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Giving to the Community

September 1, 2020 By Steve Aylett

In the photo: Luke Whitney

Giving to the Community

The Findhorn Foundation is donating its excess crop produce to the local area’s food bank.

The Foundation’s Cullerne Gardens grow vegetables for the ecovillage and Cluny Hill College kitchens but, due to the coronavirus lockdown, both are currently closed to visitors, meaning there is plenty to share with the wider community.

The original Findhorn garden played a big part in popularising the developing community, with its giant cabbages and roses grown in harsh weather and sandy ground. Today Cullerne Gardens continues to grow food of a more modest size, but in very large quantities, for the hundreds of visitors that visit the Foundation, and co-creation with nature is still an important Findhorn principle.

Cullerne is tended by volunteers from the Findhorn Foundation including Jewels Kinnair and Luke Whitney, who came up with the idea to help Moray Food Plus.

Jewels said: “For some time we’ve been wanting to share our produce with the wider community in Moray, particularly those in the East. If we can help some of the most vulnerable have healthy organic food, with minimal food miles and no plastic packaging, we’re delighted that, due to not feeding guests just now, we could do this.”

The Foundation is busiest over the summer, with guests travelling from around the globe to take part in workshops and events. Salads and vegetables are grown at Cullerne Gardens to feed them. There are usually around a dozen gardeners working on the site, including School of Gardening students learning about crops, mindful interaction with nature, permaculture and sustainability. In its fields and polytunnels they develop skills in sowing and propagation, greenhouse management, tool use and care, compost making, field management, crop rotation, cultivation, planting out, harvesting and forest management.

In the photo: Abbott Chrisman and Jewels Kinnair

Cullerne Gardens has so far sent two large deliveries of vegetables including pak choi, lettuces, Cullerne Greens and spring onions to Moray Food Plus to share with some of the most vulnerable people in Moray.

“Cullerne Gardens has nutritious vegetables grown with love to spare,” finished Luke. “We are keen to continue this in some way after the lockdown lifts, as sharing the skills and resources of this wonderful garden is something close to our hearts.”

Moray Food Plus development officer Lindsay Welsh confirmed the Foundation’s donated vegetables have been used for a community meals-on-wheels project started during lockdown.

She said: “Meals are cooked and distributed to those that have been shielding and isolated, those that would normally attend our community meals or those experiencing food insecurity.

“It makes such a difference to receive such fresh local produce that we can incorporate into the meals to ensure the food is as nutritious and healthy as possible. There are also 30 of these meals being distributed weekly out round the Forres area.”

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