I have been working for the past couple of years on the Local Produce project to increase sales of produce in Kintyre and the islands to the west (Islay, Jura and Gigha). This has culminated in a food map which enables customers to directly contact 24 local food producers/suppliers in the area. Some of them sell their wares at the monthly farmers’ market in Campbeltown. Tarbert – at the other end of the peninsula – had a similar market but it wound up a few years ago: we are trying to revive it. The village of Clachan holds bi-annual smallholders’ gatherings.
Our project is unique in that in does not just support commercial producers but “mini”, garden producers as well and three community gardens on Islay, in Tarbert and in Campbeltown. All three gardens have survived and thrived and continue to offer volunteer opportunities, training, workshops, events and educational facilities.
Links have been formed with the Skane region in South-West Sweden, where they also have a Local Produce scheme. They have developed a Farm Open Day, on which farmers and smallholders across the area receive and entertain visitors. Perhaps we could develop a similar scheme in Kintyre….
For more information about Local Produce watch the You Tube video: Local Produce.