Introducing ‘Grow Elgin AND Beyond’
Due to the generosity of our funders, the Climate Challenge Fund https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/ and The Robertson Trust, we work with community groups, schools and individuals across Elgin. To increase the number of people growing and eating local fruit and veg and composting their food waste. Growing your own is fun, money-saving, healthy and yummy – we garden organically, meaning no artificial chemicals in your food and extra taste too! Growing your own also helps reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions by avoiding packaging, processing and long journeys – it really is a winner in every way! Why don’t you give it a go?
Grow Elgin initially started with partners Elgin Youth Café, Elgin Allotments Association, Greenfingers training project, Action for Children and Greenwards Primary School, helping them set up community gardens. Elgin Academy, all the other Primary Schools and various community projects for young people, children and the elderly have all got on board over the first two years. This year, Elgin Academy, Elgin Guides, SACRO and Maryhill Health Centre have joined the fun in having their food gardens developed! And we have some new partners in our composting bike scheme (more information further down). Have a play with the interactive map below!
In these green spaces there are raised beds and other nifty growing spaces, community orchards and composting facilities. We have a special focus this year on therapeutic gardening: more and more studies are showing how gardening is good for your mental and physical health and well being – we will be integrating this further into our gardening activities as well as setting up weekly therapeutic gardening sessions at our new big food garden at Maryhill Health Centre – exciting!
We also run FREE workshops and planting sessions to help individuals learn new skills around growing their own; these include sowing, planting, propagating, making raised beds, harvesting and preserving; and composting courses too! These are held at the Elgin Gardenshare site or at Cooper Park (at the Edible Beds or our kiosk). They are friendly and informal and suitable for total beginners or those who want to improve their skills, and there’s plenty time for your questions. We also have bi-monthly volunteer days in Cooper Park – another opportunity to learn and meet new people. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more or register your interest.
Composting is a big focus of this project too. Composting can help reduce methane gas, even more damaging than carbon dioxide, by keeping food waste out of landfill. It provides valuable home-made fertiliser to help grow strong and healthy plants. We have set up community composting hotspots across Elgin for our FREE bicycle food waste collections – are you a business with some veg based waste – fruit peel, teabags and coffee grounds and with no space to compost your own but don’t want to see it go into landfill? We can pop by to pick it up and take it away to compost it locally and with no vehicle emissions.
Interested in finding out more or getting involved? Contact REAP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01542 888070.