The ‘polycrub’ concept began as a community project in Northmavine, Shetland five years ago. Folk in Northmavine were keen to grow produce that hadn’t travelled hundreds (often thousands) of miles to get to Shetland. Growing produce locally also meant it would be fresh. Really fresh fruit and veg is not something we islanders at the tip of Britain are very accustomed to!
Climate Challenge Fund funding meant that we were able to build 12 community polytunnels here in Northmavine – around 50 people in our community can now grow fresh fruit and veg in a sheltered growing space.
Before the project started, we looked at lots of designs to create a polytunnel that could stand up to the Shetland weather. Some people in Shetland had already built sturdy growing spaces, so we tweaked these ideas and added some design details of our own to create a growing space that could withstand our harsh climate.
The community project created a lot of interest. Community groups and individuals wanted to recreate our design. We rebranded the structures as the ‘polycrub’ (‘poly’ from the polycarbonate covering we use and a ‘crub’ in Shetland is a sheltered growing area). We now sell polycrubs in kit form in Shetland and beyond. All profits from sales are passed back to our parent company, Northmavine Community Development Company, to be used for the benefit of the Northmavine community.