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March 9, 2011

Planting the seeds of change

In recent years, development trusts have become an increasingly common feature of community life.  Many are now facing up to the global challenge of climate change by taking a whole range of local actions and through these, are attempting to influence attitudes and behaviour within their communities. East Kilbride Development Trust is starting to see some real results from all its efforts to promote local food and community growing. A recent seed exchange was a sell out

Shona Mitchell, East Kilbride News


FREE seeds and advice on growing your own vegetables attracted over 200 people to the town’s second Seed Exchange event at the weekend. The Old Parish Church Hall in the Village was packed as people from East Kilbride and beyond went along to see what was on offer.

The event, organised by East Kilbride Development Trust, attracted double the amount of people as last year. As well as free seeds, seed saving guides were available and there was a chance to sign up for free organic vegetable growing courses.  Another popular attraction was the beekeepers who brought along a hive.

The group were also delighted to welcome Scotland’s only Green Party MSP, Patrick Harvie, to the event. Patrick Harvie said: “Local food projects like this one in East Kilbride are very directly giving people of all ages the skills to cut their food miles and enjoy growing their own fruit and vegetables, which is a win-win situation when Scotland has ambitious climate targets to meet and food prices are steadily rising.”

Development Trust member Kirsten Robb added: “We doubled the number of people attending and raised £350 for the Trust which we are pleased with. It was good to see people come from all over as well as MSP’s Patrick Harvie and Linda Fabiani.”

Since being awarded a £60,000 grant last year, the EK Development Trust have set up a community garden near Calderglen where volunteers have been working hard to raise plants for school gardens they are helping to develop. They are also in the process of creating an apiary of 10 beehives.

Their next series of vegetable growing courses will start in spring and cater for beginners and experienced growers. Covering basic techniques on soil testing and preparation, through to subjects in organic vegetable growing, permacultural systems, seed propagation, composting, organic fertilizers, pest control and vermiculture, the courses will offer something for everyone. The training will deal specifically with the heavy clay soils found throughout East Kilbride and will be very hands on.

For more information visit East Kilbride Development Trust