Bristols local food update july aug 10


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Bristols local food update july aug 10

  1. 1. Bristol’s local food update BRISTOL FOOD NETWORK courses · skill-sharing · events · news · volunteering july–august 2010 The first crops are cropping and the season of over-abundance is nearly upon us. And across the city, community initiatives are bearing fruit too. From CSA schemes to farmers’ markets, garden- sharing to chicken co-operatives – there’s something for everyone. Why not get involved? This newsletter is produced largely by volunteers from the Bristol Food Network and is supported by Bristol City Council. Email suggestions for the September–October issue by 13 August: High grade agricultural land on the north Bristol fringe. previous legislation which offered real protection for agricultural land at the top of the hierarchy to remain in productive use for food growing. DEFRA officials clearly recognise that the many and competing demands to change land from agricultural uses poses concerns related to the need to align planning policies with current and future land use priorities. As the new politics takes root and the food security agenda kicks in with Caroline Spelman as the new Secretary of State at DEFRA at the helm, let us hope that we will see a revaluation of the best agricultural land to allow it once again to provide an important source of local produce to help feed our towns and Land for Food? cities. My own vision for the northern gateway to the City of Bristol includes food production as a key feature of its green infrastructure and not just a token set of allotments cut In April 2010, the Department for the states that the presence of Best and and pasted onto plans for the new park Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Most Versatile (BMV) agricultural land and ride on what is prime, former market issued a tender document calling for should be taken into account alongside garden land. My hope is that the DEFRA submissions to deliver some research other sustainability considerations research will deliver clear signals which into just how the planning system has in making decisions about planning will lead to planning authorities once been reacting to proposals to develop applications. The policy states that where again factoring in future agricultural land high quality agricultural land. The significant development of agricultural use decisions based upon this priceless findings from this research will be land is unavoidable, poorer quality land asset, especially in times of great available before the end of the year. should be used in preference to that of uncertainty surrounding food security for higher quality, except where this would us all. Existing planning policy in England, as be inconsistent with other planning set out in Planning Policy Statement 7, considerations. This form of words Richard Spalding Sustainable Development in Rural Areas, represented a significant weakening of
  2. 2. Bristol City Council’s Food Interest Group The overall aim of the Food Interest group is to bring together a FOcuS ON Steve clampin, allotments manager representation of services in the council infrastructure of the allotment sites that regulate, procure, provide, allocate in the past 10 years, bringing tenancy space for and dispose of food, to support levels from 53% to fully let on most the achievement of a more sustainable, sites. healthy city. I also manage other land such as The current membership is composed of: smallholdings and grazing. There is now Rachel Allbless: Policy officer, more interest in bringing food growing Regeneration and economic from traditional allotment sites out into development parks, open spaces, private gardens and communal areas. Working with Steve clampin: Allotments manager, other groups and projects, it is hoped Parks and estates to deliver this agenda throughout grace Davies: Environmental Health Bristol. The recent installation of a officer, Public protection and regulatory ‘vegetable bed’ in Castle Park has been services a great success, but if we can involve I am part of the City Council’s local communities in such initiatives Henry Dawson: Empty Land officer, Horticultural Improvements Team elsewhere then it will help to increase Neighbourhoods within Parks and Estates. I manage the amount of food produced within the Dorothy greaves: Sustainability advisor, a team of 2 Allotments Officers who City in a more sustainable way. Sustainable City Group manage all 108 allotment sites in the Steve Clampin, Allotments Manager Stephen Hewitt: Health improvement City, ranging from 2 plots to 300 plots. Parks & Estates, Neighbourhoods Dept. planning officer, Strategic planning We liaise with Allotments Associations Bristol City Council and Site Representatives, including Colston 33, Colston Avenue john Hilton: Principal catering and lettings, rent collection, inspections and Bristol BS1 4UA contract manager, Care services enforcement for over 4,000 tenancies, Tel 0117 922 3737 Sheena Huggins: Team manager, as well as dealing with complaints Fax 0117 922 3744 Residential and older peoples services about everything from neighbours to E mail: bonfires and security. We have invested Adrian jenkins: Public health services over £4m in improving the security and manager, Public protection and regulatory services Steve Marriott: Sustainability manager, FOcuS ON Henry Dawson, Empty Land officer Sustainable city group The post of Empty Land Officer is a It is envisioned that this resource will Liz McDougall: Principal health policy new role within Neighbourhoods and play a large part in satisfying demand officer, Chief executive’s office sits on the team dealing with empty for growing land across the city in areas Steve Morris: Markets manager properties in the city. It has a remit to where it outstrips allotment provision. find and bring back into use all empty In the longer term, community growing Angela Raffle: Consultant in public health land in the city. Whilst