Tree Days for Fife Primary Schools with FCA&C

7th November 2013

Fife Contemporary Art and Craft recently got in touch to tell us about the culmination of their art and sustainability …

Fife Contemporary Art and Craft recently got in touch to tell us about the culmination of their art and sustainability exhibition ‘The Kingdom of If’ which has been travelling across Fife in MAC, the region’s mobile art coach for the past 18 months.

Red Devil or Bloody Ploughman anyone? These colourful names are in fact varieties of apple! They will be part of a selection of apple, pear and plum trees being distributed to 14 primary schools across Fife from 19-21 November as part of 3 Tree Days to celebrate Scottish orchards and mark the culmination of Fife Contemporary Art & Craft’s eighteen month long, art & sustainability exhibition, ‘The Kingdom of If’, on board MAC, Fife’s mobile arts coach.

Curator of the exhibition, artist Jonathan Baxter, and fellow Fife based artist Sarah Gittins are both involved with DUO, Dundee Urban Orchard, an art and horticultural project in Dundee. For ‘Kingdom of If’, they’ve again combined their horticultural and artistic knowledge with an interest in sustainable living. It therefore seemed appropriate to bring the project to a close by off-setting the carbon emissions (over 10 years) caused by MAC travelling around Fife during the exhibition’s 18 month duration by planting fruit trees.

As primary schools in Fife are one of the main target groups for MAC, fruit trees were offered to schools who could give them a good home. At all the participating schools the trees will be cared for by their eco-schools’ committee or gardening club, or a specific class has been tasked with the responsibility as part of a larger project. When Jonathan and Sarah visit each school in November to deliver the trees, they will also talk to the pupils about the environmental importance of planting trees, the biodiversity of orchards, and also how to care for their trees.

In the last decade or so, Fife has seen a welcome revival of interest in its orchard heritage. As a result of the Tree Days, overall 8 mini orchards in Fife primary schools will either be created from scratch or augmented which can surely be seen as a significant addition to this burgeoning orchard ‘scene’ in Fife. It is also hoped that while the exhibition will have come to an end, its legacy in the form of fruit trees will continue for much longer.

FCA&C gratefully acknowledges support for Tree Days from the Forth Environment Link and the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund 2013, and Forestry Commission Scotland. ‘Kingdom of If’ is supported by Museums Galleries Scotland. (The Forth Valley Orchard Initiative is funded by the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund. The Central Scotland Green Network Orchard Grant Scheme 2013/2014, which is part of the initiative, covers the whole of the CSGN area.)

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