Grow your own Community
'Grow Your Own Community' is a Scottish Government Climate Challenge Fund project that encourages the growing of more local food and reduction in waste going into landfill. The project aims to strengthen social cohesion and create a low carbon future for Uist by encouraging the growing and consumption of more local food, reducing food and fish farm waste going into landfill, and through these activities provide tangible opportunities to improve the Climate Literacy of the community, especially young islanders.
The key purpose of this is to set up a new horticultural facility at Lionaclete School, Benbecula and all primary schools to engage pupils in a whole school programme of activities that demonstrate the 'Circular Economy'.
GROW YOUR OWN COMMUNITY
We also continue to develop the Community Growing Hubs initiative, which provides growing facilities ‘almost on people’s doorsteps’, by constructing 4 Polycrubs at public sites across the islands. Each site is built near to social housing sites and supported by a paid part-time horticultural worker. We also plan to deliver a community workshop programme on how to re-use local fish farm waste materials for food growing purposes, e.g. raised beds, windbreak fences, polytunnel frames.
Food grown at our main site ‘Tagsa Uibhist Community Garden and Allotments’ is available for use by the Food Bank as needed, and sold through the Vegetable Van, a newly established, island-based enterprise, selling vegetables door-to-door. This arrangement will simplify the management of fresh food sales, provide a channel to sell our produce more widely, promote our identity as local growers, and at the same time reduce CO2e from journeys previously made by our customers to buy vegetables.
We will increase availability of food growing facilities by 412 m2, supporting the development of existing school gardens, building one, and constructing more Community growing hubs near social housing sites
We will reduce the amount of food waste being landfilled by 3.8 tonnes
We will reduce the amount of fish farm waste currently being landfilled by 4 tonnes through practical workshops on how to reuse wooden fish farm cages as windbreak fencing and raised beds. This side of the project due to begin in autumn with windbreak fence to be erected at Tagsa site
We will support 20 vulnerable people to grow more food for themselves through providing onsite training and support in horticulture and health and wellbeing advice. On track with this work taking place at all project sites
We will significantly improve the Climate Literacy of the islands 750 school children through a whole school education programme integrated with Growing/Composting activities across all island schools. On track. Baseline data gathered through Climate Literacy survey carried out at start of project. Work at all island schools underway