Launch of Horticulture Handbook

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The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) will this week launch its latest publication - a horticulture handbook for crofters.

Horticulture: a Handbook for Crofters is a 175-page guide for growers in the challenging conditions of the crofting areas written by experienced crofters and horticultural experts with specialist knowledge of crofting conditions. Principal authors are Dr. Audrey Litterick, a horticultural consultant well-known to Highland and Island growers; Calina MacDonald, presenter of Anns a’Gharradh on BBC Alba; and John Bannister, crofter and market gardener in Skye. The book is a comprehensive and definitive guide to horticultural production in Scotland’s islands and on the western and northern seaboard.

SCF’s Crofting Resources Programme manager, Donald Murdie, said, “At one time most crofters were to some extent horticulturists, because crofting was about food production. Nobody is suggesting a return to the poverty and back-breaking work of those days, but sustainability of remote communities will in the future depend on their ability to provide more of their own goods and services, especially food. Our new horticulture book joins our forestry handbook as a valuable resource for the diverse and versatile crofting communities of the future. The book is aimed at small-scale commercial producers and , but will be equally useful to home-growers and community groups in the north and west.”

Horticulture: a Handbook for Crofters will be launched at the Black Isle Show on Thursday by Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson, and copies can be ordered from SCF head office 01599 530005, The publication has been supported by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Rural Development Programme, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation.