At the launch on Tuesday we heard inspirational words from Steve Allen, on behalf of the Trustees of Abundant Borders. For those who weren’t able to be there to hear him in person, here is a flavour of what he had to say.
“Abundant Borders has a huge vision; that We will work to ensure that everyone, regardless of their personal circumstances, can have access to healthy, nutritious food.
Just now we are small and are taking small steps on the path to achieving that vision but already a huge amount of work has gone into getting us to this point.
We share the same ambition. We are like-minded people who have an aspiration to help others in our communities to have more control over their lives, and to take responsibility for themselves.”
Steve was keen to point out that he too has so much to learn, even joking that he should be wearing L-plates!
“I am now in a position where I have the time to learn to work with the land, relate to it and grow food so that I no longer rely on pasties from the supermarket or the petrol station. I am just starting out but can tell you all that there is no greater sense of satisfaction and achievement than cooking and eating food that you have grown for yourself. There was nothing to compare to the taste of my home grown potatoes and peas.
I don’t want to garden alone but to work as part of a team. Abundant Borders isn’t about recreational gardening clubs but rather it is a serious head-to-head attempt to deal with deprivation, particularly food poverty, and about challenging inequality in our society which damages peoples’ health, wellbeing and sense of opportunity. That is what Abundant Borders is taking on.
People on the growing course can look forward to putting time and effort learning about creating healthy soil, designing sites, relationship between plants, how to use tools safely. Then how to use that food by learning basic cooking skills. Complex targets dealt with in a guided way.
Abundant Borders ambition to work across the Scottish Borders is based on a belief in the need to ensure that everyone has a fair share and that if one of us fails we all fail. We must face the fact that we are dealing with complex issues but that does not mean we should not have the aspiration to create something remarkable. For us to be successful it needs all of us as individuals to play our part.
We are a team, we are in the game and we are going to make it as big as we can.”
On the day the project signed up the first fifteen trainees to learn about gardening and cookery and built cross generational links to help participants move to food security. Groups involved have included the NHS, Scottish Borders Council, Momentum, Connect, Eyemouth Community Development Trust, Permaculture Scotland, Maroan, The Red Shed, Health In Mind, and hosts for the day Splash!