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How to Grow Your Own Food

All are welcome along to a talk on How to Grow Your Own Food – FREE in February. The talk will be hosted by Keith Library on 10th February from 3-4pm and delivered by our Dorothy, and on 18th February from 7-8pm in Cullen library by Ann.

For more information, contact Keith Library on 01542 882223 or Cullen library on 01542 841140. We’d love to see you there.

Barney’s Blog 2 – Tuesday epic

Hello it’s Barney again and time for my second installment, where I’m going to tell you about my busy day last Tuesday. It was a day of varied activities (and weather!).

I joined Dorothy in the morning at Home Farm, Pitgaveney just outside Elgin. We were doing the preparation for the big Fun Day they have this coming Sunday 24th May. Get down if you can – there’s going to be a lot going on. As part of it we’re going to demonstrate raised bed construction and seed sowing for windowsill propagation and help the wee ones to make paper pots, sow bean seeds and make bug homes. We’ll be promoting this project too.

We had a most pleasant morning, firstly building a herb spiral from unused bricks which we then planted up with a wide range of culinary herbs. We celebrated its completion with a lovely cup of lemon balm and grapefruit mint tea, freshly harvested and bursting with freshness. We moved on to building one of our legendary metre squared raised beds. We filled this with lovely peat-free compost and then a smorgasboard of veg seedlings and young plants – including kale, carrots, leeks, salad onions, lettuce, mixed leaves, radishes, garlic – to show how easy it is for people to starting grow their own veg. We had some help from Jim Grant the friendly marquee man who gave us a shiny new drill bit. What a man!

Herb spiral being built

Jim helping with raised bed Home Farm

Raised bed building with Jim to the rescue

sprial and flower bed

All done!

After lunch we met up with our manager Ann and new volunteer Sophie at the Elgin Community Allotments site on Wards Road and then went on a tour of possible sites for community allotments and orchards in north Elgin. There is such potential round there to get growing and work towards a whole edible trail.

And then it was on to the final destination, Action4Children on King Street. We joined the kids and staff in preparing the ground for two raised beds, which we then put in place and filled with topsoil. There was just time for a few tatties to go in – more sowing and planting to follow. They all showed amazing enthusiasm and perseverance in the face of some chilly rain and wind. Such keen diggers and shovellers – excellent work guys.

everyone planting

Never mind the rain, let’s get stuck in!

planting tatties

Tatties being tucked into their new bed

A weekend of fun beckons at the Home Farm Open Day after working alongside the Greenfingers crew at Cooper Park for their open day on Saturday. I’ll report back when I can – bye for now.

Barney’s Blog

Hello everyone, my name’s Barney Thompson and I’ve just started as a Project Assistant on the exciting new Grow Elgin project that REAP is running. I’m going to be writing a blog of what I’ve been up to – to give you a taste of the project and maybe encourage you to get involved in whatever way you can.

I’m a keen gardener and composter and love growing food organically, so I’m really looking forward to joining the people of Elgin – young and old – in the activities that we’re going to be running in various locations. Amongst other things, we’ll be developing and maintaining community gardens and orchards, sowing seeds, building beds, composting and, of course, harvesting the tasty produce. We’ll be getting our hands dirty and having lots of fun!

Last week I went on my first visit with my lovely colleague Dorothy. We had an excellent time at Elgin Academy with two classes, Mrs Sutherland’s and Miss Ainsley’s classes from S1.

The Academy already has a food garden underway, developed with our help . They are ready to build some composting bays, so we took time to work with the young people, developing their composting knowledge. We looked at which things from your garden and kitchen you can and can’t put in your compost, as well as techniques for making a good balanced compost mix. Students looked at some compost that we’d already ‘made’, both from a compost heap and a wormery. The worms were more popular with some students than others!

elgin academy 05 (4)

Dorothy explains some of the joys of compost

The Academy has some splendid raised beds and students also sowed some seeds, for many this was the first time they had done this. Beetroot, carrots, potatoes, parsnip s, radish, leaf beets and lettuce will hopefully be making their appearance when they’re ready at the Academy. Students also had a go at pruning fruit trees that had been damaged by the wind.

elgin academy 05 (3)

Seed sowing and chatting about favourite veg.

If you need any help with composting, we have a handy simple leaflet you can download here. There is also other information you can download about about food growing.

That’s all for my first instalment folks. I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll be writing more soon.



Here’s our wee slideshow with just a few photos from the Apple Day. Roll on next year!

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Apples, apples, apples…

You can freeze, refrigerate and wrap apples to store them. You can bake them, roast them, juice them, mull them, make pie, crumble, muffins, tarts, chutney them, dry them in the oven or airing cupboard to make apple crisps or jelly them alone or with other flavours. Apple loves bramble, greengage, cinnamon, rosehip, chilli, cheese, lavendar, rosemary, sage… The list goes on. They are so versatile and the perfect portable snack.

Here are a few of links to apple recipes – please get in touch if you’d like to add yours.


wee appleThe Fife Diet has recipes galore here – see Applicious Autumn for All to get your tastebuds tingling.
For a range of seasonal recipes and ideas, why not join The Fife Diet? Membership is free, and in return for pledging to cut your carbon FOODprint, you’ll be kept up to date with all sorts of goings on and receive 4 lovely seasonal recipe books over the course of the first year. See http://www.fifediet.co.uk/ for more information.


wee apple

Love Food, Hate Waste is always a good spot to stop for recipe ideas to use up bits n bobs.
There are plenty ideas for dealing with an apple glut and using every bit. Click here for a link to a refreshing apple peel drink.


wee apple

BBC Good Food website – recipes are tested and commented on by real-life cooks.
You can search for things that are quick or easy or vegetarian or low calories A is for apples and there are over 300 apple recipes here!


wee apple

The Royal Horticultural Society has a list of seasonal food recipes  – with a couple of apple cakes to start you off.