much of the ‘hubs’ with more permanent leases Matthew Roberts: Client contracts officer, work is focussed on using land for could act as focal points for temporary Children & young persons service residential or commercial purposes, growing sites in their areas, talking other uses for land are being looked to owners of potential new plots and jeremy Screen: Corporate property into. Whilst sites wait for a more helping people to take them over. manager permanent use to be determined for Bristol is piloting this approach to using Sharon Sexton: School meals co- them they remain empty, overgrown, land for growing as part of a national ordinator, Children & young persons attract problems such as flytipping and project to set up a Community Land service provide harbourage for pests. A large Bank, brokering agreements between proportion of these sites can be used christine Storry: Corporate procurement landowners and growers on a national for growing plants and food. I’ve been specialist – sustainability basis. in contact with both landowners and Over the next issues of Bristol’s Local Food growing groups in Bristol, to promote the Henry Dawson, Empty land officer Update, we are going to look at the roles of use of land for temporarily growing food Neighbourhoods members of the Food Interest Group. and other plants. The first sites have Bristol City Council been identified and tenants provided Tel 0117 353 3865 For more information about Bristol City with short term tenancies to protect Council’s Food Charter: both their interests and that of the landowners. 2 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  3. 3. Food news Land planning: an gM lobby helped draw up crucial report on Britain’s food supplies digest: Email trail shows how biotech group helped watchdog to draw up opportunity to comment analysis of GM crops ... and prompted two advisers to quit Beginning in june there are two 14 july · Horfield & Lockleaze consultations significant for all food The Cameron Centre, Lockleaze interest groups and individuals in the environment/2010/jun/06/gm- 1 September · Eastville, Hillfields & city. These are: 1. The Area green Space crops-biotech-lobbyists-fsa Frome Vale, The Vassell Centre, Dawn plans and 2. The Site Allocation and Development Management documents James Room, Fishponds coffee potting of the Bristol Development Framework. 2 September · Brislington community digest: Garden Organic take their One partnership, Arnos Manor Hotel, The Pot Pledge message out to commuters Chapel, Brislington on London Bridge, encouraging them community Land Bank project to re-use their coffee cups to grow 6 September · Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe 11am–2.30pm 13 july & Whitchurch, The Gatehouse Centre, their own. green House, Bedminster Hareclive Road watch?v=dcoztlXKEjw&dm_ With support from the Federation of City 13 September · Bishopston, cotham & i=4uO,4W0M,jcI86,FVD0,1 Farms & Community Gardens we are Redland, Redland Parish Church Hall, holding a meeting to consider both of Redland Green Road these in the context of the Community Land Bank project on 13 July from 11 15 September · Avonmouth & until 2.30pm (with provision for people Kingsweston, Portway Rugby dropping in at lunch time) at the Green Development Centre, Sea Mills House in Bedminster. This will specifically 20 September · Henleaze, Stoke Bishop engage with food growing aspirations & WoT, Trinity Henleaze United Reform for the city. If you can’t make this event Church, Bradbury Hall there are plenty of other dates to engage This Is a Roof with the Area Green Space and the 22 September · Ashley, Easton & Bristol Development Framework standard Lawrence Hill, Salvation Army Hall, digest: The roof of a warehouse in consultations from June to October. Hassell Drive, Lawrence Hill Greenpoint New York, is covered with 200,000lbs of soil, 1,000 earthworms, 27 September · Henbury & Southmead, and an abundance of vegetables, Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, herbs, and flowers. consultation drop-in events Southmead Based on neighbourhood partnership 29 September · greater Bedminster, summer/2009/57477/?dm_ areas the drop-in events run from midday Southville Centre, The Beauley Room, i=8uc,4QMu,13R0uQ,EQc5,1/ until 8 pm on the following days: Beauley Road 30 june · Filwood, Knowle & Windmill Hill How recession turned Britain’s 4 October · St george East & West, Rose Knowle Community Centre, Crossways fingers green Green Centre, Gordon Road, Whitehall Road digest: Rising numbers of people are The Site Allocations and Development 5 july · Hengrove & Stockwood being tempted by the “good life”, with Management documents will be available South Bristol Sports Centre, West Town more food being produced in back on the website ( Lane gardens this year than for a generation siteallocations) and to view in local 12 july · cabot, clifton & clifton East libraries and customer service points house-and-home/gardening/ Clifton Down Shopping Centre, Centre from Monday 14 June. Comments can be how-recession-turned-britains- Circle submitted until 29 October 2010 fingers-green-1944067.html?dm_ i=8uc,4QMu,13R0uQ,EQc2,1 Funding suggestions from the Federation of city Farms guerilla gardening for sustainable cities BIg Lottery Fund Reaching Building capacity Bursaries communities programme digest: How guerilla gardening and the Pimp Your Pavement campaign can Kerrygold community Awards help make London and other cities B&Q One planet Living Awards more sustainable. SITA young person’s Volunteering Fund The Foyle Foundation Small grants guerilla-gardening-for-sustainable- Scheme cities/?utm_source=email&dm_ Department of Health ‘Health and i=8uc,4QMu,13R0uQ,EQBy,1 Social care Volunteering Fund’ 3 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  4. 4. Tales from the plot Village Fayre at the Harbour Festival 30 july–1 August An exhibition celebrating the story Amphitheatre, Bristol Harbourside of Bristol’s allotments and urban n West Country market and bar gardening history n The Community Garden This exhibition is the culmination of n Renewable Energy Stage, powered an oral history project, which has been by bicycle collective funded by Heritage Lottery. 