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PLANT Voices

PLANT Voices

By PLANT Voices
A podcast from Tayport Community Garden where we tell local stories about gardening, food, nature and climate change.

For more about PLANT (People Learning About Nature in Tayport) see or find us on Facebook @plantgroup.
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Slow art from the heart - in conversation with Pinkie Maclure

PLANT Voices

Motivated by love – COP26 climate countdown
This month brought pretty depressing climate news. The  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has brought out its report,  reviewing all the available science on the state of the climate. The  message was clearer than ever – we are in big trouble and we need to  take radical action, fast. It’s code red for humanity. This time it does not feel like just a theoretical scientific  argument – we are starting to see the evidence of the change around us.  Who can forget the footage from Australia, California or Greece which  have also been in the headlines over the last few years? Or the recent  droughts and floods in Fife. The IPCC’s message comes just in time to inform COP26 meeting taking  place in Glasgow. This conference of parties, is the 26th of the  international government summits where almost every country on earth  come together to agree on steps to take to tackle climate emergency.  Many believe this event is the world’s best last chance to get runaway  climate change under control. This is some big stuff to deal with! How do you tackle such reality as a parent – especially with young  children? How do you teach them about what’s coming? How do you remain  sane? Today I talk to two amazing mums, Anya from Big Dreams, Little Footprints and Jo from Wild Planet Explorers.  We explore their own journeys to sane parenting in the era of climate  emergency and share fab ideas for things every family can do as an  antidote to the barrage of the climate news. They tell us all about  their collaborative project – COP26 Climate Countdown – and how you can get involved. Interviews, production and editing: Kaska Hempel For the full list of resources see PLANT blog:
September 2, 2021
Tayport Community Fridge - tackling food waste one elephant at a time
Interviews, production and editing: Kaska Hempel In 2018 the UK threw away 9.5 million tonnes of food worth £13 billion. And that’s after it had left the farm gates. That’s such an incredible waste, which could have gone to feed many, many more people. Wasting so much food also feeds climate change. Globally, around a third of all food produced is lost or wasted, which contributes up to 10 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would have the third-biggest carbon footprint after the USA and China. It produces more emissions than all commercial flights. Well today, we visit Tayport’s community fridge, which is helping to save and redistribute some of this perfectly good food locally, and which would otherwise end up in landfill. Thanks to many such initiatives across the country, food waste has already significantly reduced in the UK since 2007. Kaska talks to The Larick Centre’s Rosie Coutts and Fife Council’s Iain Anderson about the nitty gritty of how this partnership started last year, how the project has developed so far and where it’s going next. You also hear about the experiences of the fridge volunteers and a few of what appear to be very satisfied users. While projects such as community fridge are a great way of redistributing excess food from the retail sector, we have to remember the sector is only responsible for 3% of the total food wasted in the UK. Majority of the waste, a horrific 70%, happens in our homes! You can get some tips on avoiding this and saving a fair amount of money in the process on the Love Food, Hate Waste website. Resources Tayport Community Fridge Facebook page Statistics on food waste in the UK in 2018 from WRAP FareShare 70% of food is wasted in our homes - the Love food, hate waste has great ideas on how to reduce food waste at home.
July 20, 2021
Storytelling in the Garden with Owen Pilgrim
With the start of the holidays we bring you creative inspiration for the summer -  full of planet friendly tales for the whole family. The episode was recorded at the Storytelling in the Garden which took place last Saturday at our Tayport Community Garden. It was one of the events we are putting on this year as a part of Climate Action Fife, Climate Friendly Gardens series to help everyone in Fife get involved in climate action. Today, I talk to the storyetller we met on the day, Owen Pilgrim, about his passion for sharing tales and myths, and how they can better connect us to each other, ourselves and to the places we live in. We also touch on how we can use them to draw others into taking action on climate change. We get to hear the story of the village of pots which Owen shared with us during the event - and some ideas on how you can share your very own story of care for the planet with others. Resources: Owen Pilgrim’s webpage: Margaret Read MacDonald and her collection of environmental tales Earth Care Collections of British and Scottish environmental tales by Allison Galbraith Restorying the Earth podcast by Allette Willis focusing on how storytelling can help us develop more regenerative approach to the planet and ourselves. Restorying the Earth podcast Episode on how folk tales can get you heard in campaigning for climate action: Margaret Read telling the tale of Curupira (South American tale) Allison Galbraith telling the tale of Jack and the Dancing trees and Seal Island (Both Scottish tales)
