Grow your own project gets £38,000 from government

A West Side project which extols the virtues of growing your own has received over £38,000 to help develop its “carbon classroom”.

Transition Turriefield of Sandness will employ a development officer to help the uninitiated become expert in home-produce.

The funding, which totals £38,443, has been provided by the Scottish government’s Climate Challenge Fund, as part of a £1.4 million payout to 15 initiatives throughout the country.

Transition’s Penny Armstrong said the money would help encourage people to cut down on food miles by sourcing produce locally.

She said the development officer would operate grow your own training courses, carbon reduction workshops, events and open days to help people learn more growing from home.

“There will be four courses in growing vegetables in Shetland, and it will be for folk who want to start growing – so it’s not for experienced growers,” she said.

“The idea is also to have a couple of events for showcasing locally-produced food – actually having an event where people can come along and learn how much they can buy locally to help the local economy and reduce food miles.

“We’ll be having grow-packs where people who want to start growing can start producing potatoes or herbs, as it were, so they can give it a go.”

Cutting carbon footprints has been Transition’s aim since it was set up nearly four years ago.

Until now the work has concentrated on growing a diverse range of fruit and vegetables without the use of pesticides, agro-chemicals of fossil-fuel-powered machinery.

Transition has carried out experiments in creating micro-climates and extending the growing season to ensure produce is available for as long as possible throughout the year.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “I look forward to seeing the results of 15 projects, including this one in the Shetland Islands, who are receiving awards.

“No single individual, group or even nation can solve the problem of climate change. But, with such strong commitment from our local communities, we can all play a part – working together to make a real and lasting difference.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • July 15th, 2013 13:42

    Growing your own produce is a fine idea for several reasons however I trust the training courses will emphasise the two most important factors in achieving high productivity.

    One is supplying natural plant food in greater quantities i.e. we need more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not less, supplemented by a warmer climate which will extend the growing season..

    As for Paul Wheelhouse, “No single individual, group or even nation can solve the problem of climate change. But, with such strong commitment from our local communities, we can all play a part – working together to make a real and lasting difference.”

    La-di-da! What patronising, utter tripe!

    Paul Wheelhouse is giving us “a bum steer” and sounding like a fool.

  • Phil Mitchell

    • July 15th, 2013 18:16

    The Climate has been changing all through history, a few packs of stuff from the Government won`t change that! By the way, have you ever heard of King Canute?!

  • paul barlow

    • July 15th, 2013 20:26

    well done. what a good project to get funding.

  • Johan Adamson

    • July 16th, 2013 10:06

    I think this is excellent, cant wait to get going. Have got second year of tatties and bought Alec Henry’s book, but that’s as far as we’ve got. We have plans for polytunnels and we know you should rotate veg, but thats about it. This sounds like the information we need.

    It is good to encourage veg growth in Sandness, Papa Stour and other places around Shetland where there is good land, otherwise it is such a waste. Some good news for the country at last, and inexpensive.

  • David Spence

    • July 16th, 2013 17:15

    Its all fine and dandy promoting local food produce, but when the Supermarkets hold 70% of the food market and, moreorless, holding the farmers to ransom with their price controls, buying locally produced food really stands no chance against the ‘ bigger players ‘ in the food market race.

    If the Government made it cheaper to buy healthy food and more expensive for the ‘ fast food based products (burgers, ready meals etc etc) then may be locally produced food may stand a chance in getting its share of the pie, instead of the Supermarkets getting the biggest slice?

    Mind you, if you take out the ‘ greed factor ‘ and the ‘ monopoly factor ‘ in locally produced food, I am sure many more people will buy it and, hopefully, sustain this business for a long period.

  • stephen shirmer

    • July 16th, 2013 21:02

    I thought Shetland folk had been doing that for hundreds of years prior to the super markets making us all a little lazy.

    I wonder what a Shetlander would of done with £38000 a century back !

    Boy ,Boy

  • David Spence

    • July 17th, 2013 3:21

    Stephen, I believe £38,000 a century ago would have been the equivalent of £3,000,000.00 in today’s value, although this is just a rough guess. Even so, it was a huge amount of money at that time and you could buy a house for around £1,000 give or take £100.


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