By Fergus Walker
Some might dispute whether Muir of Ord is part of the Black Isle, but the croft at Loch na Mhoid is a veritable hub of activity that is firmly part of Transition Black Isle. The croft is owner-occupied (legal crofting term) by Toni and Andrew Clark, and they have made space there for a community garden, with plots tended by about ten people from the surrounding area. It’s a lovely spot, and well worth a visit!
The Seed Truck had its usual set-up with tent, stove, stories, music and milling, but the highlight of the day was a fascinating talk by a local seed saver whose name is Agric.
He is a man so immersed in the ways of how to save seed, that to give a talk on what to do is as easy as breathing! It’s all on the tip of his tongue, with the result that it made for a highly engaging and interesting talk – with lots of questions asked afterwards. His message for all gardeners was “I can’t believe more people don’t save their own seed, because it really is very easy”.
He went on to demonstrate how to tell if peas (probably one of the easiest to save, because they self pollinate).
You want to have the seed as mature as possible if you are going to keep it, and the way to tell is if the pod has gone brown, dry and papery. If the pod is still green, or cool to the touch, it is not ready – if it is dry, it feels warm to the touch.
From Muir of Ord, we left with some parsnip seeds, some leaf coriander seeds, and a brand new variety of bean, Agric’s Black Flowered Broad Beans.