No food without flowers

Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. They are working with individuals, groups and charities to get us all growing wildflowers. As it says on their website,

“In the UK we’re lucky to have some amazing wildflowers, but they’re in danger: we have lost 97% of wildflower meadows since the 1930s. This not only means less colour in our lives but it’s impacting on populations of butterflies, bees, pollinating bugs and birds. We believe that the simple act of sowing UK native wildflowers can make a difference – and that it can bring neighbourhoods together, connect people to nature and boost our wellbeing.”

We couldn’t agree more. And as a charity committed to reducing household food insecurity we know that there is no food without flowers. We need wildflowers for bees and other polliniators and we need the pollinators for our crops. So we are delighted to be able to do our part in growing wild.

We’ll be planting at Ayton, Hawick and with the children at Eyemouth Early Learning Centre so expect some colour over the summer!

Growing Community Food Initiatives

There is a huge amount of interest in community food initiaves across The Borders right now, which is fantastic. Abundant Borders is working with partners across the region to see how we can all work together to ensure that the whole of our efforts is much more than the sum of our individual actions.

Really interesting event in Burnfoot talking about ALISS and Social Prescribing in the Scottish Borders.

Followed by the first meeting in Duns to see how we can work together to support and grow community food projects.

Training dates announced

We are absolutely delighted that Graham Bell, the UK’s foremost Permaculture Teacher and the creator, with his wife Nancy, of Britain’s oldest intentional food forest garden, is to lead the Permaculture Foundation Course in Hawick.

Graham led the course in Eyemouth in early 2017 and it was a great success. We are sure that the Hawick course won’t disappoint.

The course starts April 24th and runs every Tuesday through until 3rd July. More details for anyone wanting to join the course can be obtained via robin@abundantborders.org.uk

 

Community Action Plan

Penny, Annie, Shane, Karen were out this morning in Eyemouth promoting Localities Initiative and supporting the co-creation of a Good Food Hub for Berwickshire Thanks to everyone who came to see us and to support us. There are still a few days left to vote so look out for ballot boxes throughout Berwickshire!

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.

DOWNLOAD

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

Any questions should be sent to robin@abundantborders.org.uk