A PEEBLES gardener is urging Borderers to follow his lead and set up more Food Communities in the area.

Adam Skelton recently transformed land behind the town’s old courthouse into a public garden, where locals can grow their own produce.

And now he wants to see more green-fingered people getting stuck in across the region. The 46-year-old told us: “I was first introduced to gardening by my parents who were growing all sorts of fruit and vegetables whilst I was at school.

“I remember really enjoying picking fresh fruit in the garden. And I loved eating my mum’s crumbles, cakes and pies that she made with them.

“The food I grew up eating was amazing – served after lots of preparation, and usually using fresh home-grown ingredients. Food and community are two of the most fundamental things to me.

“And they’re two things that we should be doing so much better. Food Communities is essentially about communities coming together to produce their own food. My aim is to inspire collaboration. If lots of people get involved we can be enjoying the freshest, tastiest, healthiest, most eco-friendly, truly local food and saving lots of money.”

Adam has helped to transform a number gardens as part of the Food Communities scheme – a social enterprise run by volunteers.

He added: “It’s relatively easy to begin growing for yourself – from the tiniest garden to someone who has a spare patch of land and would just like a helping hand to turn it into a burgeoning community garden.

“It’s a common misconception that growing your own food is too much work and takes too much time; it actually doesn’t need much of either – as long as you keep going with it regularly, and share the workload.

“Food Communities spotlights the endless amazing things going on every day in our communities and provides a platform for neighbours, young and old, to work together with a common purpose. Because we pay no rent or wages and do and acquire everything for free, we have a resilient long-term plan and a template that we aim to offer to local communities all across Scotland.”

A Facebook group has been set up to offer advice to people thinking about getting involved and monthly meet-ups also take place.

Adam added: “We usually have an expert guest speaker talking to us about food, community and environment related topics. Group members also regularly swap and share food, tools, materials, resources, seeds, plants, knowledge, and skills.”

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