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Resilience and Garlic Ice-cream
If I'd had £1 this month for all the discussions I've had on the meaning of "Resilience".. well I'd be rich for sure....

It turns out that context is everything and it's worth clarifying. Many for instance use resilience in the context of disaster planning: the ability of a community to respond and react to flooding events or pandemics, for example.

However, when we're in the world of climate chat, resilience means something more. It means how able is an area to cope with a wider range of circumstances such as food shortages or flooding occurring due to climate change; it considers the emotional resilience of an area and individuals, such that we feel strong enough to cope; it includes doing things now to prevent the worst (mitigation); and changing behaviours now so that we are less affected by the environmental changes that are coming (adaptation). 

Of course we're all correct and some may say it's a matter of semantics and certainly agree that all aspects are important.

Resilience is one of the topics we'll be addressing at our Highlands & Islands Regional Event with SCCAN on the 5th December. Namely, how to understand where we are on our own resilience path and how others may be affected, and thus, improve our climate conversations. We'll also be strengthening connections throughout the area at the networking sessions. You can find out more and follow the booking links below.

Food has been another focus topic this last month, working again with other groups and networks to improve our food resilience. Gradually the holistic picture is coming together including looking at food poverty, community growing and what we can do to improve our amazing local food opportunities.

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Upcoming Events

Highlands & Islands Events

5th Dec - 10am-1pm:  Building Resilient Communities, Ready for Climate Change.

SCCAN Highlands Islands Event 5th DecWe are delighted to be jointly hosting this  Highlands & Islands Regional Event with SCCAN (The Scottish Communities Climate Action Network).

The two part event commences with 3 inspiring speakers including interactive sessions and then we move on to the networking sessions where we can get to know each other better and perhaps consider some collaborative projects and build our Highlands & Islands Network.  Our speakers will cover:
  • What the Highland Council are doing on Climate Action and how we can work together
  • How to improve the effectiveness of the discussions that we have on the climate crisis and 
  • How to improve our emotional resilience both individually and as a community. 
For full details of the event or to book, please follow these links below.



Highland Good Food Conversation 

Every week, this initiative is releasing new podcasts. So far there has been discussion on local milk, regenerative farming, how to start new in farming, and the opportunities and issues with local bread production. Catch up on the podcasts here: 

And don't delay booking on to the Highland Good Food Conversation Conference. Open to all and particularly those who would like to be part of a movement that is taking action to improve access to local sustainable food here in the Highlands.

The conference runs over 5 weeks - 11th Jan, 18th Jan, 25th Jan, 1st Feb & 8th Feb : 1-5pm. Book here as soon as you can to ensure your place. 

HiTSI Masterclass Mondays

With many community groups starting up in the Highlands responding to Covid, and many more looking to start up as community growing groups or starting community larders, the Highlands Third Sector Interface have been running Masterclass Mondays. Topics include how to start groups, relevant structures, evaluating risk, getting the right board members etc. 

These are Free one-hour sessions on key topics of interest to the Third Sector. You can review the list of events here. The sessions are delivered on Teams at 7pm on Monday evenings. Delegates have the opportunity to submit questions in advance. The facilitator gives their presentation, then in the second part of the meeting, there is a discussion where questions raised in advance or on the evening are covered, so it's an opportunity to get useful information and bespoke input on any group’s individual queries.
Recordings of Masterclasses which have already happened are here:

Top Picks Events coming soon from our friends.

Resilience and Food - 17th Nov

 Building Resilient Global Systems by Accelerating Nature-based Solutions and Food and Agriculture Featured Initiatives - This event is exploring integral approaches in re-setting our food systems and streamlining our measurement and analytical frameworks to view the climate and food crisis more holistically, as part of a collective response to COVID-19. 
More info and tickets here

Resilience Planning - 19th Nov.

Improving disaster recovery plans - by learning from others: - This is an excellent opportunity to learn about examples of good practice within the cultural, heritage and archives sectors, which will play an important part in the nationwide effort to become net zero and effectively adapt to climate change while preserving our culture, heritage and national records.

Gift of Time at Christmas, 6th Dec.

