It was small but rich pickings as we took a wee turn at collecting a small puckle of cockles and mussels this weekend. The weather was perishing so this was all the hands could take but oh my, they were tasty and simply cooked them in butter and garlic until they opened. Although the birds seem to be enjoying their shellfish with a spot of tabasco sauce!
Local food has been decided to be a high priority for us to look into over the coming months. Maybe not the shellfish so much but certainly what we grow and researching processing our own meat. Throughout last year we have seen many polytunnels appearing around the island seeing many trials, comparisons and competition on the largest veg and how, what and who grew what successfully! This year will see the first year of our community orchard and interest was very high in incorporating forest gardening, rabbit proofing an area to create a vegetable patch which would be furthering education to the community and volunteers. All these will be looked into further and if that’s not enough to be getting on with we set out our overall plan for the next two years towards our Green Challenge. It was a unanimous vote to acquiring additional PV panels to augment the Eigg Electric grid and reduce our need for back up generators in the summer months by half. Building an eco volunteer house replacing the existing accommodation which is well past its sell by date! Extension to last years insulation programme where insulation and energy saving measures were implemented to Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust properties and this year will be focusing on providing information and assisting private households towards funding that is available in relation to insulation and solar panels. Other things that was decided to research was a community minibus looking into the pro’s and con’s of electric or bio diesel and what would be the most beneficial. With the Wood fuel feasibility study now being complete the possibilities of a woodfuel business is being established. Continuation of scrap cars being taken away which can now include all makes and models thanks to Steve Norgrove of Car Take Back consulting with Autogreen to allow the scheme to work effectively. Bio Diesel will continue to being made although, a new source of chip oil will have to be discovered and research will be put into the constitution on selling to private individuals and how a system like this would work overall. Phew, I would say that is more than enough to be getting on with and I’m tired out just writing about it all!!