June 30, 2021
No Mow May - lazy gardening that’s good for the planet
Can keeping our garden lawns a bit longer really make a difference for our precious wildflowers and minibeasts which are disappearing from our wider landscapes? In this episode we are exploring this very question as well as the pleasures of rewilding our green spaces. Partners in Fife’s Climate Friendly Garden project talk about why and how they took part in Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign. And Kevin Frediani from Dundee University adds his botanical expertise. You will also hear snippets from our own Tayport Community Garden where we counted our lawn wildflowers for Plantlifes Ever Flower Counts last week to learn what effect No Mow May has had there. Resources: Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign Plantlife’s Every Flower Counts citizen science project  2019-2020 results of Every Flower Counts - hinting at the possible impact of future climate change: Plantlife website: The Independent article  Video of Plantlife’s Trevor Dine’s talk Climate Friendly Gardens project  Climate Action Fife’s blog about No Mow May: Recording from Kavin’s talk about rewilding your garden for Dundee Green Health Week May 2021 Resources for rewilding Dundee/Tayport on Dundee Botanics page Scotia Seeds 
June 1, 2021
Slow art from the heart - in conversation with Pinkie Maclure
Since the 1970s, every year on the 22nd of April, people around the world have been taking part in Earth Day to demonstrate their support for protecting life on our planet. So for this month’s episode we have decided to speak to Pinkie Maclure whose unusual art often explores how we humans have been affecting the places we all call home, and her personal responses to modern environmental issues. Before listening you may want to have a look at the pieces we discuss by following links in the episode notes below. Interview, production and editing: Kaska Hempel Resources Pinkie’s pieces discussed in the episode: Self-portrait dreaming of Portavadie Landfill tantrum Fish and chips Black Friday and the ghosts of thrift You can find Pinkie’s art at:  National Museum of Scotland, Environment section Kilmorack Gallery An Tobar Art Centre, Mull - July exhibition  A part of Craftspace’s “We are Commoners” touring exhibition in England and Wales (virtual version coming soon): Follow her on Instagram: Video showing her studio and technique: Kathleen’s blog post about Earth Day:  Solastalgia explained on Climate Psychology Alliance website:   Portavadie: 
April 27, 2021
Music for the planet - Joanna Stark talks about her Green Nevis Challenge
You must have heard by now that COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, is coming to Glasgow in November. And decisions taken by world leaders at this meeting will determine the future of our planet as they plan their next steps in tackling climate change at a global level. So an incredibly important meeting! It's no surprise that many people in Scotland are v excited about it and many projects have sprung up to celebrate it and raise awareness of climate emergency and action ahead of this event Today we hear from a local young musician, Jo Stark,  about one such project - 100 days of green nevis challenge. She’s interviewed by a dynamic duo: regular field reporter Kathleen Gray is joined by Heather Young, who is a Community Education Student from Dundee University on placement with PLANT just now. Production: Kaska Hempel, Audio editing: John Wills Resources: Nevis Ensemble - Scotland’s Street orchestra Blogs about clothes taking on 100 days of green nevis challenge COP26 - UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow Future Learn course - climate change the science Suzanna Stark found art: Shamblestone on fb Tayport Climate Fest - Jan’s blog Tayport Community Fridge Heather’s fast fashion blogs
March 26, 2021
Tales of love from Tentsmuir
As usual this February PLANT have joined the annual show the love campaign by Climate Coalition which encourages everyone to celebrate things we love and want to protect from climate emergency. So we thought it would be fitting that for our podcast this month we should talk about Tentsmuir - everyone’s favourite place here on Tayport’s doorstep. Hear Kathleen in conversation with Marijke Leith, new Tentsmuir NNR manager and Kaska talking to Tony Wilson, ex-countryside ranger in the area.  Resources: Tentsmuir NNR Facebook page: NatureScot volunteering form: Virtual poetry walk around Tentsmuir with Beth McDonough on the 13th of March: Forvie NNR: NatureScot and Peatland restoration: Tentsmuir on BBC's Autumnwatch 2020: Report on the talk by Prof Bob Duck regarding climate change effects on Tay estuary: New Adaptation Scotland report on climate change effects in Scotland:
March 1, 2021
What's it like to be a vegan?