22 June - n Bicycle Funfair 21 August Waiting lists at many of Bristol’s allotment Exhibition in various n Home Zone & Bristol Green Doors sites are years long. Community gardening locations : see overleaf projects are sprouting up across Bristol. for details. Don’t miss SPECIAL EVENTS! n Make do and mend, sewing Indeed in 2007 sales of vegetable seeds workshops and The Cookery School were larger than those of flowers for the coordinated by Bordeaux Quay and first time since the Second World War. This Bristol Food Hub resurgence in growing our own vegetables is to be found in every corner of Bristol and in this exhibition we celebrate this blossoming activity as well as hoping to Beautiful, Edible, sow further seeds of inspiration to grow permaculture garden comes your own. email: l tel: 0117 9078369 to the Harbour Festival We have been growing food since we The new Village Fayre area at the stopped being hunter-gatherers in this Harbour Festival will feature a garden country around 7,000 years ago. The Exhibition – which will be a beautiful place to exhibition outlines the history of our Bristol central library sit & chill, an inspiring show of food vegetable-growing heritage, from strip 22–29 June (Library opening times) growing/nature conservation in urban lynchets to cottage gardening, guerrilla settings & a fun learning playground. gardening to container gardening. St Werburghs city Farm community room Documents going back to the 1700s 1–7 July (10am–4pm) The area will feature a mini allotment, referring to enclosures on what was then a forest garden/orchard, a patio area, Knowle West Health park Kingswood Common sit side by side with a wildlife area, a wetland area, a 9–15 July (10am–6pm) images of community projects of today seating area, stalls to buy apple juice, such as GroFun’s community allotment. Harbourside festival plants, herbs, and games for children. In particular the exhibition acknowledges in the Bristol Village Fayre area It’s a perfect opportunity to engage Bristol’s allotmenteers. Saturday 31 July (11am–10pm) & 200,000 people in gardening, Sunday 1 August (11am–7pm) Allotments as we know them started grow your own food, local food, appearing in Bristol in the late 1800s. create centre wildlife conservation, organics & Today they are cultivated by a great range 4–21 August permaculture, in a fun way! of people of all ages and backgrounds. (8.30am–5pm Mon–Fri, 10am–4pm Sat) During the project we have interviewed Help needed! over 30 of Bristol’s allotmenteers and (i) to build the garden – helpers this archived audio will be part of the Events needed Thurs/Fri 29/30 July & Mon 2 exhibition. You will be able to hear August. Requirements: enthusiasm, no St Werburghs city Farm first hand the stories and experiences specific skills or gardening experience 2–4pm Saturday 3 July of rings lost and found, cheeky foxes, necessary, but those with carpentry how courgettes love bananas and what Meet allotment gardeners, pick up tips skills very welcomed! In exchange: might speed along a parsnip. You will and share your own. Plus visit GroFun’s refreshments, hugs, plants & pride. learn about pickled pumpkins and sloe allotment – pick up a map at the gin chocolate! And through it all you will exhibition at the farm. (2 mins away) (ii) source plants – does anyone have hear gardeners talk about how engaging plants/trees/shrubs in pots they Knowle West Health park would be willing to loan? Or extra veg in the food we eat by growing some of it 2–4pm Friday 9 July plants you don’t have room for in your themselves, enhances their health and well-being. Come and meet allotment gardeners allotment/garden? and learn how to create an edible and Lizzie Keates (iii) sourcing materials– straw bales, medicinal garden. wood (lengths & boards), compost bins (empty), scaffold planks, water Exhibition visits 0117 9078369 butt, patio furniture (tables, chairs, umbrellas), patio tiles, plant pots We are inviting school groups and (medium–large), pond equipment, community groups to visit the exhibition. fencing, display boards. Please get in touch to arrange your visit and learn more about what we can offer Contact your party. 4 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  5. 5. Local School children discover wildlife habitats in their school grounds For many years Avon Wildlife Trust has pioneered the idea that city schools need green spaces too – our School grounds project brought ponds and planting areas to many of Bristol’s schools, and nowadays the need for nature in school grounds is widely recognised in the education curriculum. Always on the look out for new ways to keep children in the city involved with nature, the Trust has just launched the Big Bristol Habitat Hunt – which aims to get all primary schools in Bristol having a really good look at their school grounds. Julie Doherty, Learning Development the same size as a mouse, could they run teachers, he says: “Getting to know Officer from Avon Wildlife Trust and around inside the school hedge without about nature at school is so important volunteer, Lucy Mitchell, worked with being seen? And they’ll be invited to fit for children. It helps them to feel more pupils from Stoke Bishop C of E Primary their arms around the biggest tree they comfortable and confident exploring School in June to demonstrate how easy it can find – with handy guidelines to telling the outside world. Taking part in the Big is to make a nature survey part of everyday how old it might be. The great advantage Bristol Habitat Hunt is a great way to do learning. Rory, a member of the school’s of making this survey pupil-led, is that this and help bring more wildlife in to Eco club, recognised the value of the children will be able to enjoy a fun and the city.” An additional activity invites survey, “It was very interesting because useful