THE first ever Scotland-wide celebration of local food takes place next month – all kicked off by Sustainable Uist and the Uist Wholefood Co-op, writes Eilidh Whiteford.
The Blasda Food Festival is being hosted by communities from across the whole of Scotland; from East Kilbride to Uist, Toryglen to Skye, Moffat to the Black Isle, groups are joining up to host great food experiences by holding ceilidhs, suppers and feasts, potluck picnics, talks, food-films and soup kitchens.
Banding together Sustainable Uist and Uist Wholefood Co-op are hosting a two day local food event as part of the Blasda Festival, being held in Lochmaddy Hall on Saturday (September 3) from 10am to 4pm, and in St Peter’s Hall, Daliburgh, on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.
“The idea is to promote the great variety of local food here and encourage people to think ‘local’ when they shop,” explained Sustainable Uist manager Joanna Peteranna.
“There are lots of local food producers coming along, some to show the produce and others to sell. There will also be food demonstrations – cooking, butchery, fish filleting, cheese making – and we have invited guests from neighbouring islands including the Isle of Mull Cheese Company, Hebridean Chocolates, Hebridean Brewery Co. and Praban na Linne.”
Blasda – the Gaelic word for tasty and delicious – festival organiser Mike Small added of the nation-wide events: “These are a jumble of size and shape, but the main idea is to get a sense of the change of appreciation in local food that’s underway.
“Some of these groups are pioneering aquaponics, there’s a primary school kitchen garden in Dundee and innovation in heating poly tunnels with dung-heaps.
“We have universities, community-owned forests and urban gardens involved – all are part of the growing movement to try and create a better food system, one that connects with nature, values taste over uniformity and feeds the economy of a community instead of ripping it off.”
For more information about the Blasda Food Festival, visit www.blasda.org.uk