In celebration of Veganuary, Kathleen interviews a couple of locals, Linda and Caley about their vegan diets and lifestyles. Here are their recommendations for further reading: Vegan Cookbooks The Scottish Vegan Cook Book by Jackie Jones Easy Vegan by Sue Quinn East - Meera Sodha Non-vegan cookbooks - easy to veganise Plenty - Yotam Ottelenghi (Vegetarian) Taste of India - Meera Sodha Fresh India - Meera Sodha Vegan Blogs The Little Blog of Vegan by Holly Jade RomyLondon UK for the Pakistani curries and dahl (easy to veganise) Lazy Cat Kitchen  School Night Vegan  Cook Draw Feed on Instagram
January 31, 2021
Kiss the Ground movie discussion for World Soil Day
World Soil Day celebrates the importance of our soils for healthy food, flood prevention, tackling climate and biodiversity emergencies. To mark the occasion and find out about how regenerating soils can help us fight climate change, we got together for a discussion of "Kiss the ground" documentary on 26th of November, 2020.  We were joined by three experts who provided local Scottish context to the material covered in the film:  - Peter Christopher, PLANT Community Gardener and horticulturists with over 30 years gardening experience, talked about how the regenerative methods can be applied at our Tayport Community Garden and in growing food at home. - Dr Jennifer Brown, a soil expert from Ecological Department of James Hutton Institute, provided a research perspective on how regenerative farming can be applied in Scottish and UK agriculture.  - David Aglen, Farm manager at Balbirnie farm in Fife spoke from the hand-on farming point of view on using regenerative agriculture methods on his farm. The discussion was lead by Kaska Hempel from PLANT and Helena Simmons, PLANT Carbon Conversation Facilitator and Community Gardener at the Ninewells Community Garden, and we were joined by over 30 participants from Fife, Dundee and beyond. This is an edited recording from the discussion on Zoom. Apologies for the variable sound quality - this was due to connection problems with a couple of the particpants. 
December 4, 2020
Drawing a line in the sand - a conversation with a young eco-activist, Lea Weimann
Last year saw a Line in The Sand event on West Sands beach in St Andrews on the 20th of September. It was a part of a day of massive strikes across the world calling for urgent action on climate emergency. As you may know the wave was a culmination of over a year of Fridays for Future, a climate school strike movement, inspired by a young Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg. The event was repeated this year in a much more scaled down, altogether quieter, covid-safe version - which some say was even more poignant than last years crowds. One of PLANT members, Kathleen, took part in both representing our community and contributing some PLANT-themed climate action sand art this year. Today we hear her in conversation with Lea Weimann, a St Andrews university student and eco-activist who is one the event’s organisers. They talk about the roots of her activist journey, her poetry, and building back better. Lea’s selling her beautifully illustrated poetry book, Dear Earth, to raise funds for environmental charities. You can find out more about how the book came about and how to order it on her website If you would like to hear more from Lea tune into her weekly eco-activist radio show on St Andrews University STAR radio (also published as a podcast on Anchor). Kathleen wrote about the events on West Sands in 2019 and 2020.
November 18, 2020
Nature under lockdown PART 2: Listening to nature
In PART 2 of our podcast exploring how we got closer to nature under lockdown, Kaska talks to Tayport’s own John Wills about his life-long fascination with nature sounds, his lockdown listening project and the awesome sounds of spadefoot toads, swan’s wings and Weddell seals.  Resources:  The Great John Cage Project – in Lockdown John's recordings of nature: Tayport dawn garden sounds under lockdown (including brid wings on feeders): Draft: a 50 minute journey around some of the the most beautiful areas of Scotland (a fully immersive, ambisonic sound installation): Bernie Kraus:  The voice of the natural world: Bernie Kraus TED talk 2013: An interview with Bernie Kraus about his 2019 Great Animal Orchestra installation: 2 hours of Weddell seal underwater sounds:
October 27, 2020
Nature under lockdown Part 1 - Backyard Bioblitz
There’s been a lot of talk about how one of the benefits of lockdown which probably kept a lot of us sane, when we were in the depths of it a couple of months ago, was that we got to spend time watching, listening to and learning about nature close to home. We decided to explore this a little over the next couple of podcasts. In this episode I talk to Calum who was involved in running a Backyard Bioblitz, an online project in North East Fife, which encouraged people to look at and record nature around them in early June, at the peak of lockdown. We also chatted to some visitors to Tentsmuir about their experiences of nature under lockdown, and to my pal and botanist geek Helena about her addition to iNaturalist app. Next Backyard Bioblitz is running this weekend 27th and 28th of September. Find out how to join on their Facebook page or Twitter, or email Calum on   Try your hand at iNaturalist app to help you identify nature around you - find out more here.