educational experience that will children to suggest ways to make their it helped you understand your school bring them closer to nature and take them school grounds better for wildlife, with grounds better” whilst Amman claimed outside – to count trees, find and identify Avon Wildlife Trust and Western Power it was ‘cool, because we were finding different flowers and leaves and note Distribution giving £1,000 to the school beetles … sick’. any special places where wildlife thrives. which submits the best ideas, to turn Studies show that increased positive them into reality. A key message of the survey is that ‘as our experiences in the natural environment city gets bigger and busier, it might be that A Self Sufficient-ish evening at the school grounds are the most important place for wildlife in your area’. Pupils will can have a huge impact on developing self esteem and confidence, increasing Survey resources, including video clips and packs for pupils, can be downloaded free from the educational zone at: concentration in class and developing CREATE with Andy Hamilton be encouraged to go out and look up, look down, look under, count, smell, peep and write down all their findings! They’ll be imagination. Backers of the initiative include wildlife For more information contact Julie Doherty asked to think about questions such as “Is TV presenter Simon King, Avon Wildlife on 0117 9177270 or email 6.30-8pm, Tuesday 10th November grass just grass?” and whether if they were Trust’s president. In a letter to head- Join Andy Hamilton, co-author of Self-sufficientish Foraging tips for July the acclaimed Self Sufficient-ish Bible, as he explores some practical ways to achieve a more cleavers, goosegrass, Stickweed Thistle sustainable lifestyle. During the Onopordum Galium aparine evening Andy plans to bring the thistles are edible in one form or All UK Most will remember this plantby demonstrating book to life from their another. The flowers if big enough can some of the featured school days, throwing it on the backs of be peeled down rather like an artichoke, techniques… fellow pupils and laughing as it sticks leaving a “nut” at the bottom. This can to their clothes. The Celts used it as a Tickets cost £3, including tea or eaten raw but is rather fiddly for not be cleanser, they would steep it in water from much reward. The stems can be peeled coffee, and are available CREATE over night and drink it cold. Itat any Bristol library. eaten like asparagus and young reception or is said and 7–9pm Thursday 22 July that if you drink the resulting cleavers leaves can also be eaten if boiled. Food for free Evening Bath juice for 60 days that your skin will be so £15 per person 10am–2pm Saturday 10 July beautiful that everyone will fall in love Foraging Day Bath (area TBA) 10am–2pm Saturday 31 July with you. The young plant can also be £35 per person Summer forage used in Chinese cooking, and the sticky St Werburghs, Bristol · £5 per person buds are collect in the autumn and can 7–9pm Wednesday 21 July be roasted and used as a sort of coffee Wild Food foraging evening Contact: drink. Ashton Court, Bristol · £15 per person 5 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  6. 6. Transition Long Ashton World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) Long Ashton growers (LAg) n To help develop a more environmentally This well-subscribed scheme began sustainable local economy in 1971 in the UK and is now operating A community growing project based on internationally in 43 countries. UK 1/2 acre of land on the edge of Long n To support the development of local membership is £20 per year with the Ashton. The aim of the project is to help producers and businesses choice of either online membership develop local food growing skills for To promote the activities and raise n or a hard copy directory of hosts. people who have limited access to land. funds for local community groups, e.g. Once you become a member you are So far a group of about 15–20 people primary schools, guides, youth club, entitled to stay at any of the listed have cleared the land, cultivated it using Transition Long Ashton sites where you receive free food and a range of methods, e.g. pigs, mechanical The market will sell a range of local accommodation in exchange for an cultivator and by hand digging, and produce, including meat, fish, cheese, agreed amount of work. planted a range of vegetables. bread, plants, arts & crafts, flowers,and Hosts can range from smallholdings homemade cakes, jams, etc. to breweries, from herb gardens to Long Ashton Village Market The market is keen for more people to get country estates with walled gardens. This was launched on Saturday 5 June involved helping to run the market or sell Accommodation might be camping, 2010, and will run on the 1st Saturday of their produce. dormitory or an individual room each month in Long Ashton Village Hall in a period property. Due to the from 9.30am–1pm. chicken co-op phenomenal interest in food growing, The main aims of the market are: A small flock of free range chickens are some places are fully booked, but it’s managed co-operatively to provide eggs usually possible to find somewhere n To promote the production and sale of for local people. suitable with a little advance planning, local affordable (food) produce usually phoning or emailing the host n To create a monthly social meeting Andy coombe with a few details about yourself. place for community interaction Some hosts especially welcome n To develop local food growing and Further details at: beginners so this provides ideal processing skills training for those on allotment waiting lists who are new to growing food. Exploring the local area is possible in your free time, usually a day or two per week depending on the host. Hours vary, some hosts merely require a morning’s work per day, others perhaps 5 hours or a standard day. The directory specifies what to expect with a phone number to find out more if this isn’t clear. Talking to other Woofers over the years