Spring explosions

Originally published 18th Feb 2015

A short history!

My name is Evie, and I am the Founder and Chair of Leith Community Crops in Pots (L-CCiP). I am a local parent and recently became an urban farmer when I started to grow my own food. I wanted to give my children a healthy outdoor experience, live more gently on the earth, and build a connection to nature, an element which I felt was missing from their play. I was looking for answers to the many environmental, social, economic and educational concerns that I had for my children, and I found that growing food and bringing a little bit of country to urban Leith fit the bill.I shared this vision and, as a guerrilla gardener, developed the growing of food and composting systems in various locations around Leith. I recruited people who shared my values and beliefs, and who had skills, knowledge, and expertise that could support the work. I developed the website, which explained the vision. I set up a social networking group on Facebook, which exploded with energy and creativity. Hundreds of people across Scotland were inspired. We formed our board of governance and compiled the charitable purposes that underpin the organisation. L-CCiP became a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation and now we have several integrated projects.

The Growing Team at Crops headquarters

Today, we have a full-time voluntary manager – myself. We have a team of two part-time employees: Julie Brown a Community Education Officer, and our Administration (and Policy) Officer, Eric Swanepoel, whose positions are funded by Keep Scotland Beautiful's Climate Challenge Fund.

Recently we have started to take on a fresh bunch of enthusiastic volunteers on a more formal basis, and hope to recruit perhaps seven or eight to help us in our various projects. We have roughly twenty ‘Carboneers’ parents who work very closely with us within our school projects on food-related carbon emissions etc. We run regular sessions in three Leith primary/nursery schools, and are developing lessons on food and the environment for our junior Carboneers, to fit in with the school curriculum. We are currently on a recruitment drive to expand our staff team which will enable us to work with a further three schools in the area. If you'd like to join our team and think you have skills to offer please do send us your CVs. Find out more @JoinOurTeam.

Become a member and support us!

The ‘Croft Work’ sessions are exploding back into action this year and the energy around the project – our growing space on Leith Links, known as ‘Leith Community Croft’ – is, as ever, effervescent. We have decided to do things slightly differently in 2015 and thus have encouraged people to sign up to become members. We want them to be as involved as possible in building the Croft: for the people, by the people! This new membership programme has gone very well and we now have over 70 people, with more and more wishing to join each day. We will have approximately 55 plots of land available for families, groups and organisations to get together and grow food. Included will be four local organisations: Dr Bell’s Family Centre, Stanwell Nursery, the Citadel Youth Centre and the Himalayan Centre for Arts and Culture will all become Crofters! We see many ways to develop and build on these partnerships.

An excellent model