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Experts offer advice on how to get the most from what you grow

8th August 2011

Whether a dab hand or just starting out, come along and find out how to get the most from growing your own in the Cairngorms National Park!

Places are still available at lectures being run as part of “Grow Cairngorms”, teaching local residents how to grow, harvest and store their home grown produce.

The next lecture will be on Wednesday 17th August at Dulnain Bridge Village Hall from 7pm-9pm when Maggie Sutherland, proprietor of the Natural Vegetable Company, will be talking about the benefits of Polytunnel Growing: “Growing in a polytunnel means you can extend your season and increase the range of crops that you can produce and enjoy. We’re committed to organic growing and using natural horticultural methods like polytunnels which means we can produce a complete range of seasonal produce for our customers for at least nine months of the year.

“In the course of my lecture I hope people gain a good understanding of the advantages polytunnels offer especially given we live somewhere that has a shorter growing season than other parts of the country. I’ll have some hints and tips on getting started and also – for those already using polytunnels – some ideas on how to improve or expand what they’re growing.”

Grow Cairngorms is a pilot project being delivered through the Cairngorms Land Based Business Training Project (LBBTP) and the Food for Life project with LEADER funding from the Cairngorms Local Action Group. It’s an important way of developing Food for Life in the Cairngorms, providing practical support to local residents interested in growing their own food.

Grow Cairngorms Project Manager Sheila Wickens said: “The Grow Cairngorms course started earlier this year and proved very popular with places booking up fast and these lectures are a chance for people who didn’t get on to the course, or who are interested in specific topics to come along to as many as they want and learn more from the experts.”

CNPA Board Member Jaci Douglas added: “I’ve long been pushing for opportunities like this for people to find out about growing fruit and vegetables in this area so I’d encourage people to come along to the lectures to find out not just how to grow healthy, convenient food but something the whole family can get involved in and reap the benefits of.”

Lectures in the Grow Cairngorms series are:

  • 17th August – Polytunnel Growing with producer Maggie Sutherland
  • 14th September – Preserving your Produce with Sheila Wickens
  • 12th October – Growing Fruit with Les Bates from Croft 7

All lectures are held in Dulnain Bridge Village Hall from 7pm-9pm and cost £5 per session. To book a place or for more information please contact Sheila Wickens, Grow Cairngorms Project Manager on 01463 870223 or email