Everyone’s welcome to pop up and see the work of the Kyles Allotment Group (KAG), whose members are always busy planting, sowing, watering, weeding and harvesting their raised beds in the polytunnel and outdoors. And if you’re inspired by what you see, now’s the time to join KAG as there’s a few plots remaining for members of the community. Saturday morning is the best time to catch people up there - you might even get a cup of tea in the new cabin!
Last summer the polytunnel really proved its worth, with tomatoes, lettuce, rocket, courgettes, carrots, beetroot, spinach, French and runner beans all growing in abundance. Vegetables that even the most green-fingered gardener would struggle to cultivate on the windy west coast made an appearance, including chillies, basil, peppers and an aubergine or two.
The winter crops have been harvested with members enjoying spinach, brussels sprouts, purple-sprouting broccoli and other seasonal delights. Over the winter, the forest development team terraced an area of land and built outdoor beds to complement the indoor ones. After a few Saturday morning work parties, the beds are now filled with soil and members are busy planting them with parsnips, cauliflower and other vegetables that thrive outdoors. Members also planted a huge communal tattie plot and have plans for communal fruit trees.
KAG run the monthly Producers’ Markets
in Kames Hall during the summer, where, along with lots of other local producers, KAG sell their surplus veg.
Here’s what some members have to say:
Lucy and Mark Roper, who live in Portavadie with their son Timothy, said: ‘We’ve loved being part of the KAG. Not only have we been able to “pick our very own” salad and veg, but our 5 year old has loved planting, weeding, watering and picking our produce (not always when we wanted it picking!). We look forward to seeing what each season will have in store for us in the polytunnel.’
John Moran, KAG Chairman, said: ‘Growing in the polytunnel shortens the winter. It means that bad summers are pretty much history. Last summer was fairly cold, wet and windy, yet all our members harvested a healthy crop of fruit and veg from the tunnel. It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people – you can cultivate friends as well as crops!’
Eve MacFarlane, who joined the group in June 2011, said. ‘I’ve been amazed at what I’ve been able to grow – especially planting so late in the season. I’ve had loads of lovely fresh vegetables. There’s lots of gardening knowledge in the group, and for a newbie like me the advice, help and tips have proved invaluable.’
Membership of KAG costs £45 a year and includes two raised beds – one indoors and one outdoors. Twenty-five households currently make up the membership, taking in a wide range of ages and gardening abilities. The group meets regularly and sometimes holds a stall at local Producers Market.
If you want to find out more or you’re interested in joining, call 01700 811159, email email@example.com
or drop into the office.
What could be better than fresh air, exercise, the satisfaction of harvesting your own food, and all with the most glorious views, come rain or shine?And did you know? A standard UK allotment saves 120kg CO2 per year. VegetableSeeds.net
offers fantastic value for the highest quality vegetable seeds in the UK. Over 400 varieties with next day shipping and free P&P on all UK orders.
While the Tree Shop
at Cairndow offers a host of amazing plants, seeds plus gifts and equipment for all garden and growing enthusiasts. They have an online shop and often have a great range of special offers on seasonal items.