We caught up with writer and podcaster Helen Cross ahead of her appearance at Stranraer Oyster Festival.
What are you most looking forward to at this year's Stranraer Oyster Festival?
Returning home and seeing the spotlight on Stranraer. I was brought up on our family farm on the outskirts of Stranraer, with a beautiful view looking out over Loch Ryan to Ailsa Craig. It’s a slice of paradise when the sun shines. I love the golden sandy beaches and swimming at Sandhead. The festival is a great opportunity for this beautiful corner of our country to shine bright. I’ve never been before, so I am excited to meet Felicity Cloake and Julie Lin.
You’ve had a busy year, what exciting things have you been up to?
It has been a whirlwind. I published my first book Grow, Cook, Inspire. I interviewed over 20 women as part of the RHS’s Heroines of Horticulture exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in front of a live audience. I was also short-listed as one of five finalists in the RHS Schools Gardening Champions competition, the only Scottish finalist.
Why does growing your own food matter?
We need to educate and inspire people to grow their own so they can live a healthy and happy life. If you understand where food comes from, you can appreciate what Scotland's larder offers. The Unexpected Garden in Stranraer is a great example of how spaces can be transformed into productive growing spaces for the whole community. We need more of this.
What do you think of Loch Ryan Oysters?
I have never tried a native oyster despite being born here. I have eaten oysters in New Zealand, but I think I will need my palette refreshed!
Helen Cross hosts the Grow, Cook, Inspire podcast, and her book of the same name was published earlier this year. Helen will be appearing at Stranraer Oyster Festival on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September.