Dig in Falkirk has helped Michaela develop green fingers

From left, Sarah Fraser, food and growing project officer Forth Environment Link; Michaela Crawford from Brighthouse; Gareth Brown, Street Ambassadors Falkirk Delivers and Mandy Brown, planning officer environment Falkirk Council.  Pic: Michael Gillen.
From left, Sarah Fraser, food and growing project officer Forth Environment Link; Michaela Crawford from Brighthouse; Gareth Brown, Street Ambassadors Falkirk Delivers and Mandy Brown, planning officer environment Falkirk Council. Pic: Michael Gillen.

A year ago, Michaela Crawford would have said her fingers were anything but green, however all that has changed thanks to Dig in Falkirk.

Launched last May, the project aims to showcase what can be grown in the tiniest of urban gardens.

Michaela, who works as a customer sales adviser at BrightHouse, was one of those who decided to get involved in the project.

The planters in the High Street were cleared and adopted by local businesses and organisations, transforming them into allotments, growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and pollinators.

The 34-year-old said: “I had no real gardening experience whatsoever.

“I’d started doing my garden at home, but nothing like what I’ve been doing up town.

“I saw the pocket allotments advertisedon facebook and I thought ‘why not get involved’, so I spoke to my manager and the wheels were set in motion.

“I thought it was a flower garden originally, but after finding out more and learning it was an allotment, I just embraced the experience.”

And since taking on a pocket allotment, Michaela has gained a wealth of knowledge.

She explained: “I started last year with no knowledge whatsoever and from the back of a couple of seed packets I have learned an awful lot.

“When you are growing something and it’s successful it’s the best thing in the world.

“I didn’t realise just how much you’d be able to grow even in a small space.

“Last year as a novice I was attempting to buy a lot of plants, but it’s very expensive to do and it can put people off.

“I now own a greenhouse and this year I’m growing 
everything from seed.”

The Dig in Falkirk project is run by Falkirk Council, Forth Environment Link and Falkirk Delivers, and it aims to encourage more 
community growing projects in the district.

“With the allotment, one thing I wanted to do was give something to the community so I decided to do a soup garden and a pie patch,” said Michaela.

“I wanted to give what I’d grown to local charities and primarily it was the soup kitchen, so I based my choice of what to grow on the fact it was something you could use in a soup or in a pudding.

“At the moment I’m finding out what’s going to be successful in the soil that we have and once I’ve figured that out I’ll keep growing what works.”