Enhancing Food Security Study – Interim Findings

Plotters will remember that Karolina Gombert visited us some weeks back conducting interviews for this study.  Karolina has been kind enough to send us an interim report of findings – stressing that these are interim and provisional at this stage and subject to change before final reporting.  Karolina and the team have picked out these common themes from their interviews and they make for very interesting reading:

-participants considered food growing a lifestyle choice (with its natural benefits)
-this had a number of benefits, ie. health benefits, being outdoors, socialising and recreation
-thus, food growing had not necessarily influenced health/environmental awareness, and eating behaviours much; but participants were aware before. According to participants, the environmental awareness changed most with food growing.

-many participants had a family background in food growing
-the motivations were closely linked to perceived benefits and thus lifestyle

-there were challenges, but none of these hindered participants to grow their own foods
-some challenges were welcomed, as they would help improve the food growing techniques
-challenges mentioned the most were theft/vandalism, pests, and weather.
-Whilst many participants were active in their communities (e.g. promoting food growing, holding voluntary posts at the community gardens, teaching others), the majority of participants were not involved in food poverty alleviation initiatives

-whilst participants were generally interested in learning more about and supporting those in food poverty, they were realistic about their restrictions, e.g. time, to do so
-food growing was mainly seen as a personal activity (that could still benefit the environment and society as a whole), but not as an activity beneficial for society per se
-participants were aware of the missing links, i.e. between those who grow fresh foods, and those who could benefit from the surplus
-these perspectives raise questions about how realistic policy recommendation on food growing as a strategy to alleviate food poverty are

Ideas for improvement
During the interview, participants mentioned a number of ideas for improvement, which shall be taken into consideration, for activities in line with the sustainable food cities in Aberdeen City and Shire

supporting older people in gardening
-much more government/council support (official organisation) for supporting those in food poverty to grown their own
-make better use of surplus food

-develop engagement strategies
-make better use of the unused land
-promote respect for people’s properties at allotments
-maintain a ‘bottom up’ / ‘grassroots’ approach to involving communities
-educate on food growing, and implement this education better

Karolina promises she or team members will be in touch once the study is completed.

Study Details


Carole Baxter’s Visit

It was a pleasure to welcome Carole on site today.  The warmth of her personality was very much-needed to brighten what was an exceptionally dull, cold day – more like February than April.

Carole was gathering material for her Radio Scotland programme, “Out for the Weekend” which comes out on Friday afternoon.

New site feature – Photo Galleries

Our site has a new photo showing feature.  From now on photo collections will appear via the Galleries link above.  Photos should look better and load faster.  Please let me know how you get on using it.

The first set has some nice photos from our recent Community Sunday – as you see, great fun was had by all and with a good turnout we got lots of valuable things done.  There wasn’t much doubt about who won the Chocolate Easter Egg Hunt! Thanks to all who managed along.

In the meantime the Photos Page link will be left in place as a way of looking back to previous photo collections, but I’ll hope to move them over to the new Galleries area if it proves reliable and popular.

Carole Baxter April Visit

Carole is a regular visitor to Garthdee Field as you know and plans to be back with us on April 26 from around 10.00.  Carole will be hoping to record some material for her Radio Scotland programme, Out for the Weekend.

If you would like to meet with Carole, please come along.  We cannot promise, but for sure Carole will want to meet as many plotters as time allows.

Carole has been very supportive of our efforts in the past, personally donating flowers to the South Bank and taking a great interest in our activities in the Community Garden and on our plots.

Please do try to find the time to come along with any questions or stories you want to tell.  The more the merrier!



Sunday Special!

All are welcome at our Community Sunday this Easter weekend from 1100, for any of you who are not otherwise committed.

As usual, tea and cakes will be served at 1230. Rumour has it that some small easter eggs may be found on the site – however, any adults hoping to find one must be in the company of a responsible junior person.

Thanks to all who responded to our call for ideas to rework the current wildflower meadow. Ideas were shared across the spectrum, though there was a significant majority for retaining the wildflower meadow with additional butterfly attracting flowering herbaceous plants at the rim of the area. With a little dry weather, we should be able to make a start to clear the majority of weeds in this area on Sunday.

Look forward to seeing you on Sunday,
Best Regards
Michael Hart
Secretary – GFAA