Veg Your Ledge project blossoming across Falkirk area

A project created to get Falkirk district community groups growing their own produce from their windowsills is blossoming nicely.

By Jonathon Reilly
Thursday, 25th June 2020, 12:30 pm

Forth Environment Link has delivered more than 80 Veg Your Ledge kits to various organisations across the region, each containing upcycled wood planters made by the charity, compost, vegetable seeds and planting instructions.

The boxes are designed to encourage people to realise the benefits of growing their own fresh food, reducing their carbon footprint and experiencing the health and therapeutic gains associated with food growing.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and Investing in Communities Fund, plus The Robertson Trust and The Gannochy Trust, the initiative has attracted interest from a number of charities and support groups.

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From left: Sylvia Kay, chairwoman of Ettrick Dochart Community Hall and Foodbank, which is benefitting from the Veg Your Ledge kits; Claire Aitken, committee member of Ettrick Dochart Community Hall and Foodbank; and Richard Chatfield, Forth Environment Link wood reuse officer. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Among the organisation to have taken part are Strathcarron Hospice, Forth Valley Sensory Centre, Keeping Larbert and Stenhousemuir Beautiful Community Pantry and Denny Community Support Group.

Richard Chatfield, Forth Environment Link wood reuse officer, said: “We’re delighted with the response to Veg Your Ledge – we’ve had so many requests from all over the Falkirk area.

“Hopefully, it will get our local communities interested in growing and reuse, and we’re always here to provide further advice and encouragement along the way.”

One of the first organisations to get growing was Wheatley Care Group in Grangemouth, which supports people experiencing homelessness including families, refugees and people with complex needs.

Sandy Hunter, community engagement and activities coordinator for Wheatley, said: “During the pandemic we have been trying to find new ways to help people stay active with meaningful activity and the planters have been a fantastic way to do this.

“We have verandas and a back garden area where people can get privacy to work on their planter. It has also helped brighten the place up a bit!”

Strathcarron Hospice’s Compassion in the Community group has also been busy producing their own lettuce, radish, spring onions, broccoli, chives, basil, spinach, thyme and oregano thanks to the project.

Hannah Gray, compassionate community builder at Strathcarron, said: “I'm especially fond of the Veg Your Ledge campaign because it is a way of focusing on something positive in your own home.

“I think nurturing something and watching it come to life is so good for the soul.

“At this time when people are unable to get out and about in the same way as usual, it's great that projects like this are springing up, and this is encouraging people to home grow veg who may have not been able to access things like allotments or even their own garden because of their health.

“Often people I support aren't able to get out and about in the same way as other people can, and so I'm excited that this project is enabling them to get involved in veg growing in their home during this time of shielding, but also hopefully beyond this time too.”

Julie Ryan, Forth Environment Link partnerships and pathways coordinator, added: “Following the success of working with community groups and charities such as Strathcarron, we’re now in discussion with local youth groups to see how we might be able to get some younger communities involved in the project.”

Community groups or organisations interested in receiving a kit should email [email protected]