Planting for a low carbon future

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THE award-winning Fife Diet project has opened a new food garden in Burntisland.

The garden has been dug on disused wasteland at a site in Broomhill Gardens, off Manse Lane.

The site has 12 new allotment plots and a large community growing space.

Mike Small, project director, said work started on the garden last November: “We were working on the site from November right through to January, preparing the ground and creating paths. The bulk of the work has been done now and it has been open for the last few weeks.

“It is open to everyone and we are encouraging people to come along. We have various plots - a mixture of traditional allotments for growing vegetables and we have a herb garden too.

“It is about encouraging people to help themselves and we have had different community groups from the area coming in as well as involving children.”

Impressed

Fife’s new MSP David Torrance paid a visit to the garden space on Sunday and was impressed by what he saw.

He said: “Fife Diet is one of Fife’s low-carbon success stories.  What started off as a few voluntary individuals promoting growing and buying local food now has over 1500 participating members.

“Fife Diet members actively work to reduce their communities’ carbon footprint by avoiding produce flown in from the other side of the world – efforts which have won them funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

“I am delighted to see their newly-opened community garden in Burntisland. It will allow the local community to grow food locally and further contribute to Scotland’s way towards a low-carbon economy.”

The project engages with local schools, an after-school club, nurseries and guides groups and does outreach work with schools across the region including Cowdenbeath, Kirkcaldy and Dalgety Bay.

The project is free to join – and is open to everyone.

Mike said: “It’s great to have the support of our new MSP. Like hundreds of communities up and down the country we’re beginning to re-learn how to grow some of our own food and turn wasteland into more productive use.

“In a few months this space has been transformed into an area groaning with great vegetables, a healthy low-carbon alternative. Demand for plots has been huge.

“We are responding to this demand and a lot of people have taken an interest.

“We also offer information, advice and support.”

One way they are able to help people is by providing a series of free horticulture workshops as part of the project.

They offer green-fingered enthusiasts information on how to grow their own food, covering topics such as hot-composting, growing herbs, organic gardening for beginners, bee keeping, companion planting and how to create a wormery.

Cookery

They also offering cookery sessions this summer.

Mike explained: “We are also running ‘Make and Taste’ workshops on cooking and these are free.

“The first one coming up is on July 16 at Kirkcaldy Rugby Club from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.

“People can bring the kids to meet friendly local cook Louise Oliver who will show how to make some child friendly recipes using lovely local and fresh ingredients.

“Cheese muffins, seasonal veg, pizza and summer fruit smoothies are just some of the recipes.

“People have to book in advance though as spaces are limited.

“There will also be workshops on using fruit and fish, bread-making as well as how to feed a family of four for a fiver at venues across Fife.

“A lot of people don’t know how to cook and we are offering to show them ways of making a few simple dishes.

“The aim is to inspire them to go away and do these dishes as well as coming up with ideas for their own.”

To book up for the workshops log on to www.fifediet.co.uk and register, telephone the office on (01592) 871 371 or email: lisa@fifediet.co.uk