Stirling’s growing local food economy will receive a boost next week with the launch of a plan to support and develop the sector.
The new strategy, Alive with Local Food, will be unveiled by Forth Valley & Lomond Leader and Stirling Council on Thursday 6 June at Stirling High School at 4.30pm.
The strategy aims to support a vibrant local food economy, invest in people, build a resilient future for the sector and showcase the best of the local larder.
Four local food success stories will be profiled at the event including:
- Stirling NeighbourFood – the city’s weekly click and collect farmers’ market.
- The Kitchen at 44 King Street – a new project to create a community kitchen and rooftop farm in the city centre.
- The Hub G63 – Drymen’s new community growing and sustainability project.
- Gartur Stitch Farm – a Port of Menteith small holding offering farm dinners, creative workshops and animal experiences.
Local Food and Drink Co-ordinator, Ashley Robinson said: “Forth Valley and Lomond region is an excellent place to grow and develop food enterprises. Just look at the success of Gartur Stitch Farm. They’ve raised nearly £17,000 in less than a month towards their GOat Fund Me crowd-funding campaign, with £2500 in match funding from Stirling Council. Since launching their ‘Meet the Goats’ experience during last year’s Forth Valley Food Fest, more than 500 people have visited their farm. Their goal is to make their farm more accessible to all and to create a workshop space where people can learn where their food comes from. Our priorities over the next year are to help more local food businesses like this to thrive, to work with a variety of partners towards a Sustainable Food Cities bid and to run regular local food events, such as Forth Valley Food Fest which returns this October.”
The strategy launch coincides with the weekly collection for Stirling NeighbourFood, giving locals the chance to sample local food tasters and meet Stirling’s thriving community of local food producers.
There’ll also be a wide range of free family friendly workshops from 5.30 – 6.30pm including:
- Meet the Hens with Egglicious Eggs.
- Make a flower crown with Tomnah’a Market Garden (pre-booking essential).
- Plant your own veg to grow at home with Forth Environment Link.
- Learn how coffee is roasted and blended with CounterRoast.
- Pick up cycling and walking advice from Stirling Active Travel Hub.
- Discover more about Stirling High School’s bee project, where pupils have been producing their own honey.
Forth Valley & Lomond Leader has also been working closely with Stirling High School pupils on a poster competition for this year’s Forth Valley Food Fest (11 – 20 October). The winning design will be revealed at the launch on Thursday 6 June and used to promote the festival in the lead up to the event.
The launch event is free to attend but participants are asked to indicate their attendance on Eventbrite, where they can also pre-book tickets for the free flower crown making workshop.