MOO Food (Muir of Ord Food)
Although I've been volunteering for MOO Food for some time, it is only recently that I started a new job as a community project officer and am seeing just how much has been going on! What I find great about working for MOO Food is seeing so much positivity from everyone involved (a lot of people!). Going into Tarradale Primary school (where I used to go myself many years ago..) and hearing the kids tell you all about the trees they planted or the litter they've picked up or the plants they have grown and eaten - it's pretty hard not to see how much work has been done by parents, kids, the school, volunteers and the MOO Food team. It's amazing to see their school garden now with polytunnel, fruit trees and bushes and all of the food that's growing on site.
I'm not someone that's always been into growing food or being outside quite honestly but I found myself working on various farms a few years ago and loving it. I've since realised that you don't need to be an expert to grow food, sure some people know a lot more than others, but actually so much of it is just about trying something and seeing if it works and that there is always something to learn from someone else. There's not a lot better than sowing some seeds, watching them grow then making a meal from it.
MOO Food also works with various groups including a mental health recovery group and a back to work group. I've only been involved with these for the past couple of weeks but it's pretty cool when you hear someone say that they are finding being outside in the garden therapeutic or that they've gone home and dug up a patch of their own grass and planted some seeds just because they thought they'd give it a go.
You can also see the orchard in the park that was planted last year with volunteers and Tarradale Primary School - this is now a lovely area with loads of apple, plum, pear and cherry trees that will be producing food for years to come and that has been planted by the local community. This area has some of the grow boxes here full of veg that is for everyone and also a few benches so that people actually have somewhere to sit and enjoy the space.
There is the community fridge next to the Muir Hub which is for everyone to use and helps us all reduce our food waste. Local people and businesses put in surplus food into here for anyone to help themselves. The running of the fridge is done entirely by volunteers.
What else has MOO Food done over the past year or so? Loads and I'll probably forget a few things but there have been lots of community events, film screenings, more growing boxes popping up, cooking classes, food waste workshops, composting workshops, the Dingwall Academy Market, working with Urray House, community dinners, mindfulness courses, forest workshops and lots more.
MOO Food is absolutely for everyone and anyone in the community. It is all about inclusion and just about seeing what can be done when people work together to grow, cook, eat food or just appreciate being outside and what's around us or just simply about having a chat or sharing ideas. Since starting work at MOO Food, it's so nice to see people come and donate plants, herbs, share ideas of what could be done or how they'd like to help.
You can find us in the MOO Food office (the wee door with the MOO Food sign on it at the Muir Village Hall) Tuesday-Thursday or pop a note in the letter box or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer or take part in anything at all. Don't forget you can pre-order your Let's Go Lentil products (check out the products page and send me a message) and your local fresh bread from Strathpeffer Artisan Bread now by emailing email@example.com - I will be at the MOO Food office between 4-6pm on a Wednesday with your order.
If you'd like to know anything else about MOO Food check out www.moofood.org