Let's join our friends in Fife with pledging to improve the "econess" of our Christmases. Our friend from Big Dreams Little Footprints who ran our very interesting workshop on Talking to Kids about Climate Change is running this event. Here's the idea

1. Get dressed up (as much or as little as you like) and climb a hill of your choice at 10am Sunday Dec 6th. 

2. Take a selfie at the top - then, if you're happy for it to be shared, email it to

3. Make a pledge to ask for/give one 'gift of time' present this Christmas in place of a physical present, preferably one for a child (as they are often the target of too many things). Let me know what the pledge is if you would like. 
There's loads of ideas and fun tips here  -


Highland Council Seeking Views on Growing Our Future

You may remember our involvement a while ago regarding the Highland Council survey on Growing Your Own food. This has resulted in a report which is currently in draft form and seeking comments and feedback. You can respond up til the 23rd Nov. The report is here - Growing Our Future

Sutherland Orchard Project

Thanks to all 73 people who responded to our Orchard Survey.
We are now looking at the scope of the project and evaluating all the comments. Many are interested in developing community orchards either as a community or with their churches or schools. We've also uncovered similar projects past and present and have been in discussion with folks to gain insights in what works and what doesn't.

Of interest too, were comments on the volume of apples already growing in the area and going to waste.

I admit to this guilt myself - we have a large old bramley tree which produces way too much fruit for us. Try as I might, I haven't been able to give away the excess, but at least the birds are enjoying the wind falls. Please do get in touch quickly if you have a use for the last pickings.

Garlic Galore, Summer Competition

Garlic is one of the few veg that we can plant right now - and it should be planted before the winter frosts come. Garlic needs this cold spell to develop.

So let's see what types grows best and how and who can grow the biggest bulbs or the most cloves or... well I don't think you can get funny shaped garlic, but who knows...

Simply take some cloves from garlic you've bought or buy some specific varieties from our local garden centres or on line. Get planting and then, in July, we'll have a competition and join with the Lairg Learning Centre to look at lots of yummy garlic recipes from garlic ice cream to breads and spreads.

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

Are you a 2, 5 or 10 a day person?

Winter is a great time for eating more veg - I mean, who doesn't love a bowl of warming winter soup? But apparently we only eat 2.5 portions of veg a day! 

Our friends over at Peas Please are running a series of events in November entitled:

Eating Veg is Going Down and What Can We Do About It?

Is it for me?

Peas Please want to explore the food system and the challenges to accessing and eating more veg, and especially interested in hearing thoughts of those with lived experience of food insecurity. Participants will also be given a £10 shopping voucher for their time.

Find out more and book here.  

Photo by Hanna Balan on Unsplash

Laptops: We are able now to take your old slooooowwwww laptops and give them a reboot. Older laptops just can't handle many of the new applications and web pages that demand their power. We end up going out and buying something new and then still being frustrated. However, they can easily be given a new lease of life by simplifying what's on them and can be perfectly capable of several more years of use. If you'd like your own machine refreshed or have old machines that could be used by someone else, then please get in touch.

What can we recycle in our Blue Bins?
We're in discussion with Highland Council to organise a talk that will help us to understand what we can put in our blue bins. However, a recent discussion clarified that tetrapaks can be put in the bins just now.

Given the year we've all been through, it's likely that we'll want to splash out at Christmas. Do please try to choose planet friendly cards, gifts and wrapping. Ditch glitter. Think Twice about Plastic. Have a look on line for ideas to share on our Facebook page. 
Calling all Highland Teachers
Are you struggling to think about Climate Change in the Classroom? Or how to improve what kids eat? Perhaps you're trying to get school recycle programs going? Or perhaps you want to help them think more globally.

Teachers in Sutherland and further afield have a great opportunity to connect via the Google Classrooms application which is now widely used across the Highlands. Although designed for pupils to access their schoolwork, the platform also provides a great place for teachers to share resources, ideas and organise meetings. Many of these online communities have already been established.
Teachers, primary or secondary, that are wishing to connect and expand the climate curriculum can do so by joining our new
Highlands Climate Change Google Classroom
(Only accessible to teachers)

In running this we are joining the existing Highland One World project classroom that includes many other great teaching resources and project ideas.
News From Our Friends
The Lairg & District Learning Centre are going all out to help us have a Green Christmas - and have some fun whilst we're learning. Have a look at the LDLC web site for workshops on making: Christmas Bunting, Christmas Bottle Bags, Reusable Xmas Gift Bags, Reusable Xmas Crackers, Reusable Xmas Cones or join the LDLC Cookery Club where I'm sure we'll hear about fab winter healthy recipes.

And I just came across this great resource from our friends at Transition Black Isle - Simply loads of recipes from Home Made Baked Beans to Parsnip & Coconut Cake - Read the recipes here

If you'd like a mention here with your eco projects, please just let us know.
What Can I Do Now?
Have a Plastic Free Christmas
Eat one more portion of veg each day
Join us and develop your climate projects
Thanks for getting to the end!
Join us here to #buildbackbetter. We're a welcoming, collaborative group and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas for local projects.
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