Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Farewell all "R U Up 4 It?" Schools

Norman and Toni with the pupils that came to Dingwall Academy and helped us celebrate all that was such fun about the R U Up 4 It? project.
The flowers were lovely! 

We hope you all go from strength to strength.

Thank you making the project such a success.

Dingwall Academy Spring Fair - a real success

                                   Highlife Highland made scrumptious smoothies on a bike. (Spot the compost caddy? Any waste they produced went into the school Ridan)

The DiGGers and Go Green groups sold plants, seeds and seedlings and gave lots of advice to other growers at the Fair. Danielle's tomoto seedlings were very popular. Thanks Danielle. Well done Sara for inviting donations from Frank Nicol and Lidl, well done Connorhan for running the "guess the weight of the tattie sack" competition. Your great team work made this a fantastic success.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Conon Brownies celebrate being awarded their Environment Badge

As part of their award the girls researched threats to Blue Whales, learned a lot about recycling and sowed some flower and vegetable seeds. 

It was fun meeting the girls and joining in with their activities - thanks for having me! Toni

Thursday, 19 March 2015

What a way to celebrate - well done everyone

Here are a few photos of the fantastic morning we had a Dingwall Academy last week. This event is a fitting end to the RoWAN "R U Up 4 It?" three-year project 
 which was funded the The Climate Challenge Fund. We are confident the good work the schools are doing will go from strength to strength and the sharing of ideas will continue.

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to share how much hard work you've done, and the fun you've been having while being part of "R U Up 4 It?" and the 
"Growing Award". 

A special moment for me was presenting Amal from St Clements with the first ever  GROWING AWARD certificate. 
Well done Amal, Luke and Wiktoria who all have their Level One (Bronze) awards.

The schools that presented so well on such a range of topics were:

BEN WYVIS PRIMARY SCHOOL - Going for the Green Flag and waste-free lunches
HILTON PRIMARY SCHOOL - making the most of  their fabulous school grounds (I loved the music that went with your presentation!)
food waste reduction and the R U Up 4 It? project
DINGWALL ACADEMY - DiGGERs garden club and The Certificate in Practical Horticulture
DINGWALL PRIMARY SCHOOL - "Mission Compostable"
their sensory version of the Growing Award and an amazing compost song
TARRADALE PRIMARY SCHOOL - looking at sugar in popular drinks

You were all marvellous! Thanks again.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Cooking to save money and waste - lots to think about!

A few photos of our efforts last night ... looking forward to the next two sessions with Ali and everyone else. An enthusiastic crowd.

It's surprising how many dishes you can make from a random collection of ingredients - many reduced in the Co-op or forgotten in the fridge or cupboard.

From the ingredients we had we decided to make our own pasta from scratch. Eggs, flour, water ...

It's ready when you can read through it ...

Cut to any shape you fancy - we did tagliatelle strips and a delicious tomato sauce

Hands off ...until the photos have been taken. Mini pizzas and our very own home-made pasta ... really.

Next week we aim to make a main course or two for our group of eight, again using random ingredients and one or two surprises from people's cupboards.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Our first R U Up 4 It? Polytunnel is open for growing! Congratulations to Muirtown Primary.

A few shots from yesterday's lively (if cold) opening ceremony. It was a fantastic occasion, thanks to everyone that came along. This shows that one school, with the support and enthusiasm to do so, can make so much of their outside space - it's just as important a classroom as the classrooms inside the school.   We were joined by the Provost of Inverness, Moray Firth Radio and a big crowd of parents, grandparents, staff and most importantly PUPILS! They served hot food, drinks, apple crumble and my favourite was the plum jam - almost everything came from their school garden (with a little help from a shop or two).

Norman and Toni from RoWAN cut the ribbon (note the colour matches RoWAN's green).

Pupils finding out how much can be grown, and what needs to be done in the tunnel, all year round

The soup and school-made bread warmed us all up. Thanks.

Strawberries and a grape vine being planted in one of the eight raised beds. 

If your school is interested in finding out more about the joys a polytunnel can bring why not look at https://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/polytunnels-for-school.asp. There are monthly growing guides, top tips and links to the huge number of schools that have tunnels in the Highlands and further afield. The Muirtown polytunnel was supplied and put up by Highland Tunnels based in Nairn, so plenty of choice if you'd like to see if there's one to suit you. Other Highland schools that have tunnels include:
Inverness High School, Lairg Primary School, Beauly Primary School, Tarradale Primary School and Loch Duich to name a few.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Creative Christmas Cooking with Ali

Last week we had a tasty couple of hours at Charleston Community Complex learning some really simple but sparkling recipes from Ali Mitchell, thanks to the R U Up 4 It? food waste project. A quick chat with those that came along came up with lots of new suggestions on how to deal with some foods folk regularly find themselves throwing away. Onions can be kept for a long time (weeks, even months) if kept cool and are in good condition. Old bits of bread can be made into breadcrumbs and then added to sausage meat to fill it out, top off a tartlet and of course go towards bread sauce. It will keep in a bag in a cool place or freezer for quite a while. For more tips have a look athttp://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

Ali will be sharing his top tips and recipes for money- and waste-saving cooking on the Charleston Academy Community Complex Facebook pages. Why not do the same?

Dishes we made in only 1.5 hours included
  • cranberry sauce with orange
  • Brussels sprouts and bacon bits with butter and honey
  • Brussels outer leaves (not to be wasted) drizzled with lemon, butter and sugar
  • Sausage meat "roll" with cranberries, sage, thyme and oregano, breadcrumbs and honey
  • Goat's cheese, Stilton, herb and cranberry sauce tartlet
  • Carrots and parsnips tossed in turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, honey and lemon

Bill - carefully considering the Brussels spouts leaves drizzled with lemon, honey and butter

Charlene adding a delicate touch of honey to the sausage meat.

Just cranberries, orange and a wee bit of sugar. Not too sweet as this is to accompany meat.

The evening's favourite - remainder goat's cheese and Stilton and tonight's cranberry sauce on a thin base of ready-made puff pastry. What could be easier?

Top tip - put the shiny side of the foil against the sausage meat. Not on the outside.

Nissil adding home-grown rosemary to the tartlet.

The busiest member of our cooking group was Lucy, a pupil at Muirtown Primary School. Delicately slicing a juicy orange for the home-made cranberry sauce.

Ali showing us the finer points of using knives.

Sausage meat mixed with breadcrumbs from left-over bread, herbs and an egg. wrapped foil and baked in oven for a sausage snack later.