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.”