Highland Seedlings is run by Mairi and Seamus MacPherson and is based in Fearn, near Tain, in the Scottish Highlands. We have been growing our own fruit and veg using natural, ‘no dig’ principles for 6 years. As well as a walled side-garden where we grow flowers, artichokes and alpine strawberries, we have a large garden that we’re slowly turning from lawn-and-shrubs to a permaculture-inspired space. We have chickens and two polytunnels, as well as a number of mature apple and plum trees. Academics by training, we’re passionate about growing as much food as we can as organically as possible.
We believe that growing your own fruit and veg is for everyone, no matter your age, abilities, experience, or economic circumstances. We’re committed to teaching folks about gardening sustainably, within their means, and with consideration of their needs. Whether you’re growing a tomato plant on your windowsill or your entire garden is taken over by fruit and veg, we’re here to help you do so in a way that doesn’t break the bank, the environment – or yourself.
We’ve got many tips and tricks for growing your own with limited mobility – we’ve got first-hand experience of that as Mairi has ME/CFS and often struggles to stand or walk, or indeed carry things. We’ve found ways to accommodate that (sowing seeds at the kitchen table, for example) and would be delighted to share these with you.
Growing Your Own as an Act of Resistance
Highland Seedlings is not a for-profit business – it is a co-op that operates on principles of solidarity economy and community. Our prices reflect this (they cover the cost of materials rather than our time), as does our guiding principle: we want to help others grow their own food in order to help them throw off the shackles of consumerism. We see growing your own food as an act of resistance that focuses on making the most of the stuff we have, eating seasonally and mostly plant-based, without the need for more, or better, or stuff. Sow seeds. Grow food. Eat what you’ve grown. Be happy. We will always find a way to help you grow your own, and happily accept trades of goods, skills or labour in exchange for our seedlings, veg and expertise. Even if you don’t think you’ve got something worth trading, we’re sure you do. Pay if you can, don’t worry if you can’t.
How to find us
You’re very welcome to visit our garden. We’re generally open 11-7 every day, but please send us an email to check that we’re available that day if you’re coming from further afield. This is because of Mairi’s disability – she tries to be available every day but sometimes isn’t well enough. If you make an appointment in advance we’ll do our very best to keep it – but please understand that the nature of her disability means that energy levels, ability to stand up/walk, and cognitive processes are very unpredictable indeed.
You can find us at Oak Cottage in Fearn, IV20 1TJ. Please email us for directions if you need them. If you’re coming by car please park in the little car park behind the bus stop, by the glass recycling containers. Walk down that lane, and we’re the ‘arty’ house with blue bits round the windows. Just ring the doorbell, and we’ll be with you as soon as we can. Please bear with us as it can take Mairi a wee bit of time to get downstairs to the door.