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11.7.2020 : 17:39 : +0100

Beans in 2004v2

The old glasshouses no longer there

Garden from the Air 2005 ish

Garden looking a bit overgrown before it was leased in 2003

Getting plots ready for planting in 2010 for launch of new Community Garden

Liz rotovating in 2010

Where docks once thrived - planted up a few years ago

Polytunnel full of strawberries - a few years ago

Community Garden News - October 2010

The Garden Open Day was a great success with lots of produce on show, on sale, and the garden looking fantastic.

In addition to produce there was a raffle for an amazing cake made by plotholder Karin M.

Gardeners are now busy harvesting and getting ready for autumn planting.

Knoydart's Community Garden

Knoydart Foundation owns a garden of about 1.5 acres, formerly the kitchen garden for the 'big house'  near the long beach, adjacent to the old farm buildings (now the Bunkhouse).  In recent years the garden has been leased to a local person as a commercial market garden but in 2008  they set up a B&B and doing both was too much time commitment.

After some community consultation in Spring and Summer 2009 it was agreed to re-launch the garden as a community garden for local food production and to have individual plots within the area for those without a garden of their own to grow fruit and veg.  

"I think local organic food production is a real priority for the community ...If things get harder with peak oil etc etc, then more will follow but at least the infrastructure will be there. It's quite amazing how unsustainable and un-environmentally friendly (and probably quite unhealthy) our food chain is here at the moment, despite living in such a beautiful and potentially healthy place."

 Comment from the consultation Spring 2009

"I would love to see the market garden producing seasonal food all year round. It is an excellent resource ...We owe it to ourselves as a community to make the most of it and also in terms of the wider world by lowering our food miles. I have been part of [an] organics box scheme but due to increased transport costs this became unaffordable, also seemed crazy to have our veg transported half way across country when it could be grown right here."

Comment from the consultation Spring 2009

This timed in with a new initiative of the Knoydart Foundation 'Powerdown' a project seeking to reduce Knoydart's carbon footprint.  Tackling food miles seemed like a great idea, with so much food being 'imported'.  Fruit and vegetables can arrive in Knoydart after their long journey looking rather tired and limp.  With so much food now wrapped in plastic, which is then re-exported as waster there are further opportunities for cutting carbon emissions by cutting out un-necessary transport and packaging.

There are a good handful of very experienced gardeners in Knoydart and those who are lucky enough to get the odd bit of 'surplus' from their gardens know that locally grown food is so much tastier, so there is a great deal of interest in growing more here and learning a bit more from each other.

There are two polytunnels in the garden, gifted by the previous tenant, which will help us to extend the growing season, and grow softer more tender products like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, which if supermarket bought are likely to either be from overseas, or to have been grown in polytunnels heated by non-renewable energy.

We've just started tidying and preparing the ground in the garden for hopefully a productive year's growing!  Seed catalogues are being scrutinised and volunteers are turning up for an hour or two here or there to help out with some of the bigger jobs.  

The plans for this year will gradually unfold and evolve but we're going to have a couple of open days in the summer, hopefully with a bit of entertainment and maybe even a produce show at some point. 

We're going to keep records of the weight of veg grown to help us work out our carbon savings as we can use a simple formula using kilos to calculate food miles saved ... that means that some of us might need to convert to metric though.... and presumably the records of kilos of food grown will help us improve yields and productivity and fuel a bit of healthy competition between growers!  To assist with the garden and keep the carbon footprint even lower we aim to trial an electric vehicle and trailer as part of this initiative, charged up, of course, on our own renewable hydro electricity!

Hot on the heels of the 2010 Burns Supper we have already started chitting potatoes to get growing for the 2011 Supper at which we aim to try to produce all our food as locally as possible. (Obviously the 10 year old malts for the toasts might take a bit more forward planning...)

 "Reducing your carbon footprint can seem a bit daunting or too much like 'giving things up', but looking at it in terms of growing and eating food sounds a lot more tempting.

To help get this exciting initiative up and running we are seeking a part time Community Gardener to bring the work together, support volunteers and trial some of our ideas, like box schemes or garden gate sales of surplus.