I’ve found that experiences vary quite a bit but each place I’ve personally visited, from a croft in the Outer Hebrides to a residential centre near Glastonbury has proven Castle Park’s edible veg-bed interesting and fun with plenty of time to explore the local area and get to know residents, visitors and other Visitors to castle park will be amongst the plants now taking root in volunteers. Some, but not all hosts impressed when they come across a the veg-bed. welcome children and/or paying newly planted, raised vegetable-bed. Steve Clampin, Bristol’s allotments guests so it’s sometimes possible The veg-bed is part of the city council’s manager, said: “We wanted to create to travel with family and friends who drive to encourage more people to grow an edible garden patch in Castle Park don’t want to ‘Wwoof’ themselves. their own vegetables. Not only does the to show how easy it can be to grow To find out more and to join, see: veg-bed look attractive amongst the vegetables, even in the city centre.” park’s more formal flower displays and The planting design illustrates that natural landscaping, it demonstrates or write to WWOOF UK, PO Box 2154, curly kale and beetroot can be just as how easy it is to turn a small plot of land Winslow, Buckingham MK18 3WS attractive as garden plants as begonias into an opportunity to grow your own and hostas. We will now be looking at Dorothy greaves and eat healthy, home-grown fruit and other city parks and working with park veg. groups and communities to see if this Curly kale, Swiss chard, parsley, runner veg-bed idea can be extended to other beans, beetroot and sweetcorn are areas. 6 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  7. 7. CSA update Sims Hill Shared Harvest where we are aiming for, and to find out more about what being a member of a CSA Launch event: 7.30pm Tuesday 29 june actually involves. It’s also an opportunity co-Exist, Hamilton House, Stokes croft to celebrate our achievements and to start Over the past few months work has been working together to make this happen. under way to develop plans for one of If you wish to come to the launch event, Thornbury cSA Bristol’s first Community Supported please email simshillsharedharvest@ A new CSA (Community Supported Agriculture projects (CSAs) near Frenchay. googlemail so we can have an idea of the Agriculture) scheme is about to start in Sims Hill Shared Harvest aims to launch numbers. We very much look forward to a couple of weeks’ time providing local a member-owned CSA which will help seeing you there! residents with fresh, local, sustainably to reclaim Bristol’s historic (and fertile) Sign up to our blog via our produced – and delicious! – vegetables. agricultural land. website or email the project at Do you live in or near to Thornbury and For those of you who are new to CSAs, are interested not only in eating fresh, they are a popular model of co- to be added to our email list. seasonal, tasty veg? Then this could be operative farming which builds dynamic for you! http://simshillsharedharvest. relationships between people, the land A CSA generally means that a local and food. Members contribute to the community works closely with a local running costs of the farm and receive a fair farmer – the farmer gets a guaranteed share of the harvest in return. A refreshing The community Farm market and the local people get fresh, change to conventional supermarket shopping! pioneer Member day seasonal vegetables in a box each week. Thornbury CSA will start to supply its first Saturday 17 july If you are interested in becoming part veg boxes from the middle of July – grown of a visionary new project please come Each Pioneer Member day will allow without the use of damaging herbicides, to Co-Exist, Hamilton House on 29 June volunteers to work on the land and pesticides, fungicides or any other ‘ides’ from 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Please participate in workshops explaining the you can think of! – on land that has been arrive promptly and enter via the Canteen Community Farm and asking for your nurtured in a sustainable way for about 50 on Stokes Croft. You will be directed ideas. We will provide lunch and drinks on years! upstairs to the Events space on the 3rd the day and tools for working on the farm. For more details, please e-mail floor where the meeting will be held. Light To book, email us stating if you can offer or or phone refreshments will be served. It will be a need lifts: 01454 413620 or follow the links at: great opportunity for us to present our work so far, for you to ask questions about Market news demand and draw in a wider range of will take place, showcasing the best food Whiteladies Road Market local producers. It runs on the first and & drink from the region and Saturdays relaunched! third Saturday of the month, but we hope will see a mixed ‘Local Art, Craft & Food it’ll become so successful we can run it Market’ on the quayside. corner of Whiteladies Rd and Apsley Rd 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month, weekly. Do come along and try it out. The remaining July dates are: 8.30am–2pm Bristol Art Market: 1 july The big news from Sustainable Redland Best of the South-West Food Market: is that we’re relaunching the Farmers’ 2 july Market, with the help of Lorna Knapman The new Harbourside Market Local Art, craft & Food Market: 3 july of Love Food. We want to make it bigger, A new market on the quayside in front The organisers need help in order to buzzier and better. Saturday 3 july is of the Watershed has been granted a 4 establish the market as a permanent relaunch day, and we’re offering planting week trial by Bristol City Council (running fixture – call by the market and fill-in and cooking workshops, live music, a through June/July). the questionnaire in the bar, or email pets corner, an ice cream stall, and our Currently the organisers are establishing for more normal food stalls as well as a local three new daily market identities: on information. potter’s stall. We’ve changed its name to the Whiteladies Road Farmers and Thursdays you will find a selection of high Fair Trading Market so we can retain our quality locally produced arts and crafts at sustainability interests but give it the the ‘Made in Bristol Market.’ Every Friday flexibility to adjust better to customer the ‘Best of the South-West Food Market’ 7 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  8. 8. Following the Plot... by Keith cowling Allotment keeping is a bit different (lots of weeding and grass cutting) and from gardening. Most of us who do it repellents (grit, salt and old copper can’t be on the plot every day so have pipes and wires can be used to surround to organise our efforts to make the best sensitive seedlings) and physically picking use of precious plot time. We also need them off the soil and plants (then feeding to use a growing system that helps them to chickens). Eventually most of us plants survive on their own while we reluctantly resort to some use of ‘organic’ are away. The two main threats to our slug pellets. crops while we are not around come from Potato blight (the fungal infection pests and the weather – often working in phytothora infestans), which also attacks combination. tomatoes, has been a serious problem We tend to think of the weather in in Bristol over the last few years. And as seasonal terms, with a cool wet spring, with slugs, there’s really no ‘silver bullet’. Things to do on the plot in a hot summer and a foggy and chilly There are now a number or new potato autumn, but recent seasons in Bristol have and tomato varieties with high blight july... confounded expectations. The last three resistance – see the national potato Water when you can, mulch for when summers have been unusually wet and database you can’t. Make successional sowings have followed drier-than-average springs. for potato types and try the new Ferline of salads. Keep cordon tomatoes well April this year was one of the driest F1 tomato variety that gave me my best tied in to stakes to support the huge on record, leaving clay soils hard and tomato crop ever last year, despite the crop you are expecting, and pinch out cracked, and although May finally brought blight threat. the little side shoots that come at the some welcome rain, it was unseasonably leaf junctions. Plant out the cabbages Once you’ve got your potatoes and cold until the end of the month. and other members of the brassica tomatoes planted, of course, you are tribe from their germination furrows Plot holders manage the weather lottery by stuck with the varieties you’ve got and if you haven’t already done so. If you raising seedlings in pots, keeping delicate just have to protect them as well as you haven’t got enough room for them in plants covered and juggling dates for the can. The old preventative technique of their final over-winter location (planted planting out of sensitive crops. Now we spraying with Bordeaux Mixture is used with a dibber where the bean and are into summer however, it’s all going during late June and early July to coat the pea roots have fixed a good store of to be about water. Either too much, as in leaves of vulnerable plants to prevent nitrogen is best) it’s fine to move them the last few years, or too little – or more blight getting a hold. It does help avoid temporarily to a ‘waiting bed’ with likely perhaps, some of both. The first rule disasters and although it’s no longer 150mm each way between plants, until is to hold onto the water you’ve got. Build accepted as an organic technique, the room become available at the end of up the hummus content of your soil and chemicals involved (copper sulphate and summer. As soon as early potatoes learn to mulch. Plot-made compost, bulk lime) are not highly toxic or persistent. The clear, rake the bed to a tilth and plant municipal compost, stored leaf mould other tool in the plot holders bag against seedling leeks in dibber holes 75mm and hay are all good for this. Don’t use blight is good housekeeping. Make sure apart along rows 300mm apart. Fill wood chips on vegetable crops however, that you practice a careful rotation system each hole with water then leave plants even when they are provided free on your so that potatoes don’t grow in the same alone to establish themselves. site. Wood is broken down by fungi (not place the following year and make sure bacteria as in compost) which will rob your all the small tubers that carry the blight And finally... Don’t make it all work in soil of nitrogen in the short term. When spores over winter are carefully dug up. July. This is the time of year, when your applying water thirsty plants, give it at If you get blight (and at some point all planting and sowing is nearly done, their roots wherever possible, for example vegetable gardeners seem to) cut the to appreciate your efforts. Take the by sinking an empty flower pot into the haulms off potatoes as soon as you spot barbie up to the plot on a sunny day, ground next to tomatoes and filling it from it, so that spores don’t wash down into pop some freshly-picked sweetcorn a can; or by burying plastic land drainage the tuber crop. Don’t commit the diseased onto it and enjoy the plot, the wildlife pipe in potato trenches and pouring water leaves to your compost heap but put them and your veg... down it from a protruding end. in your green waste collection bin. Use up blighted potatoes as quickly as possible In wet summers like the ones we had because they will rot in store. A good recently, the big dangers from pests opportunity perhaps to offer your friends and diseases come from slug and snail some of the vegetable where the proliferations and the danger of potato difference between shop-bought and blight. There’s no simple solution to the home grown is most marked. slug problems unfortunately, and most good organic sources advise a mixture of Keith cowling approaches including physical barriers Ashley Vale Allotments Association (cloches made from plastic water bottles 26 Belvoir Road, Bristol BS6 5DJ cut in half), traps (saucers full of flat beer set in the soil), removal of habitats 8 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  9. 