In 2010, we were gifted an eight acre field in the village of Dunkeld in Perthshire, Scotland. The owner of the field wanted to ensure it was saved from development and returned to organic food production.
The idea of establishing a community growing project on the land was presented to the village in a public meeting and over the next year and a half local people came together and established a group, now called @TheField (Dunkeld and Birnam Community Growing).
Together they raised money to fence the field from rabbits and deer, erect polytunnels and sheds and now have over an acre under cultivation. And in a short time, they have transformed a paddock into a thriving market garden, bringing people together from all parts of the community to grow and share good-quality local food.
Now in the fifth year of growing, and with regular events bringing people up to the field, there is a committed team of regular workers and over 80 members.
You can follow their progress on facebook.
The field is becoming a social hub. There have been three lovely birthday parties this year. Wild Sparks outdoor play scheme gather round our fire pit and the oak woods resound to children’s voices.
We want to keep alive the connection between what we harvest and sell at the stalls and how and where it grows. For example, we hope that the 50 Primary children who planted out 200 leeks,30 courgette plants and 3 rows of beans will have enjoyed themselves and learned something valuable’