Commons, Crofting, Culture and Community - Edinburgh Food Fest

Saturday, August 1, 2015 - 15:00 to 15:45
Food Festival @ George Square (Spiegeltent), Edinburgh EH8 9LD
Price: Free but ticketed

Despite Scotland having one of the least egalitarian patterns of land ownership in the world, we also have surprisingly tenacious examples of a deep connection with the land, especially in crofting areas. Join Fergus Walker of Common Good Food to look at how food and land are managed under Crofting and the essential relationship between people, land, animals and plants. 

Joining Fergus will be Evie Murray, founder of Leith Community Crops in Pots, who have set up the innovative Community Croft project on Common Good Land in a municipal park in Edinburgh; Iain Mackinnon, post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resillience at the Univeristy of Coventry specialising in the governance of  land and natural resources; and Cheryl Mackintyre, aspirant crofter and primary school teacher from Skye, who helped set up the Young Crofters movement. Join the discussion as we ask, can the knowledge, traditions and cultures of Crofting help us build a better food system right across Scotland? 

This is one of a series of four discussions we are hosting at the Edinburgh Food Festival (29th Jul - 2nd Aug)


Duration: 45 minutes

Fergus Walker grew up on a croft on the Isle of Skye and is now working to spread crofting to new ground. He was the co-ordinator of the Seed Truck, a Scotland-wide mobile education project encouraging people to explore their food culture by growing and producing their own food. This was part of sustainable food project Fife Diet. He is now a co-founder of Common Good Food, a new charity which will help set up community-run food production across Scotland, supporting an emerging culture of food sovereignty.

Iain MacKinnon is a postdoctoral research fellow into the Governance of Land and Natural Resources at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University. He grew up on his family's croft in Camuscross in Skye and this background permeates his research which is inspired by the transformative power of song, music and indigenous knowledge and devoted to the knowledge systems, traditions and ways of being associated with the crofting areas of the Gàidhealtachd.

Evie Murray is the founder of Leith Community Crops in Pots. Evie started Crops in Pots in her backyard (shared with Dr Bell’s Family Centre). It expanded to the neighbouring Stanwell Nursery, and then to Leith Primary, with a few guerrilla-gardening forays on the side. L-CCiP became a registered charity, won funding from the Climate Challenge Fund and now works in other schools too. Evie was given an Inspiring Volunteer Achievement Award by Edinburgh Council, and L-CCiP was appointed to manage, with and for the people of Leith, what is now called ‘Leith Community Croft’ on what is believed to be ‘common good’ land, part of a municipal park.

Cheryl McIntyre is a primary school teacher and aspirant crofter. Born in Glasgow she now lives on the Isle of Skye where it is her wish to make a home and be part of the community - specifically the crofting community in order to help preserve this unique form of agriculture and its way of life along with the traditions and culture that it is steeped in. She has recently helped to set up a Young Crofters movement (as an official branch of the Scottish Crofting Federation) which seeks to provide a voice for active and aspirant young crofters through political advocacy, training, support, and networking to ensure the future of crofting.