“In my Keder greenhouses, even when it’s very windy, I can garden in my slippers!” So says South Uist crofter Murdo McKenzie. “With the Atlantic gales that batter us here, I was re-skinning my traditional polytunnel nearly every year. Now I have one Keder house for fruit, and another I call the nut house! I have also rebuilt my traditional tunnel with the Keder system and have had no trouble since.”
Murdo grows fruit and vegetables, mostly for his own use, in raised beds inside his substantial Keder greenhouses. Like many islanders, he contributes produce to the local church harvest festival, which is then sold to raise money for Christian Aid. In his 14 x 4 metre “fruit house”, he nurtures 4 apple trees, which produce beautiful big apples with lots of flavour. He completes his fruit salad with great crops of strawberries, cherries and raspberries in season.
A keen vegetable grower in his 18×6 metre Kederhouse, Murdo makes the most of the space available by using through raised beds, corner pots, shelving, and a gravel path for easy access. He has successfully grown several potato varieties, including Edzel Blues, Home Guard ( First Earlies), Golden Wonder, and Kerr’s Pink. To add to the mix, he grows onions, leeks, cabbage and cauliflower, and salad crops.
Great fresh island produce
He told us, “I first heard about the Keder Greenhouse system about 6 years ago. Like many islanders, growing our own fruit and vegetables means we enjoy more variety, picked at the right moment when they are fresh, crisp and tasty. Because of our relatively mild climate due to the Gulf Stream, and the long hours of daylight- up to 20 hours in the summer- we should be able to grow a lot of our own produce. It’s the wind and sea spray which changes all that, but fortunately, the Keder house provides the shelter for both plants and the gardener.”
The Gardener’s Choice
He concluded, “I love growing my own fruit and veg, and the Keder greenhouse makes it not just possible here, but a real pleasure. In my opinion, they are the gardener’s choice. I have recommended the Keder greenhouse system to lots of friends and neighbours, in both North and South Uist, who all agree. Some have added the Keder Extreme Bracing Kit for extra wind resistance and put some hardier plants outside, within the bracing section, where they are well sheltered from the wind.”