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November 19, 2014

Know how to grow

One of the ambitions of the forthcoming Community Empowerment Bill is to increase the number of communities who take on land with a view to growing food. Acquiring the land is one thing –although no easy task in itself – but converting land into a successful growing space is something else altogether. A great couple of resources have just been published by the Fed, SAGS, SNH and CSGN A step by step guide to community growing and help with growing on contaminated land. With any luck, these should lead to more projects like this one in Kirkcaldy.



Fife Today

A project to bring disused land behind council homes in Kirkcaldy, which was initially opposed by some residents, has ultimately brought everyone together.

And this week the allotments in East March Street, run by Kirkcaldy Community Garden Allotments, opened a beautiful new community garden area to the public to enjoy.

The communal garden was the brainchild of local residents Zander Meldrum and Wayne Evans who were instrumental in getting the East March Street project off the ground after it initially came up against opposition from some local people.

Work started around April last year and within six months its grounds were producing a huge variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers for its allotmenteers. The latest addition of the community garden is being hailed as “another huge step forward.”

Zander said: “The whole area has been created from recycled materials, with the wood for the seats coming from wood cleared from Ravenscraig Park and old Fife Council fence posts.

‘‘The built-up area was made using boulders and rubble from the cleared plots as well as three layers of recycled pallets, while the decking area came from wood which had been used to cover the windows at the new wing of the Victoria Hospital.

“We started doing it around July last year after we had sorted out our own allotment plots, and we just worked away at it during every spare hour we had.”

The garden will be open to the public to come in have a wander around or enjoy some chill out time.

Councillor Kay Carrington who represents the area on Fife Council, said: “It is looking absolutely fantastic.

‘‘This has been a wonderful project because it has really brought the community together.

‘‘It is also encouraging people in the houses around the area to start working on their own gardens and to try growing things for themselves, so it’s having a great knock-on effect and we are noticing a real difference.”

Peter Duncan, allotments officer with Fife Council, added: “This all ties in really well with the council’s health and wellbeing policies and is really delivering great results for people’s physical and mental health.”