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Community / Northmavine folk encouraged to grow their own fruit and veg

Project co-ordinator Mark Ratter is keen to explore ways of increasing local produce production. Photo: NCDC

A COMMUNITY development company in the north of Shetland is distributing Growing Local packs to enable residents to grow their own produce.

The packs consist of a variety of seeds for growing as well as a questionnaire for people to fill in.

Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) recently appointed Mark Ratter as project worker to oversee the two-year initiative aimed at increasing community access to locally grown produce.

This follows on from NCDC’s successful Peerie Voar seed packs which were sent out to Northmavine residents during last year’s lockdown.

Ratter has recently returned to Shetland after several years working in the South-East Asian country of Laos, supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers, whilst also running a restaurant and bar with his wife, Sudjai.

He said: “It will be interesting to explore the potential to increase community access to growing spaces and locally grown produce, and this will mean working closely with the local community to help inform how this can best be done.”

Growing Local builds on other growing and food production projects in Shetland, which are all highlighting the benefits of having access to fresh local produce.

NCDC director Margaret Roberts said: “Last year’s lockdown highlighted the importance of local shops and businesses in providing access for everyone to the food and supplies they needed.

“It got us thinking about the folk growing their own fruit and veg in Northmavine, and the high-quality lamb, beef, eggs, seafood etc being raised and caught.

“This project aims to support interested folk to produce food for their own consumption, for sharing and/or for sale, with the ultimate goal of improving access to local produce for everyone in Northmavine.”