Land, Seeds and Stories – the Seed Truck summer tour

barley ready to harvest

Seed Truck on the road againBy Fergus Walker

Just as the first grain – the winter barley – is being harvested this August, the Seed Truck will be setting out across Scotland next week for a ‘Land, Seeds and Stories’ tour. Travelling coast to coast from Ullapool to Aberdeen, from the 10th to the 17th of August, our merry band of green-fingered troubadours will bringing a unique blend of storytelling, music, seed saving skills and good craic to communities along the way.

Packed on board the Seed Truck will our Seed Kist – a treasure chest of Scotland-specific seeds, a bicycle powered flour mill, musical instruments, gardening tools, and a medieval pavilion tent. In the remaining space will be the Seed Truckers themselves – a storyteller, a seed saver, and a bicycle engineer.

As the Seed Truck makes its way from coast to coast, it will gather and swap seeds and cuttings, as well as handing out seeds from their Seed Kist. At the end of the trip, the seeds gathered along the way will be donated to a new community garden project at St Fitticks run by the charity Aberdeen Forward.

The Seed Truck will be making seven stops along the way, including:

9th Ullapool – Ullapool Community Trust at The Ceilidh Place – 7.30- 9.30pm

10th Ullapool: Ullapool pier marquee – 1-4pm

11th Black Isle: Transition Black Isle, Loch na Mhoid Community Garden 12-4pm

12th Inverness: Velocity Cafe and bicycle repair workshop 12-3pm; 7-9pm

13th Forres: Transition Town Forres, Bogton Road Community Garden 1-4pm; 7-9pm

14th Keith: Rural Energy Action Plan 1-4pm; 7-9pm

16th Huntly: Glamourhaugh Allotments 1-4pm; 7-9pm

17th Aberdeen: Tillydrone Gala Day, 11am – 2pm

At each stop, The Seed Truck will run practical activities during the day, followed by a traditional house ceilidh at night. Daytime activities will include threshing and winnowing grain, then milling flour by bicycle power, as well as stories with activities led by Mrs Mash the storytelling cook (or local storytellers). The ceilidh will be a chance to hear a whole range of stories, music and talks all on the theme of Land, Seeds and Stories. Local storytellers will be joining us along the way.

Seed Truck Co-ordinator Fergus Walker said of the upcoming tour:

I’m excited about this trip – I think it will be a great opportunity to meet communities across Scotland who are rooted in growing their own food, and to make links – past, present and future – with our vibrant food culture.

For over a year, the Seed Truck – a joint project between Fife Diet and WWF Scotland, and supported by players of the People’s Postcode lottery – has been heading out across Scotland from its headquarters in Burntisland, Fife. Their vision is to sow the seeds of a better food system and they deliver a series of practical workshops on food sovereignty and climate change. For most of the year they work closely with a number of community groups and schools to help them set up new gardens – from building raised beds to harvest – but this year they well be heading out on their first fully fledged tour.