Friday, 4 October 2013

National Vegetable Society starting a branch in the Highlands

The  NVS are  starting  a  branch in  the  Highlands and  the  first  meeting  is  on  the  Thursday  7th November 2013   at  the  Chieftain hotel  Inverness. meeting  will  start  at 7 30pm. We  are  going  to  have  a  presentation by  Ian  Stocks on  how  he  grows his  long  carrots  and  stump  carrots. alllotment folk would   be most welcome  to  come  along.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Organic Gardening Catalogue

If you'd like to join the NAS order for the catalogue this year please download and complete the spreadsheet (copy here) and forward to julesmarchant at

If you haven't managed to collect a catalogue from the pickup points you can order one direct here:

But please remember to complete the spreadsheet if you want to be included in the discount scheme

Many thanks

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Vote for Sandown Community Garden to win £3,000 funding

Nairn Allotment Society Sandown Community Garden has been selected as 1 of 4 groups in the running for a £3k award from Bank of Scotland - in their community awards scheme. There is a voting process and votes can be cast in 3 ways: on line, by text message or in the branch.   
2 of the organisations will be awarded £3k and the other 2 organisations will be awarded £300.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Sandown Community Allotment helping folk progress towards employment

From a Highland Council Press Release

"A new ‘Growing Into Employment’ scheme from the Highland Council Employability Service is successfully giving out-of-work Nairnshire residents the opportunity to learn gardening skills to help them progress towards employment.

The 12-week course – which is the first of its kind – started in May. The four attendees were long-term unemployed and were referred to the scheme through Work Clubs and Skills Development Scotland. They now attend weekly sessions of talks, discussions and practical training at Sandown Community Allotment.
The scheme has been very successful. Of the four attendees, one has secured employment with a local gardening centre. Two have got work experience and some paid work at the allotments and with Keeping Nairnshire Colourful. Two are also applying for their own allotment at Sandown.
Susan Jardine, Nairn Highland Employability Adviser who set up the course said “It’s difficult to appreciate just how far away from the labour market some of the attendees were when the course started. The clients who attended have learnt so much – not just about how to grow healthy food and eat it but new friends, lots of laughs and opportunities to get employment. One client told me it was ‘an amazing feeling’ to get his first pay slip after being out of work for so long.”
“We are looking to increasing the course time and involving more potential employers for the next course. Many thanks to Robert the tutor who has been so supportive, local allotment holders, and a local resident who volunteered her time helping one of the clients.”
The scheme provides a range of benefits. The attendees are: 
  • Learning how to grow fresh foods – from salads to strawberries, and from asparagus to apples.  
  • Learning about nutrition and healthy food and lifestyles. 
  • Developing gardening skills that will make attendees strong candidates for employment.
  • Socialising with other attendees, and getting involved in the local community at the allotment. 
  • Getting some paid work experience through word of mouth.
  • Learning about wild-foraging.
  • Trying new foods.
Topics covered in the course – run by Robert Cunningham, local gardener and arborist – include: 
  • Health and Safety 
  • Crop rotation and crop groupings
  • Sowing/planting times and techniques 
  • Using greenhouses and poly-tunnels
  • Working with orchards 
  • Weed control and weed management
Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee at The Highland Council said: “Growing Into Employment is another example of the brilliant and life-changing work the Employability Service do. The benefits of this project are manifold and it works on so many different levels. The new framework the Employability team has devised for provision of services is evidently working well – enabling the team to pull down the right monies, at the right time, in the right areas.”
The Highland Council Employability Service is part of the Highland Council Planning and Development Service.  The team work with JobCentre Plus, Skills Development Scotland and third sector organisations to provide personalised services to people who have barriers to employment.
They work with people who are disadvantaged or disengaged from society to help them overcome these barriers and to gain and sustain employment. This includes assisting people with learning/ physical disabilities, addictions, homelessness and offending behaviour. They also work with care-leavers, lone parents and young people with additional support needs."

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Orchard at Sandown 2 - blossom at last

The orchard has had its first cut and the 40 plus varities of trees that were planted over the winter are now finally showing some blossom. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Hawthorn Allotments Inverness OPEN DAY 10-4 25th May‏

Hawthorn allotments are having an open day on the 25th of May in Dalneigh Inverness, there will be tea/coffee etc and hopefully some plants for sale to raise funds. It will be a good day out and it would be nice to meet other allotment holders.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Nairn and District Gardening Club outing May 11th

Nairn & District Gardening Club outing. It's on Saturday 11 May to Leith Hall Gardens (NTS) & Laundry Cottage, near Rhynie. The day include a "Soup & Sandwich" lunch in Rhynie & High Tea at Christies in Fochabers. Meet at Nairn bus station at 8.45am. Members £20, non members £25. Laundry Cottage is a private garden with fruit & veg patch, flowers & shrubs around the house, planted grassy banks & trees along a bank down to a burn. They will have a plant sale.
Anyone interested should call Helen Macfarlane-Grieve on 452331

Monday, 8 April 2013

KNC is having a snowdrop splitting morning on Sat, 20 April from 10am

Annie Stewart of Keeping Nairnshire Colourful has a message for plotters that might have a bit of time available Saturday morning (20th of April):

"KNC is having a snowdrop splitting morning this Sat, 20 April from 10am onwards meeting at the Jubilee bridge by the river. We want to split up the larger clumps along the riverside and spread them out to make more impact. All volunteers, including families, armed with forks & spades & a plastic bag if possible would be very welcome."

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Dates for your Diary

Sat 23 March- 11 am- Soil preparation and sowing techniques
Sat 30th march-11am-  Any questions
Both session free of charge to Allotment Society members and associate members.
Meet on plot 7.
Tea & coffee , seeds available to buy at £1.50 per pkt.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Allotments elsewhere - Berwick

The old town at Berwick sits entirely within the walls of the old fortifications, an area perhaps five to six times the size of Fort George. On the seaward side, and right on the Lowry trail, are the allotments pictured below. Protected by the huge defences on one side and the town on the other they look quite productive. The pictures were taken in late August last year. Most people only see Berwick from the train, you hardly get a glimpse from the bypass but it is worth a visit if time permits.  Have you got any allotment pictures of  the plots in Nairn or elsewhere? Individual Images here.

2 day garden and outdoor photography course 2nd May at Boath House

 2 day garden and outdoor photography course being held on 1st and 2nd May at Boath House by Ray Cox. The course is £190 for the 2 day course. More information here.


Monday, 11 February 2013

3rd Black Isle Potato Day - 2nd March

The following message has been received:

Hello folks

The third and best yet Transition Black Isle Potato Day is happening at North Kessock Village Hall on Saturday 2nd March 2013 2pm to 5pm.

IMPORTANT! To reduce the intial rush we had last year we're having 2 sessions: 2pm and 3:30pm and all the potatoes will be available at both sessions, so please come to the 3:30pm one if you can.

More information here:

The Kessock Bridge A9 works will have started so please do your very best to liftshare.

I think I've sent this to:
The Highland Peoples' Food Seed Bank / Transition Inverness
Transition Forres
Transition Alness
Black Isle Horticultural Society
Elgin Allotment Association
Inverness Allotment Association
Nairn Allotment Society
TBI Grow North
Loch na Mhoid Community Garden
Mike Whittall

Please circulate to anyone you think may be interested.

Hope to see you on the day, Agric

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Grow North growing guide - 2012 edition

"Everything that you wanted to know about growing fruit and vegetables in these northern climes has been brought together in a bumper folder of tips and recommendations by Sheila Wickens, capable leader of the Grow North sessions for Transition Black Isle."  For a download copy click here.