Community News 22nd July: Linlithgow Farmily – Growing Your Own Food at Home.

Linlithgow Farmily

Linlithgow Farmily is Coming to the High Street on Saturday!

Linlithgow Farmily is a new community network that has emerged from Narrowboat Farm during lockdown, and has already grown to over 600 members. It’s a thriving, active, supportive community of peers who are growing their own food at home – often for the first time. Since March, over 100 raised beds have been distributed and filled around the town, creating ready-made veg patches for those who need space to grow. 
Alongside caring for their own patches, members are swapping seeds, sharing plants, helping with the identification of various bugs and beasties, delivering farm supplies to those who are shielding, and supporting one another through the triumphs and disasters of growing food from scratch. The focus is on getting stuck in, having a go and cobbling things together with whatever materials are on hand.

Thanks to support from the Strengthening Communities Fund (the Linlithgow Covid-19 Community Response), the Farmily team are going to be giving away 500 starter packs. Each containing pots, compost, seeds and instructions, they’re aimed at anyone who might struggle to get into growing on their own, or who’s been especially struggling with lockdown.
This Saturday 25th July Farmily members will have a stall outside the old library on the High Street between 10am and 4pm – giving away 100 starter packs and chatting away about Farmily, veg, and all things grow-your-own. Do pop by to say hello, and to pick up your starter pack.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Holmes Photography

Business Spotlight – Lothlorien Dog Services

The next few Business Spotlight’s are all focused on the businesses at Braehead Business Park. First up we have Lothlorien Dog Services, run by Claire Staines.
Claire began her business in 2004 for dog walking. Over the years it had welcomed on board dog walking staff, and expanded into offering dog training to guardians. There are a team of trainers covering the whole of Scotland’s Central Belt, as well as training the trainers at Braehead.

“Lothlorien is often described as a place where magic happens… where dogs come first, where guardians and trainers alike pledge to work by our ethics, and bear in mind one very simple rule for our dogs: ‘to do no harm’. Our training methods are science-based, and free from force and coercion. We get results and make changes in dogs’ behaviour for the long term.”

Lothlorien hasn’t stopped during lockdown and the dog walking side of the business has been a lifeline to many over the last new months. Claire has also continued puppy training online, and had produced 50 videos for owners, shot by her 18 year old son Arran who is a keen photographer. Normal puppy training classes will be back in August though and there are also juvenile classes for those that missed out during lockdown.

You can read more about Lothlorien Dog Services in the latest edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 7. Follow on Facebook to keep updated with the latest news!

Community Spotlight – Linlithgow Camera Club

This weeks community spotlight is on Linlithgow Camera Club. At the end of February/beginning of March, the members of Linlithgow Camera Club were about to organise themselves for hosting the, annual, ‘West Lothian Competition’ between Linlithgow, Livingston, Mid Calder and Armadale.
That all came crashing to a hault with the announcement that the country was about to go into lockdown due to some pesky virus doing the rounds. Still, a couple of weeks delay wouldn’t hurt, would it?

Around 4 months later, in the absence of face-to-face meetings, we’ve been busy re-inventing the club nights with a series of Zoom meetings, held every two weeks rather than weekly, as is the norm, and hosted by the club and competition secretaries.
These have been, mostly, intra-club photography competitions with the theme chosen by one of our members, on alphabetical rotation, and ‘marked’ via an on line system – involving ‘DropBox’ and some black magic with a scoring system! – set up by our competiton secretary.
In between times, there have been a couple of ‘normal’ meetings and one or two of our members have – via Zoom – got together ‘off piste’, as it were, to do a bit of on line tutoring (Screen share? Great concept) in the use of editing software, and we set up a, limited, discussion regarding the new website.

The tutoring ‘concept’ might be something worth holding onto post-lockdown, as it’s difficult to deal with everyone’s concerns during a two hour session at the club room, leaving too many questions unanswered.
So, what happens next?
Now that the country has been released into – a bit more of – the wild, a few outdoor get-togethers are probably on the cards – respecting whatever ‘social distancing’ rules apply – if for no other reason than to have those face-to-face (mask-to-mask?) interactions that us humans seem to crave.

Photography? Well, that should also be on the menu, but possibly just as an afterthought to begin with, as we get to grips with horizons that stretch more than a few metres in every direction.

2020/21? Who knows. We are actively seeking new members all the time and, as the website says, a vague interest in photography is all you’ll need. To begin with, at least…

You can join the club’s Facebook group or visit the website to find out more.

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

Scotland moved to Phase 3 of the route map for coming out of lockdown on the 10 July 2020. See some key dates for future changes.

The current advice from the Scottish Government to stay safe, protect others, save lives is:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

See what you can and cannot do to help suppress the virus.