tree in Poolewe.  This tree (Katy) started to produce crops of apples in 2020.

Other sites where the pockets orchards can be found include Old Inverasdale school, now a community owned building, Torridon and Gairloch Youth Hostels, Poolewe Village Hall, Laide Community Wood (2 sites), Inverewe (NTS), Kinlochewe church, St Maelrubha’s church Poolewe, Ullapool allotments, and on public amenity land at Laide, Autbea, Poolewe, Gairloch, Badachro and Kinlochewe.  

The school’s orchards already provide educational benefits. In due course, there will also be social activities and training in tree propagation and care, building a local skills base and creating opportunities for community-focussed events and activities that will help bring people together and help build confidence. 

Local people will be able to harvest the fruit to make jam, pies, and more. Beekeepers will benefit from increased yields of honey, and a revived insect population will pollinate other plants and trees, building biodiversity more widely. Perhaps the presence of the trees will inspire crofters and others to start growing trees themselves and provide a basis for a small but circular and sustainable economy.   

The majority of the trees are apples, of varieties carefully chosen to suit Wester Ross conditions with a focus on non-commercial ‘heritage’ varieties. There are also plums, pears, cherries, cornelian cherries, cherry plums, two chestnuts and a walnut. The main suppliers have been Andrew Lear in Perthshire and John Hancox in Glasgow. There have also been individual donations of trees. 

The project is currently taking stock of progress so far but the intention is to resume planting in 2022, both expanding existing orchards and establishing new ones. Key plans for 2022 also include completing a delayed grafting workshop on a croft near Poolewe which marks the start of the propagation of endangered old local varieties. We also hope to build community engagement through a volunteer network. The plan is to move towards more locally grown trees from local stock. Perhaps in the longer term there might be opportunities to start developing new varieties that are both productive and resilient in Wester Ross conditions.  

The project has been able to go ahead thanks to the project founders, those who donated to the crowdfunder, the Highland Council’s Ward Discretionary Fund, The Pebble Trust, the Woodland Trust, TCV, Ovo Energy and other, private, donors. 

To find out more or get involved with the project, visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pocketorchards 

Or get in touch with them via email:  pocketorchards@gmail.com

Article link (HGFP)

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Appletreeman

Andrew Lear,   Perthshire     https://plantsandapples.com/
 

Dunbar and District Local Good Food Alliance


MOO Food   Muir of Ord

Background   October 2017


The Scottish Food Coalition

 

Stirling Online Market

This was originally set up as Stirling Food Hub in 2016 by Forth Environment Link, who in January 2020 transferred the market to The Kitchen at 44, who now run it under the auspices of the national NeighbourFood network.
 

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.
 

The Seed Co-operative        

 

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Forthcoming Events…

Monday 26 September
NA      Scotland's Climate Week to 2 October
Wednesday 28 September
09:00 Landworkers Alliance - Building better food systems
Thursday 29 September
09:00 Landworkers Alliance - Building better food systems
Friday 30 September
10:00 Trellis Green Health seminar and AGM
Saturday 1 October
10:00 Postponed MOO Food Harvest Festival
Sunday 2 October
14:00 Black Isle Food Festival CANCELLED
Wednesday 5 October
09:00 Cycling Scotland conference 2022
Thursday 6 October
19:00 Lairg Learning Centre film screening 'The Dreaming Bog'

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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.