Dispatches from Perth, Kinross and Dundee City
After a short weekend pitstop in Edinburgh to recover from the long, beautiful journey back from Islay, I hit the road again visiting 5 sites across Perth and Kinross and Dundee City. They varied from a large waste management site in Perthshire (Binn Eco Park in Glenfarg, Perthshire), to Tomnha’s Market Garden near Comrie (Tomnha is on Comrie Croft, Perthshire), the Kinross Day Care Centre (supports older people), Broke not Broken (an antipoverty charity and food bank in Kinross), Food Train Dundee (charity that provides shopping and other services to older people who live independently) and the MAXwell Centre (community centre) in Hilltown, Dundee. Jim Fairlie MSP joined me for the visit to Binn Eco Park.
Throughout the visits and our onsite discussions, a number of common issues/insights emerged despite the differing nature of the sites visited):
Whilst the organisations visited have some of these in place, the funding that supports is short term and precarious, making it difficult to recruit and commit long term to the initiatives and services provided.
My next stop is the Scottish Borders to learn about its burgeoning community gardens network managed by Abundant Borders. I'll also be looking at how Pelham Farm has developed an organic, pasture for life, high welfare animal production system, invested in on site butchery and charcuterie facilities and their own retail operation, brought the next generation into the farm partnership and is mentoring other farmers looking to transition to more sustainable, less input dependent systems of production.