9. How to encourage home cooking for free by Louise Barnard The baby food market is booming especially brands that are organically certified. This would indicate that parents are becoming more aware of the importance of a healthy diet for their child but also indicates that more and more parents are relying on commercially made, pasteurised food as opposed to making their own. Though my own experiences of running Baby Bites’ cookery classes (aimed at parents with 0–5 year olds) the phrase I hear again and again is “I didn’t realise it was so easy.” can’t cook, won’t cook…. There are all kinds of reasons that people don’t cook for their children. The primary reasons seem to be a lack of confidence, time, inspiration or skills. There can be various causes of this. Many adults offer support and answer questions to of exchanging skills and knowledge. If a haven’t learnt to cook as they grow up parents during this stage. On the flip lack of confidence or inspiration prevents themselves, a result of uninspiring and side many parents have expressed how someone cooking or they feel put off by limited home economics classes at school unsupported they felt, not having anyone long lists of ingredients in cookery books, and of their parents not teaching them to sit down and talk things through the act of cooking together with friends the basics at home. Other parents that properly on a regular basis. This was can provide answers and inspiration. attend my classes can cook but think that one of the reasons I set up Baby Bites, It can demystify cooking for those who cooking for their baby is different, more knowing that everyone is quite capable of lack basic cookery skills and furthermore difficult or should be “special” somehow steaming some vegetables and cooking it means that each time that group get and therefore feel they need to learn how some simple dishes but that sometimes together they are focusing on food, health to cook baby food. My classes don’t teach they just need to be shown how. Getting and exchanging ideas and thoughts on them to cook baby food, they teach how to this subject. Finally it means that they together with a group of other parents, cook good food that’s suitable for all the leave the sessions with a whole array of cooking and talking about their different family from the youngest upwards, with different dishes to fill their freezers with. experiences has generated a very positive what they have available to them in their Two mothers took it one step further and response from those who have attended cupboards and fridge. now cook dinner for each other’s family, the classes. We live in a society where time is more each, once a week to give both of them and more pressured, usually with both cookery groups a break. Both of these are ideas that I parents working. This has changed the A particularly interesting outcome of one now actively promote, it’s free and can eating experience, often families no longer class was of a group of mum’s deciding help alleviate the pressure of coming up sit down together for meals, children eat with new ideas to keep hungry mouths to set up a cookery group. They decided separately, and cooking has become less interested. that once a week, or once a fortnight, of a priority. Eating convenience food instead of meeting for a coffee they would Cooking isn’t difficult, but as with anything and ready-meals is widely accepted as a meet at someone’s house and cook, each the greatest stumbling block seems to normal way to feed a family as opposed to person bringing the ingredients for one be getting started. Groups such as these an occasional treat or back up plan. This recipe. This idea has all kinds of benefits. are an inspired solution to the common means that frequently children are not There are the social benefits of a strong problem of getting people into the kitchen experiencing home cooking on a regular support network along with the benefits and cooking for their children. basis from a young age. Basic skills are not being passed from one generation to the next. This causes far-reaching ripples; Louise Barnard is founder of Baby Bites. Baby Bites’ runs cookery workshops for these children are unlikely to cook for their parents with 0–5 year olds. They can be found running cookery workshops at various children. food festivals and can run sessions in schools, nurseries and community centres. They have just launched a Bristol wide, weekly delivery service of homemade food for After my own experience of weaning my the under 5’s. son, Oscar, I realised how many parents Baby B es were struggling with this step in their child’s development. Several health visitors have expressed regret to me at Tel: 07531 237 527 · 0117 909 3187 how little time they have available to 9 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  10. 10. Festivals Bristol Wine & Food Fair cider Festivals 11.30am–7.30pm Fri 2 & Sat 3 july Bath Cricket Club Cider Festival Articles 11.30am–6pm Sun 4 july Friday 23 july: 7.30–11.30pm Really local diets: where the uN gets Bristol Harbourside Sat 24 july: 11am–4pm & 7.30–11.30pm it wrong £8 in advance or £10 on the gate Bath pavilion, North parade, digest: A newly produced UN Report Children under 16 go free Bath BA2 4Eu rightly points out that the western This 3 day wine and food extravaganza in £6.50 advance, £7.50 on the door model of meat and dairy production the heart of Bristol celebrates fine wines simply won’t work on a planet of 3rd Bristol Cider Festival 9 billion people. The problem with from around the world and welcomes artisan food producers from the South Friday 6 August: 7.30–11.30pm this report is that it doesn’t take the West, offering visitors the chance to Sat 7 August: 11am–4pm & 7.30–11.30pm realities of fossil fuel and resource taste, learn, enjoy and discover. New this clock Tower yard, Temple Meads, Bristol depletion fully into account – the year is our International Dining Area and BS1 6QH underlying assumption is continued Children’s Cookery Competition, your £6.50 advance, £7.50 on the door world economic growth and expanded chance to sail on the Matthew, enjoy a resource use. Over 100 ciders and perries including wine walking tour or to attend a SSSC award-winning ciders from Ben lunch!. node/53097 Crossman’s, Rich’s, Thatchers, Broadoak and Heck’s (Somerset), Gwatkin (Herefordshire), Gwynt Y Ddraig (Wales), Monty Don: It’s time we dug for and Mr. Whiteheads (Hampshire) victory again Bath Food & Drink Festival digest: Monty Don reflects on what we can learn now from the World War II 10am–7pm Saturday 3 july ciderfestivals/festival.php Dig for Victory campaign. 