GALE at Good for Ewe
In its' role as a development trust supporting the local community, Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum has been involved as a corporate member of Good for Ewe for many years. The Transition group worked on fruit and perennial plants, Permaculture practices have been applied and there has been a long standing enthusiasm for and commitment to growing good honest food locally. Volunteers and a diverse range of members of the local community have been involved, giving hours of their time in rain, hail and shine!
Nearly two year's ago GALE's Outdoor Learning Project came into being and growing at Good for Ewe began in earnest with the support of the volunteers, and in particular the weekly Family Group - dubbed "Baby Gardening" by one wee man. Much fun and games have been played, ground has been cultivated, harvesting of crops takes place for most of the year and sometimes tasty dishes are cooked up on the spot. Many growing skills have been shared and learned and absolute beginners encouraged by the successes...and failures... going home and start growing for themselves. The wonderful spaces in the polytunnels and on the outdoor plots have enabled a wide variety of produce...including blueberries, blackcurrants, rhubarb, raspberries, oregano, rosemary, mint, leeks, onions, potatoes - lots of varieties, cabbages, loads of lettuce and other salads, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, chard and lots and lots of 3 different types of kale! Huge bunches of sweetpeas, lupins and calendula for cheering The GALE Centre tables, nasturtiums for a pop of spice and colour in salads, Since May 2018 we have brought over 120kg of fresh locally grown produce to the café at GALE, turning some of it into soups and preserves. Locals and visitors often comment on the quality and are often surprised it has been grown here!
But of course growing projects don't just provide delicious food. They are also spaces for socialising, friendship, learning, sharing, play and healthy activity. That is where the true value lies!
As the weather warms and the days lengthen we are once again looking to the growing areas. Indoors there is kale, chard and rocket ready to start picking. The beds are prepared outside, having been prepared and a fresh layer of seaweed added to improve the stony soil. The potatoes are being chitted ahead of planting time, probably in the school holidays.
It is so important that we all do our bit to address climate change, reducing packaging waste and pollution, reducing food miles and improving health by spending more time in the outdoors getting fresh air, good company and a bit of exercise. It would be great if more people had a go at growing their own, either at Good for Ewe or in their own outdoor areas. (Small space growing is demonstrated at Good for Ewe and at GALE, please ask if you'd like to be shown what we are up to).