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A Good Food Hub for Berwickshire

From Thursday 1st February 2018 through to Wednesday 28th February 2018 voting is open for projects looking for support from Scottish Borders Council Localities Fund. Abundant Borders, local communities and partners want to co-create a Good Food Hub for Berwickshire; to help connect and support communities and local food businesses to grow, source, cook and eat local food.
To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

So, what is a GOOD FOOD HUB?
The Berwickshire Good Food Hub will:

  • Tackle Household Food Insecurity
    Feeding hungry people with donated or re-directed food waste is not culturally appropriate and does not address the root cause of hunger. No comprehensive action has been taken, locally or nationally, to reduce the need for food banks. There are no statistics for Scotland (Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) are currently working to collect and collate date) but, according to UN polling, in the UK 10% of people experience moderate to severe food insecurity, placing the UK in the bottom half of EU nations. This figure may be higher in Scotland, where 27% of incomes fall below the Minimum Income Standard and CABs report an increase of 11% in issues relating to food banks and food parcels in 2016. The Good Food Hub will support people in growing and cooking affordable meals from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

  • Promote Community Food Growing
    Community growing has many benefits ranging from increased health and wellbeing to reducing inequalities. Home-grown and community grown produce contributes to the local economy and communities learn about seasonal and local food. Community growing projects help to address issues of social isolation, particularly important to rural communities in Berwickshire, by creating open spaces where people get to know one another and start to take pride in, and shape, their community. Mental health problems can lead to isolation. A lack of fruit and vegetables in people’s diets is a risk factor in health conditions such as type-2 diabetes and obesity and less than 50% of people in Scotland meet physical activity guidelines. The lack of adequate transport and access to more affordable healthy options in rural settings such as Berwickshire, contributes to this problem. Growing food in a community setting can address these issues. The Good Food Hub will aim to ensure that everyone who wishes to, can have access to growing space within their community.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

  • Address issues of Food and Health
    All of Scotland’s dietary goals have been missed every year since monitoring began in 2001. The Scottish diet is characterised as being high in fat, sugar and salt and low in fresh fruit and vegetables. The situation is made worse as 75% of Scottish adults don’t believe that their diets are unhealthy (Food Standards Scotland). Obesity rates in Scotland are amongst the highest in the world, with one in four adults and one in six children categorised as obese and two in every three adults overweight (Scottish Government 2016). The Good Food Hub will make it easier for people in Berwickshire to access good quality, affordable food. It will encourage people to grow their own food and provide training in how to cook healthy, inexpensive meals, in line with the action plan developed by the community.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

Within the project are several brand new initiatives

  • To scope new community growing projects in Duns
  • To run four day-long food workshop events, using seasonal produce grown in the community, to show how produce can be used, cooked and preserved
  • Hold monthly social food sessions for community volunteers
  • Hold an annual Big Lunch, to bring together community volunteers
  • To create a tool and book library to support people who want to grow food/cook healthy meals
  • To pilot Healthy Meal Bags

The hub will build community capacity by providing extra resource to support and expand some existing projects.

  • Planting and growing on three community garden sites in Ayton and Eyemouth
  • Support community meals, including Eyemouth Tea Dance, Pots and Pans cooking sessions supported by Healthy Living Network and soup clubs in Greenlaw.

To help create a Berwickshire Good Food Hub, VOTE NOW

Invitation to tender

Thanks to funding from Awards for All we are looking to appoint a suitably qualified person to provide a Permaculture Foundation Course, for up to 15 participants.

The course consists of ten modules, ideally completed one module per week over a ten-week period, beginning in April 2018. Participants should learn the principles of permaculture, with an emphasis on creating food forests. The course should give a level of understanding that can be built on by trainees who want to go on to train for the Permaculture Design Certificate. It is expected that the trainer appointed by Abundant Borders to deliver the course will hold a permaculture diploma.

The course will be predominantly field based, with an emphasis on learning while doing. Some learning will take place in an informal, workshop style setting in The Salvation Army Citadel, Croft Road, Hawick while the majority will take place (weather permitting), at the Community Garden being created behind the Salvation Army Community Store, High Street, Hawick.

Full details can be found here.


The closing date for applications is Friday, 26 January 2018.

Any questions should be sent to

Works in Progress

Tea and biscuits today at Linkim Court and a chance to share our story so far with residents. They can’t get out to see some of the other sites for themselves so wanted to see how the other projects compared to the transformation of their outdoor space.

So we made a picture slideshow. Click on the link to view the Powerpoint presentation.

Amazing what’s been achieved in less than a year!

Works in Progress

Last visit of 2017 with preparations for 2018

Today was the last time we’ll be at Ayton this year. The community growers will still be visiting as there are still plenty of brassicas  growing ….

… and some herbs can still be picked during the winter months. Check out this lovely herb bed. Created using one of the key features of permaculture – “let the problem become the solution”. The ground here is really stoney but some have been put to really good use!

One job this time was to plant the second holly tree at the site entrance

A second job was to put a trellis behind the bench. Next year it will be planted with fragrant sweet peas and delicious garden peas.

Roll on 2018 – see you all at Ayton in February!

Getting started in Hawick…ctd

Lots more work on the structure before we can start clearing and planting.

The stairs up to the garden were in some disrepair but hard graft and lots of sand did the trick!

Having cleared around the roots on the last visit, it was time to relay the paving stones. Ian was amazing – working like someone half his age!

And the end result is a lovely new path!

But Ian wasn’t finished – helping Annie to remove tree ivy which was stifling the tree. There is plenty of tree ivy left, particularly around the walls, to provide habitats for nesting birds in the springtime.

And a wonderful community volunteer brought chocolate bars for our coffee break!

Willow Planting

With special thanks to the Mrs Lathe and the students at Eyemouth High School who cut bundles of willow for us, we now have a lovely willow windbreak.

The wind can be really fierce on this very exposed site so the willow will serve to disrupt the wind flow and protect the plants. The community growers will keep the willow cut short and coppiced (great biofuel by the way) as we don’t want big trees, just a willow hedge. Who know, there’ll maybe a chance do do some willow weaving in the next year or so!

Shoots and roots

The first wee shoots of the project to co-create a food forest garden here in Hawick started to grow this week. But it was more roots that were the main issue. The paths were overgrown and wobbly…

and it very soon became clear why!

The roots of the pine tree in the corner of the garden had spread across the surface of the ground, lifting the paving stones along the way. Shane and Tom were able to remove this small root and made a great job of the first section of path….

but this huge root will have to stay!

We’ll build plenty of sand over the root and re-lay the flags on top … and hope that the tree, or at least its roots, have done all the growing they need to do.  And we made a start on cutting back the overgrowth too.