Fruit, Veggies and Self-sufficiency in Ardchattan

There is a growing interest in the Ardchattan community, which is reflected in the wider media, in being more self-sufficient from our gardens and the local area.
Our locality is not the easiest place to grow in, whether it be fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, or produce other kinds of food like eggs and honey. However many in the area have managed to overcome our local difficulties. And new people are keen to learn.
It seems that this might be a great time to bring the wealth of experience in the existing local Garden Club, in growing all sorts of plants, fruit, flowers, vegetables together with the enthusiasm of a new generation of growers. And it is not only growing food plants, people need to know about the soils, and techniques, and preserving and flowers and so on.
The AGM of the Garden Club is this week, on Thursday 8th at 7.30 pm in the Campbell Memorial Hall, Benderloch (behind the church). The club has been running for a decade now, but the founding committee members are retiring, or have stepped back to the very capable support group.
It may be that things will not be so formal and structured as in the past, but with strong informal communication between members we could connect people, skills, equipment, interests, and surplus.

Being able to support each other and benefit from more fresh food available to us all, has to be something to look forward to.

Here are some ideas for summer activities
– supporting members to visit each other, informally, to learn who is doing what and to learn from each other,
– sharing surplus with each other and being able to coordinate produce to sell at the LORN market in Benderloch
– practical workshops on aspects of growing, harvesting and preserving and also bees and poultry.
– working on setting up allotments in the Ardchattan area if there is a demand from the community, its an option for those with unsuitable soils, or gardens already full of kids, dogs and flowers.
– visiting the allotments at Fort William
– visiting the community composting in Lochaber to see if we could do the same here, so giving us our own supply of soil nutrition.
– Visiting commercial and community gardens in other parts of Argyll – Islay, Bute, Glengorm, Ardalanish, Seil and so on, to learn as much as we can from others who have succeeded to produce great food for themselves and the community.
– finding out who might be visiting the area from the Scottish Gardeners Forum, the organisation which supports local horticultural groups; and other people / organisations who are involved in the foodie side of the horticultural world
-working with the local schools who are already involved in growing food in their grounds
– visiting others in the wider area who are already successfully feeding their families (or more) from their own gardens or land.

and any other activities that come up through the year.

There are plenty of topics that can be covered in the winter, food and nature have always been popular meetings.

Using modern technology we can access more people more easily using a simple email list. With the help of those with a little more time, the group can keep in touch with everyone else.
There are local groups who have created a great active network in very recent times using these means, a particular
example being the Seil Natural History Group, who involve people across the community, and have lots of outings and informal get togethers sharing their passion for all kinds of fauna and flora.
They maintain contact with those who are not yet online with some help from those members who do have a little more time to offer.
Our own Arts and Culture in Ardchattan have achieved a great deal of activity without formal meetings or committee.
Sending out lots of post will not be feasible. Using posters at the shops and online newsletters like the Ardchattan Observer we can also spread the word of what is happening.

Obviously not all members may want to be actively involved in summer activities, but we hope many will at some level or another through the year.
To share experience and knowledge to support and inspire the next generation of gardeners is a very special gift.

The AGM of the Garden Club is this week, on Thursday 8th at 7.30 pm in the Campbell Memorial Hall, Benderloch (behind the church).
It is in need of names of 3 office bearers to fulfill the basic needs of the club and volunteers would be most welcomed, but these could be just a formality unless there were eager folks wanting to really move things forward.

To allow the Garden Club to develop and flourish from its first 10 years, and meet the new challenges it is proposed that the subsciption remain unchanged at ВЈ7.00 for the year.

We need your views, and we need your input.

PLEASE come to the AGM and share your ideas and comments.
April 8th 2010 Thursday 7.30 pm
Campbell Memorial Hall, Benderloch

April 5, 2010   Posted in: Barcaldine, Benderloch, Bonawe, Community, Family, food and drink, Hobbies, North Connel, Recycling, sustainability

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