Funds boost for Bute ‘grow your own’ food project

Bute Produce's Ashfield site on the southern edge of Rothesay.
Bute Produce's Ashfield site on the southern edge of Rothesay.

A Rothesay project aiming to teach Bute residents more about growing their own food has received funding of almost £50,000 from the Scottish Government.

The Climate Challenge Fund grant of £48,700 for Bute Produce’s Genesis initiative, run by Fyne Futures Ltd, will ensure the continuation and expansion of the organisation’s Horticulture Training Centre.

It will also enable, among much else, the creation of an edible teaching garden, where the community can grow and learn more about food, carbon emissions and climate change, along with growing, cooking and composting workshops.

The funding is the latest good news story for Bute Produce’s work at its six-acre Ashfield site on the southern edge of Rothesay, home since 2008 to a market garden committed to growing and selling local fruit and vegetables.

A series of ‘raised bed’ community allotments has recently been established at the site, and just last week children and young people from all Bute’s nurseries and schools visited to help plant more than four hundred birch, silver cherry, maple and rowan trees donated to Bute Produce by the Woodlands Trust.

A previous grant of more than £60,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014 enabled the establishment of the first phase of a horticulture training centre as part of a ‘heritage horticulture’ project which also saw the reintroduction of several long-lost varieties of Bute potato to the island’s soil.