Winter is almost over and we are beginning to look forward to spring and all that it entails.
As head teacher at Kilchoan primary school that means a lot of creative thinking and preparation in order to bring the teaching and learning into line with the requirements of A Curriculum for Excellence. This is where Crofting Connections comes in.
It hardly seems like three years since the pupils were involved with the Planting to Plate initiative. Seven of those children are still in the school. The work done and the experiences gained during that initiative has had a lasting legacy. Each spring since then we clear out the tubs and herb garden and fill them with a mix of our own compost and new soil. We faithfully plant potatoes, carrots, parsnips and herbs and each year to date we have had successful crops.
Our wee bit of croft land on Ormsaigbeag continues to look very picturesque. We would love to work it but the stony ground and the lack of a tractor and ploughing gear makes it almost impossible to do anything with it.
However, where one door closes another opens. Plans are afoot to create a community garden. Land has been gifted and grants applied for. The idea is to create raised beds under a polytunnel. The children will work the beds along with adults and receive a share of the produce produced. It’s not quite crofting, but if it gives some of the children an interest in things arable then it is a start.
Meanwhile Katie’s pig, Tammy, has produced nine lovely piglets, the bull is out and calves are expected, the sheep are due to be scanned and fine sets of twins are hoped for.
Crofting Connections is beginning to move forward now. I see we have had seed potatoes delivered and the new gardening equipment from Morrisons has arrived. We look forward to visits from Margaret Bennett and Catherine Brown and visits to the Lochaber Rural Education Trust.
Connections with other schools are already being made and exciting times are ahead. A new generation of crofters is in the making. Just watch this space.
Lynne McLuckie (head teacher)