Don’t be shy - pick your own

Planter full of fruit and vegetables on Markinch Station platform
Planter full of fruit and vegetables on Markinch Station platform

Green fingered locals are calling on the public to “not be so shy” when it comes to helping themselves to some free fuit and vegetables.

That’s the message from Markinch Environmental Action Group (MEAG) members who have put out an appeal for residents to benefit from the successful Edible Eats project in the town.

The town joined a growing number of towns across the UK who have set up sustainable and community-friendly fruit and vegetable growing initiatives aimed at inspiring more people involved in growing their own produce, as well as brightening up public spaces.

MEAG members have taken inspiration from communities such as Todmorden in England which has led the way in creating sustainable and environmentally-friendly produce growing initiatives which has expanded to involve the whole town.

Lorna Ross, MEAG spokesman told the Gazette that the produce was free for all.

She added: The problem is having planted ‘food to share’ all around Markinch, people are too shy to help themselves.

“ We want to encourage people to help themselves to the free edibles.

“There are planters on the station platform and outside the Memorial Hall on Betson Street, but the produce really needs to be picked.

“So we are appealing to the community to take advantage as it would be a shame to waste what has been grown after all the effort put in to volunteers to make it work.”

One of the main aims of the group is to contribute to environmental improvement in the wider world, by growing food and reducing energy use and to encourage greater local and ethical purchasing.

In 2012 MEAG benefited from Fife Council funding as part of the Village and Town Improvement scheme.

The group used the money to plant fruit trees in Balbirnie Park, close to the allotment site, as well as position a number of planters around Markinch.

Councillor Kay Morrison backed MEAG’s call to “get picking”.

“A great deal of effort has been made by volunteers, and nothing tastes better that freshly picked fruit and vegetables,” said the councillor.

Healthy, self sufficient and sustainable

Markinch Environmental Action Group (MEAG) was set up in 2008 after a group of environmentally conscious residents decided it was time to take action. Since then we have taken an active role in a number of local projects connected to Markinch and have steadily gathered increasing support for their efforts.

The group’s main aim is to “build a strong foundation for Markinch to become a thriving, healthy, self sufficient, sustainable, environmentally aware community”.

MEAG also want to enhance and improve the appearance of the town using floral and other horticultural means, encouraging pride in the community.

The group is part of the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership on improved access to Markinch Hill which is enjoyed by walkers was gifted to the community by the Balfour family in the 1970s.