Dandelion Harvest Celebrations September 2022

Harvest celebrations set to take place in 13 Unexpected Gardens and 44 community spaces and schools across the country, 9th - 11th September


Download the "Dandelion Harvest Celebrations September 2022" press release (PDF)

Dandelion, the major creative programme that has presented events across Scotland encouraging people to Sow, Grow and Share, culminates with hundreds of Harvest events over the weekend of Friday 9th - Sunday 11th September. From islands and villages, to towns and cities, Dandelion invites everyone across Scotland to take part in the modern day Harvest celebration by attending an event or creating their own homegrown Harvest.

Launched in spring 2022, Dandelion has followed the arc of the growing season, with the aim to make growing your own food as easy and accessible as possible to people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Its creative programme of festivals, events and installations celebrates sustainability through community growing, bringing together music and art with science and technology to inspire people to ‘Sow, Grow and Share’ music, food, ideas and stories. The Harvest weekend sees the culmination of Dandelion in a shared mass participation moment, with celebrations taking place across Scotland in partnership with arts organisations, community groups and schools. Commissioned by EventScotland and funded by the Scottish Government, Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.

Dandelion’s Unexpected Gardens - created with arts and community organisations at 13 sites across Scotland - will each host a Harvest celebration. Since April, the Gardens have been sowing and growing with their local communities and will now celebrate Harvest with live music from Dandelion’s Musicians in Residence and other artists, theatre and spoken word performances, storytelling, mural painting, cook-alongs, film screenings, craft and creative workshops, parades and ceilidhs; with all events and activities suitable for all ages.

Unexpected Gardens highlights include family fun in The Field, Alness, where garden-grown free food will be served alongside a packed programme of workshops and live music featuring performances from Mairearad Green, Corrina Hewat, and Dave Milligan. In Glasgow, the Govan garden will stage an evening of spoken word and poetry curated by Victoria McNulty, a music gig, plus a meal and ceilidh for the local community. On the Hebridean island of Uist, a night-long feast and celebration at the Carinish Hall will feature live music, home baking, a community meal and ceilidh with local band, Beinn Lee. In Dundee, storytelling, mural painting, live music, talks, and discussion culminate in a special dinner inspired by the people and places of the city. In Falkirk, Dandelion hosts a special Helix Harvest, sharing the work and produce from the Floating Garden, and celebrating local harvests past, present and future. Each Unexpected Garden is open to members of the public across the Harvest weekend, with details for each programme available online at www.dandelion.scot.

With so many events taking place, there is one thing they all have in common - the sharing of food, via a collective meal, or distribution of food grown. In the lead-up to Harvest, many of Dandelion’s Unexpected Gardens have been working with food innovator Simon Preston, to deliver “The Town is the Menu” in collaboration with a local chef or caterer, to create a signature dish for the area, based on its unique history and the stories of people who live there. Those special dishes will be prepared by each garden, with their local food partner and served as part of the celebratory community meal during the weekend Harvest events.

As well as events at the Unexpected Gardens, visitors can also attend one of a series of community Harvest celebrations across the country. Dandelion, working in partnership with BEMIS, has supported and funded 44 community groups and organisations to deliver Harvest celebrations in their local communities. These include Coo Park United AFC in Falkirk, a community football team who began growing during lockdown; Seaweed Gardens, based at Green Shoots Community Garden in Oban, in partnership with their local food bank, who will undertake a citizen science project developing an environmental seaweed fertiliser to grow vegetables; and Maryhill Integration Network whose Harvest will support their work in bringing asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, and the settled inhabitants of Glasgow together. Many of these grant-funded celebrations are open to visitors across the Harvest weekend, with details available on the Dandelion website.

In addition to the public programme, 468 schools and 89,000 pupils across Scotland have participated in Dandelion’s Schools Growing Initiative. The programme saw them learn about both traditional and cutting-edge methods of growing, alongside activities exploring community and cultural connections to the land and food we grow. As part of this, pupils planted their own crop, which included sowing thousands of potatoes in 1500 tons of specially made growing mix. As the school’s programme comes to its conclusion, many of the schools involved will host their own Harvest celebrations on Friday 9th September, the first day of Dandelion’s Harvest weekend, with events and activities open to pupils, teachers and the wider school communities.

For those unable to attend a Harvest event, Dandelion is inviting everyone to be part of the celebratory weekend by “’growing their own” Harvest celebration with friends, family, colleagues or their local community, by cooking a favourite dish to share, with something grown in Scotland. Anyone who wants to be part of the nationwide Harvest celebrations, can register their own Harvest on the Dandelion website where they will be featured on a digital map showing the breadth of events across the country.