Tucked along the Fife Coastal Path in the village of Crail a magical children’s garden and land larder is growing. “The Coastal Coop: Children’s Garden & Land Larder” is a project centred around zero-waste and sustainable living. It’s 2-pronged approach is aimed at supporting individuals and families to promote a healthier lifestyle filled with organic, fresh, and affordable for all, nutritious locally sourced foods. 

The 1st prong, a children’s garden, is where members teach children the art of growing and science of plants, flora, and fauna. It will seek to promote life skills along with learning the basics of gardening.  Our overall goal for the project is to grow as much produce, as well as to harvest from fruited trees that will be grown on the land, and provide those interested with the final product.  It will be a land larder if you will. Foraging, teaching sustainability, educating children about healthy eating, and providing a safe space to play in nature. Parents, their children, individuals and families alike will benefit from this in the long-term. 

Our Chair, Borana Hajdinanj, acquired the lease for the land in 2021 and for the first year and a half primarily used the Transition Tool Share to cut costs on garden tool hires. For a £15 annual membership a myriad of tools became available to us. The first and most helpful were the strimmers and extension cording. The strimmer was electric, packed a punch and we were able to rent it for a week then renew if there was no one in the queue for it. Clearing the land gave us the blank canvas necessary to start our vision. We began to plan for the second prong of our mission.

The 2nd prong, a food larder, will be housed at the British Legion Hall in Crail focuses on education, sustainable agriculture, zero-waste initiatives, and traditional coastal practices.  The goal is for the larder to reach capacity for weekly distribution of parcels filled with seasonal fresh raw produce collected through member volunteers gleaning from the fields of local farms. 

Thanks to Transition St. Andrews we have been able to take part in various gleaning sessions. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.  Over time, the larder will seek to supplement its seasonal produce distribution with other locally sourced food groups.We ran a fundraiser this past winter for our “Winter Hamper Appeal” and were able to raise £3000. In total, we have helped 102 people (and counting) in our village this winter creating 20 hampers filled with local farm produce, meat entrees from our local Butcher, pastries from a village patisserie (a husband and wife duo) and some other essentials. That’s almost 6 out of every 100 people in our village (out of an estimated 1600-person population). 

Without the initial help from Transition St. Andrews, what we have accomplished in the past half year would not have been possible. Since clearing the land with tools hired from the Tool Share we have been able to constitute our group, create a board, and finally start to apply for grow grants. Thank you, Transition! If anyone in the community would like to volunteer please join our facebook group, http://www.facebook.com/groups/cclarder, and contact us. We would welcome any and all help!