Kitchen Garden


Dunkeld, 15 miles north of Perth, is a small place with a lot happening. Its population is only around 1,300, but its position at the gateway to the Highlands makes it a hub for people heading into the hills. When I arrived on a September Saturday, the main street was busy with shoppers and visitors, and the queue for the new artisan bakery – run by local celebrity Flora Shedden, of ‘Bake Off’ fame – stretched out of the door.

The growing project I had gone to visit is a short walk from the centre of the village, so its vegetables don’t even clock up a single food mile. The Field supplies its 30-odd active volunteers for free, the remainder of its membership at a 20% discount, and paying customers through a twice-weekly stall. This is community gardening on a remarkable scale.


It all started 10 years ago, when the former owner of the land, a local lady who used it for horse-grazing, was approached by a housing developer; with houses on either side, it was an obvious target. She took objection to the tone of the developer’s letter and, being an organic gardener, decided that the best way to future-proof the land for the community was to give it in trust to the Soil

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