Forres residents invited to sow, grow and share as garden project is launched

A summer mix of culture and horticulture that aims to encourage people to have fun while growing in pop-up gardens has launched.

The ‘Unexpected Garden’ will encourage people in Forres to get together to share food, music and ideas as part of of a partnership between Dandelion, the Scotland-wide creative growing initiative and local organisation Findhorn Bay Arts.

The programme will invite local people to share ideas, make connections and inspire new ways of thinking about growing, whilst cultivating local roots and fresh connections among residents, growers, artists and community groups.

Edible emphasis

With an emphasis on edible growing, the programme will feature a spring and summer programme of community engagement activities and events developed in collaboration with community partners, growers, artists and designers, culminating in a town centre display and harvest celebration.

Highlights include a floating edible garden at Mosset Pond and Living Lanes off Forres high street with edible plants and mushroom growing kits.

Creative activities will be announced to bring people in Forres together to share ideas, make connections and inspire new ways of thinking about growing.

The seeds are sown

Findhorn Bay Arts officially launched the Unexpected Garden summer programme last Saturday with a community celebration at Orchard Road Studios.

Organised by Emerging Creative Producers Eva Zandman and Adam Csenki, the launch brought project partners together with their community colleagues for an afternoon of music, storytelling and sharing edible plants.

Music was provided by accordionist and musician Andy Thorburn, accompanied by Adam Csenki on fiddle, and storyteller and poet Margot Henderson read a special poem to mark the occasion.

The programme includes:

  • The Cultivating Connections network, which will celebrate and collaborate with local growing groups such as Forres in Bloom, Forres Friends of Woods and Fields, Transition Town Forres, Incredible Edible and Forres Orchard.
  • Regular events such as Strawberry Sundays and Pop-Up Pots, our free creative growing activities to encourage people of all ages to plant together.
  • An innovative floating edible garden on the Mosset Burn sponsored by Biomatrix Water Solutions which will highlight alternative approaches to land-based growing.
  • Living Lanes are bringing new life to Forres town centre, with participating residents of the lanes and closes of Forres being given free edible plants such as potatoes, beans and salad leaves to grow outside their homes. Those living down darker lanes will be given mushroom and microgreens growing kits.
  • Musicians-in-Residence Dopey Monkey, who will respond to, and create work, linked to the new Unexpected Garden spaces. Dopey Monkey are musicians Danielle Price and Martin Lee Thomson, who originally hail from Moray.
  • Culminating in a Harvest Celebration for community participants in early September where people will be invited to come together and sow, grow and share.

Adam Csenki, Emerging Creative Producer with Unexpected Garden, said: “It was wonderful to be able to share the launch of our Unexpected Gardens with our community partners at Orchard Road Studios.

“There is much more to come, so do keep an eye open for ways to get involved over the summer, such as our Pop-Up Pots and Strawberry Sunday events.

You can get involved

“We are also looking for more living lanes participants, so if you live down a lane or close off Forres High Street and would like to get involved, just get in touch.”

Lisa Shaw, Artistic Director, Biomatrix, said: “We are delighted to be a part of the Unexpected Garden in contributing this Floating Ecosystem for the Mosset Burn.

“We are looking forward to seeing the beans grow up the willow tipi, and to seeing the other veggies, herbs and strawberries grow and eventually get harvested for yummy meals, salads, and herbal teas.

“Biomatrix is based in Forres and we are excited to engage with our local community through this installation. The Unexpected Gardens is a wonderful project that connects us all through the growing and eating of healthy food in Forres!”

For further information, contact Alex Williamson on 07843 383747 or [email protected]

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