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Dandelion spreads across Scotland - encouraging everyone to 'Sow, Grow and Share'

An ambitious ‘grow your own’ initiative, Dandelion, gets underway today. It's major creative programme that aims to reach thousands of people throughout Scotland and further afield. Following the arc of the growing season, from now until September 2022, Dandelion brings together science, technology, art and music to inspire people to ‘Sow, Grow and Share’ – not just food, but music, ideas and knowledge. Commissioned by EventScotland and funded by the Scottish Government, Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. We are supporting Dandelion through the Schools Growing Initiative.

Dandelion aims to make growing your own food as easy and accessible as possible to people of all ages and from all backgrounds, with events and activities taking place all over Scotland in an entirely free programme, from the remotest islands to the centres of cities.

Running alongside the public programme, Dandelion engages the next generation of growers, with over 89,000 children and young people taking part in the Dandelion Schools Growing Initiative, which also started today. The schools programme sees over 100 specially adapted grow cubes distributed to secondary schools, working in partnership with feeder primary schools, with 464 schools taking part across the country. Pupils will become citizen scientists in the largest community-led growing experiment ever undertaken in Scotland, comparing future farming techniques with traditional growing, later sharing the food they have produced, alongside art, live music, and stories, at hundreds of playground Harvest events. 

Events include Unexpected Gardens - specially-created edible gardens in 13 locations from North Uist, to Leven and Stranraer - and two three-day Dandelion Festivals in Glasgow and Inverness. The programme culminates in September with a cultural reimagining of Harvest for the 21st century, featuring hundreds of celebrations across Scotland. 

To mark the start of its programme, with plant and growing getting underway at Unexpected Gardens across the country, Dandelion has released a specially commissioned short film, telling the family story of one of its founding members, crofter and musician Pàdruig Morrison, and reimagining future ways of growing across Scotland.

Cubes of Perpetual Light – where technological innovation meets art 

At the centre of Dandelion is a meeting of art and science through the creation of hundreds of unique miniature vertical farms, called the ‘Cubes of Perpetual Light’. The 1m x 1m cubes are designed to foster accelerated growing and have been developed to grow hundreds of seedlings under LED light, combining design craft, traditional horticultural expertise and technological innovation. The Cubes will travel the length of Scotland, demonstrating accelerated growing in unexpected places. From schools to market squares, to Unexpected Gardens - they will bring the inspiration to ‘Sow, Grow and Share’ to the community, inspiring conversations about how we can grow food sustainably now and in the future.  

As well as growing thousands of plants, specially designed ‘show cubes’ will come together to create striking musical installations featuring programmable light and quadraphonic sound. Each cube will integrate with multiple speaker systems, showcasing specially commissioned music from a collection of Scottish and international artists.

These ‘show cubes’ will come together to create special installations hosted by venues and festivals throughout Scotland, including V&A Dundee, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Kelburn Garden Party and Inverness Botanic Gardens. In another tour, four musical growing cubes carried on four cargo bikes will also travel around Scotland in August.

Inspiring the nation to Sow, Grow and Share 

Dandelion is also giving away hundreds of thousands of plant plugs at Free for All events in towns and cities across Scotland, inspiring people all over the country to ‘Sow, Grow and Share’. Members of the public are invited to pick up their plants and can also enjoy a performance of harvest songs from across the world by a five metre ‘Flower Singer’ accompanied by other performers representing sun, wind and water. A team of growing specialists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will be distributing the plants and are on hand to give advice and tips to those new to growing. Kicking off on May 28 in Greenock, Free for All events will be delivered in communities for people who are new to growing. The Free for Alls will visit Govan, Stranraer, Dundee, Leven, Falkirk, Edinburgh, Hawick and Argyll and Bute throughout May, June and July, encouraging everyone to get growing across the summer months. 

In addition, the Dandelion Festival in Glasgow will host a three-day Free for All on Sunday June 19 at Kelvingrove Park. The second festival will take place in Inverness at the Northern Meeting Park, from Friday September 2 until Sunday September 4. 

All Dandelion events are free to attend and non-ticketed. For full details of all events and activities including the Unexpected Gardens and Dandelion Festivals, visit dandelion.scot.  

28 April 2022

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