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Volunteers wanted to work on community vegetable-growing field in Forres


By Garry McCartney

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A vacant field between Adam Drive, Brewster Drive, St Leonard’s Road and Sanquhar has been set aside by its new owner as a potential community vegetable-growing field.
A vacant field between Adam Drive, Brewster Drive, St Leonard’s Road and Sanquhar has been set aside by its new owner as a potential community vegetable-growing field.

A VACANT field behind a local beauty spot has been offered as a community garden.

And Nick Molnar of the Forres Community Orchard initiative is looking for anyone who might wish to get involved in this new project.

He said: "Over the last few years, Moray Council has held several public consultations to identify areas where people wish to see different aspects of the local food policy develop. This includes identifying land for allotments, community orchards, school gardens surplus fruit and vegetable exchange and more. The benefits of community growing include: improving health and wellbeing; opportunities for social interaction; encouraging sustainability; biodiversity and reducing food waste; skills development and education; and opportunities for economic development.

"Whilst the coronavirus makes such activities impossible at the moment, we could use this time to prepare for when we shall be able to put these ideas into practice."

A local estate sold a field beyond Sanquhar pond on the east side of the Mosset Burn as they no longer had an agricultural interest in it. The buyer believes the site is ideal for a community growing project and they intend to set up a trust to safeguard it in perpetuity.

Mr Molnar said: "It could eventually extend over several acres and would produce food for volunteers and possibly for a market stall.

"Eventually the project could grow the whole range of fruit and vegetables suitable to this climate, both in poly tunnels and in the open field. The volunteers would receive a fair share of the produce in exchange for their contribution and surpluses would be sold in Forres, hopefully at a market stall."

Mr Molnar explained that the plot would develop at an "organic pace" with an initial core group needed to plan and get the scheme off the ground. Ideally, upwards of 20 to 30 volunteers would cultivate and care for the crops on a rota.

"There would also be plenty of scope for non-strenuous support such as networking, arranging social events, fundraising, etc," added Mr Molnar. "Please email nicpip@googlemail.com.or call 01309 671112 for more information or to get involved."


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