Help Us Grow Food Around Arran
As reported in previous issues of the Voice, The Arran Pioneer Project CIC is a group of Islanders working together regarding the lease / donation of areas of unused land on the Isle of Arran to cultivate and grow food. They have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help support their work. Please read below for further information and click here to go to the crowdfunding page
The team at The Arran Pioneer Project write:
Our long term vision is to build a network of community farms on Arran so that everyone has access to a community growing space, in every village on Arran and within walking distance.
Our aim is to help ensure the provision of fresh fruit and vegetables in case of any issues regarding food security for island residents due to the Covid-19 situation and beyond. All sites that we manage are to be used for Community Resilience Farming with the aims of a long term successful partnership between all producers and islanders for the benefit of the community as a whole.
We aim to:
– Increase the level of food security on the island;
– Secure land all over the island to allow for local, seasonal food production;
– Work towards helping the island to become a self-sufficient farming example, gaining traditional knowledge and skills for the next generation within a practical, participatory setting;
– To facilitate food production methods that protect the natural environment, regenerate biodiversity and diverse ecosystems, and create fertile soil on Arran using principles of Agroecology.
– To become a valuable resource for training and apprenticeships (for all abilities and backgrounds) in the future while working with other similar organisations and charities / college and universities throughout Scotland;
– To overcome as a group the key barriers to those wishing to live and farm in traditional areas of the island.
What Will Your Donations Be Used For?
Our project requires funding from a variety of sources to help us to get off the ground, and in the first instance to build infrastructure on the sites that we have access to in Lamlash, Lochranza, Pirnmill, Whiting Bay and Brodick. This includes (but is not limited to) the following, in order of priority:
(1) Fencing – Perimeter fencing is essential to secure and preserve sites. Without fencing the project can not operate, it is key to security for users, and to stop deer, rabbits and badgers decimating our efforts. We also need portable electric fencing within our sites to manage livestock such as pigs and chickens.
(2) Building Supplies and groundworks (timber, stone, gravel) including labour trades. Timber, for social hubs, sheds, raised beds, signage, benches, seating and play areas for junior members. Stone and Gravel, For building walls, hardstanding areas to allow access for all users, foundations, paths, drainage.
(3) Tools and Sundries – Gardening tools and also sundries such as netting and fleece, ground cover, and equipment such as a wood chipper.
(4) Horticultural supplies (trees, shrubs, seeds, organic compost) we will focus on native varieties that are resilient to the environment of our sites.
(5) Machinery (digger, tipper) For site works and emergency community use.
(6) Electric, water and waste service installation for all sites to ensure a covid-19 safe environment and year round use.
While as a not-for-profit social enterprise we are applying for funding from a variety of different sources, our project has very ambitious long term goals and we would like to ask for your support today as every little helps towards achieving our vision. Your donation will go towards our immediate work and also to help support us as we seek to identify new sites around Arran going forward.