Allotments and Community Gardens

Get your hands dirty, gardening makes happy!

The most local food you can get, of course, is that you grow yourself.  If you don't have your own space to grow fruit and vegetables, there are currently two allotments and one community garden on the Black Isle.  

Allotments

Allotments are areas of land leased either from a private or local authority landlord, for the use of growing fruit and vegetables.  

Both allotments are members of the Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society and the local allotments societies aim to do the following:

  • Support and encourage the growing of fruit and vegetables.
  • Support gardeners by obtaining funding, acquiring, maintaining and sharing tools, equipment, seeds, plants, land, or other resources.
  • Promote, create, develop, manage and supervise the suitable provision of land for the benefit of the members of the Society and the wider community.
  • Promote and represent members’ interests and to encourage good relations with neighbours, relevant organisations (including the Highland Council) and the wider community.
  • Provide opportunities for the public to learn about growing fruit and vegetables.
Rosemarkie Allotment

The Rosemarkie allotment is located off Greenside Avenue on the west site of Rosemarkie, on a sloping south-facing hillside with a splendid view overlooking the Moray Firth to Ardesier and Fort George. There are 15 plots, which are either managed as full plots, or split and managed as half plots.  

Plots are rented per year, in 2017 it is £45 for a full plot and £22-50 for a half.  Each plot comes with its own tool shed, and there is also a communal shed with shared tools. 

The allotment is a very friendly place to spend time, and plot holders are often sharing gardening tips, seeds, plants and any overabundance of produce that they have with each other. Each year typically sees some plots becoming available, so if you are interested in having a plot or half plot, contact the membership secretary Fran Stuart on 01381 620423 or at fran.stuart@uwclub.net.

Cromarty Allotments & Gardens Society

Membership of the Cromarty Allotments and Gardens Society  costs £5 a year.  Plots - or more usually half plots - are rented on an annual basis. Rental for a half-plot costs £15 per year. There are no plots currently available but once you are a member, you can ask to join the waiting list.

For more information about the Cromarty Allotments, visit:  http://www.cromartygardening.com/index.asp.  

 

Culbokie Community Garden and Polytunnel

 

The Community Garden and polytunnel are just down the hill from the Culbokie Inn at Netherton Farm.

Individual growing plots are now available with shared use of the Polytunnel. There are tools and a stock of seeds for use by all gardeners.

Originally set up with the support of Transition Black Isle and with one of our original members, Agric, as on-site gardener, the relationship with Transition Black Isle is now more informal e.g. the garden is often used for some of our Grow North workshops.

If you are interested in cultivating a plot please phone Lesley on 01349 877224.

 

 

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Grow North

Grow North is a series of workshops for those new to growing and the more experienced, offering a chance for guidance from experienced tutors and hands-on  practice, together with  opportunities to meet and exchange tips and share ideas with others. Below are the future dates for the Grow North Events:

  • Grow North workshop 7 'Seed Saving' Saturday, September 1st

    Grow North workshop 7 'Seed Saving' Saturday, September 1st

    'Seed Saving'         

    There’s a lot of interest these days in saving seed from vegetables, herbs and flowers – with good reason! But getting seed that pollinates well and is true to type isn’t as straightforward as all that, so why not come along to this workshop. 

    Using saved seed opens up a huge range of heritage varieties that aren’t in the standard seed catalogues – often varieties that have been maintained because they suit small-scale growers and local conditions. And by collecting seed from plants that thrive here, you can end up with higher yields, longer seasons, better flavour. It has to be said though, there are some pitfalls and surprises – for instance broad beans will pollinate other varieties growing nearby, so if your neighbour is growing a different variety from yours, you’ll end up with a cross between the two. French beans, on the other hand, don’t readily cross-pollinate, so you can safely save seed from different varieties growing next to each other.

    Maria Scholten from the Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty programme will lead the workshop, and will have lots more tips for collecting and saving seed – and there will be an opportunity to get some hands-on practice.

    Cost : by donation (suggest £5-£10)

    Venue : Stoneybank, Culbokie, IV7 8JH

    Tea/coffee provided

    Come dressed for outdoor garden  (incl footwear) and current climate conditions !

    Booking essential : email grownorth@transitionblackisle.org

    View on TBI website »

  • Grow North workshop 8 'Composting - the nitty gritty' Saturday, September 15th

    Grow North workshop 8 'Composting - the nitty gritty' Saturday, September 15th

    'Composting'        10am-1pm

    A workshop covering the basics of hot and cold composting, where to have your composting area, what one can and can't compost. There will also be a very brief overview of other ways to compost. The practical will be an opportunity to make a hot compost heap.

    Tutors : Helen Greenwood and Brian Smith

    Cost : by donation (suggest £5-£10)

    Venue : Netherton Community Garden, Culbokie

    Tea/coffee provided

    The whole workshop will be outside. Come dressed for outdoor garden (incl. footwear) and current climate conditions! Bring garden gloves if you have them. 

    Limited parking so if you know someone else attending please car share if possible. 

    Booking essential : email grownorth@transitionblackisle.org

    View on TBI website »

  • Grow North workshop 9 'End of Year...' Saturday, October 6th

    Grow North workshop 9 'End of Year...' Saturday, October 6th

    'End of Year...'              10am-1pm

    A session possibly of more interest to new(ish) growers...what do we need to think about and do as the growing year slows down ? What to tidy/not tidy, preparing the ground for the fallow time, looking after the soil ...compost for winter. Looking ahead, what do you need to start planning....crop rotation, seed ordering....

    With practical activities.

    Tutor : Fuggo King

    Cost : by donation (suggest £5-£10)

    Venue : Netherton Community Garden, Culbokie

    Tea/coffee provided

    Come dressed for outdoor garden  (incl footwear) and current climate conditions !  Bring garden gloves if you have them. Possibly suitable for children, under supervision of parent/carer.

    Booking essential : email grownorth@transitionblackisle.org

    View on TBI website »

  • Grow North workshop 10 'Willow Christmas decorations' Saturday, November 3rd

    Grow North workshop 10 'Willow Christmas decorations' Saturday, November 3rd

    Willow Christmas decorations.       

    Venue : Findon Hall, Culbokie

    Tutors: Penny Edwards and Julie Shortreed

    Learn how to make traditional willow Christmas decorations, including: 

    - A decorative Christmas tree woven with willow and some other foraged material and bits and pieces lying around the house

    - A stranded willow hoop which will last for years and can be made into a beautiful Christmas wreath using a variety of hedgerow and garden materials.-

    - A Christmas willow star

    What to bring: A pair of secateurs, the sharper the better, a ruler or stiff tape measure

    Optional - To make your Christmas tree more festive, bring any pieces of ribbon, large buttons and natural fibre twine/string you have lying around the house

    - For your Christmas tree and to make a start on decorating your willow wreath, bring a few hedgerow materials. Anything long (ideally over 2 ft), slender and bendy will work, for example ivy (with leaves on), long larch twigs with the cones attached and long strands of clematis – and also bring along some sprigs of holly and evergreens for the wreath.

    Tea/coffee will be provided.

    Suitable for children from 12 years.

    Cost : by donation (suggest £5-£10), children under 16 free.

    Booking essential : email grownorth@transitionblackisle.org

    View on TBI website »

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