September 24, 2020
Marvellous Meadows of Tayport
Just how many pollinators can you find on one wild carrot flower? And what exactly is a pollinator? Listen to find out! In this podcast episode, Kaska and Johanna Willi, Fife Council's Biodiversity Officier, marvel at the flowers, bugs and beasties which can be found in Tayport’s wildflower meadows established by Fife’s Buzzing project. PLANT volunteers turned out in force to do the sowing and planting in the Spring of 2016. We hear about the extraordinary benefits of this project for protection of these rapidly vanishing natural spaces locally and how it’s already helped our precious pollinator dwellers. Tips on how to make home for pollinators in your own backyard are also included. Project team was careful to involve Tayport community in selecting the meadow sites, they held consultation 'drop-in' event with the Community Council, and also consulted park users in the Common. Fife’s Buzzing was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Fife Environment Trust. Partners in the project included Fife Council and Buglife Scotland. Land owners involved ac included The Woodland Trust Scotland, Fife Golf Trust, St Andrews Botanic Garden, CommScope, Dalbeath farm, Fife Council. Resources: Fife’s buzzing project: Buglife’s B-Lines project providing wildlife corridors for insects to connect fragmented habitats (Tayport is on a B-Line!): All things bumblebee at Bumblebee Conservation Trust website: Exploring pollinators – backyard science: Count pollinators visiting your flowers Flower-Insect-Timed Counts which involve monitoring a flowering plant in a 50x50cm square for 10-15 minutes and counting the different pollinators that visit the flowers. Record bee-flies for Bee Fly watch (April – June): Spotting bumblebees on a BeeWalk: Ideas on how to support pollinators in your garden: - Buglife Make a Mini Meadow: - Buglife How to make a community meadow: - RHS plants for pollinators (many ornamental plants included): - Wildlife gardening tips from Wildlife Trusts: - Garden for life leaflets (Scotland):
April 17, 2020
Marsh Mysteries - Revealed!
In this episode, Kaska talks to Clare Maynard about the Green Shores saltmarsh regeneration project she's running in Tayport. They discuss the secret life of saltmarshes, their importance to wildlife and preventing erosion and how her experiments are helping re-establish this threatened habitat locally.  Clare has some good news about the success of plantings done by our volunteers a couple of years ago, and how marshes can help us fight climate change by stabilising our shores and through carbon capture. To find out how regenerating nature can help with tackling climate change see: For more information on Green Shores saltmarsh regeneration project see: Project looking at regeneration of Eden estuary saltmarshes and carbon storage: C-side project on carbon storage in intertidal environments: You can get involved in measuring saltmarsh carbon storage through their citizen science project, Carbon Quest: We would like to thank John Wills for donating his talent and time to help with editing of this episode and lending us some great nature sounds.
March 26, 2020
The fantastic and tasty Tayport Apple Juice
In this episode Kaska talks to Will Whitfield, PLANT volunteer who coordinates our tastiest project yet - Tayport Apple Juice! You can find the video of Will and his volunteer helpers in action on our website.  Our juicing equipment was funded by Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund in 2016-2017. We would like to thank John Wills for donating his talent and time to help with editing of this episode.
February 17, 2020
Fruit Tree Walk - food for people and for nature
In this episode, Kaska interviews Janice who is a volunteer coordinating maintenance of Tayport's very own public community orchard. Fruit Tree Walk is based at Scotscraig drive and it's fruit available for everyone to pick. We touch on the walk's history, giving home to nature and preserving the amazing biodiversity of Scottish apple varieties.  Peter, PLANT's community gardener, will be running a winter apple tree pruning workshop at the Walk on 1st March, 1-3pm. See our events page for details: There is also more information about the fruit tree walk and how to get involved on our website here:   This episode will be a part of an audio tour of Tayport's green spaces we are planning to launch at the end of March, at the Larick Centre opening weekend.  Thank you to John Wills for help with editing of this episode.
February 3, 2020
Climate and cake - a recipe for saving the planet
This story was included in a multimedia exhibition Climate Reflections: Human Stories of Hope and Fear. A five-day multi-media exhibition, from 18-22 November, brought together podcasts created as part of the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network‘s Future Voices project, and photography and video from the Environmental Justice Foundation‘s No Place to Call Home exhibition, first shown at the National Theatre in London.  Tayport Community Garden Carbon Conversations is a project which aims to help local residents reduce their household carbon footprints by coming together for a series of 5 small group workshops. The project has been a big success with people finding the process challenging, but also enjoyable and helpful in taking significant steps towards lower carbon lifestyles together. The project is delivered by PLANT group of Tayport Community Trust and funded by Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund. This story shares a discussion among some of the past Carbon Conversation group members sharing thoughts on their experiences. Find out more:
November 21, 2019
Bats are cool!
In this Halloween episode, Kaska chats with a local bat man, David Martin, about eavesdropping on bats at Tayport Community Garden. Find out why they are cool, what they sound like, and how we can make them feel more at home in Tayport gardens.
October 31, 2018