10am–5pm Sunday 4 july Victoria park, in front of Royal crescent £4 in advance or £6 on the day gloucestershire’s Local Food & gardening/article-1264592/ Children under 16 go free Drink Festival Monty-Don-Its-time-dug- victory-again.html?dm_ n The Cookery Theatre – featuring 1–17 October i=8uc,4QMu,13R0uQ,EQBZ,1 demonstrations by leading chefs and celebrities from around the region. With so much interest at present in growing your own, local food, allotments Michael pollan: n Food Lovers Marquee – featuring over and community food co-ops, why not The Food Movement, Rising 140 food & drink producers come along and support those in South digest: Food in America has been n Real Ale Marquee – taste a wonderful Gloucestershire and the northern fringe more or less invisible, politically selection of local and regional ales & of Bristol who are now and have been for speaking, until very recently. cider years, growing great food, producing great Americans have not had to think very n Festival Stage – musicians playing a produce – and who need your support! hard about where their food comes variety of music from Jazz to Classical to All too often it is the farmers who bears from, or what it is doing to the planet, Folk the brunt of supermarkets keeping food their bodies, and their society. prices low, but by coming along to one or n Wine & Spirit talks some of the festival events, you will get a archives/2010/jun/10/food- greater understanding of the commitment, movement-rising/?pagination=false index.php?page=home passion and skill of our local farmers and growers. Many different events to How to garden with kids suit all. South Gloucestershire’s Local digest: Kids are apparently more likely Love Food Food & Drink Festival runs from 1–17 to eat vegetables when they have October and includes events like butchery Love Food launch their new ‘Backfields grown them themselves. demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, food and flower market’ in September, open farm events, trips around our 3 local situated outside an old school in Stokes living/gardening/503644/how_to_ breweries – and more! Croft, next to the legendary ‘Lakota’. garden_with_kids.html To find out more please contact Val Love Food Festival Harding on 01454 863883 or e-mail 10.30am–4pm Sunday 18 july & or look out Sunday 26 September for a programme at your nearest library, Paintworks, Brislington One Stop Shop, school, doctor’s surgery Backfields food and flower market – out from the end of July 2010 – or simply September date TBc visit the website from 1 August for more Backfields, Stokes Croft details. 10 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010
  11. 11. Courses Voscur training Building for the future – How to procure a building Low impact living initiative courses 6–8pm Tuesday 13 july 2010 The coach House, 2 Upper York Street, Food smoking Seed saving St Paul’s, Bristol BS2 8QN Saturday 17 july Saturday 14 August FREE (Voscur full members will get priority) Windmill Hill city Farm · £60 Windmill Hill city Farm · £60 please book your place by Friday 2 July Run by Turan of, A one-day workshop for those new to Many organisations feel that having their this course is for everyone interested seed-saving, concentrating on small-scale own building would be a useful resource in food smoking, including farmers and home seed-saving without the need for but don’t know where to start. smallholders, who wish to add value to special equipment, other than what can n Why acquire a building? their produce, hunters and fishermen who be found or made at home. The course is n What to consider want to learn new methods of making use run by Pippa Rosen who runs the organic n Leases/Licences – benefits and of seasonal catches, as well as chefs and seed business Beans and Herbs at The disadvantages hobbyists who are interested in creating Herbary. She has been a herb grower for n Asset transfers different tastes with traditional and new 20 years and now specialises in organic n Procurement of a building: does it meet methods of food smoking. seed crop production. your needs? n Action planning and conclusions smoking.htm seed_saving.html info?reset=1&id=294 Wild food walk Organic food production 10am–2pm Saturday 31 july Saturday 21 August Recruitment of Volunteers St Werburghs city Farm, Bristol · £35 Windmill Hill city Farm · £60 9.30am–3.30pm Tuesday 20 july 2010 By the end of the day you will have been The aim of this course is to introduce £15 for organisations from Voluntary, taught about 50–100 plants – their edible beginners to organic food growing, Community and Social Enterprise Sector and medicinal uses, and their history and enthusing them to grow their own food. organisations folklore too. The foraging walks are ideal On the course you will mix potting This course, run by Voscur and for first-time foragers looking for that extra compost, sow a variety of edible plant Volunteering Bristol, is for anyone who bit of confidence or experienced foragers seeds, write a plan to grow a variety manages volunteers and would like looking to increase their repertoire of of vegetables from seedlings to edible to know more about recruiting them plant knowledge. The course is conducted plants, and afterwards you will be able to effectively. by Andy or Dave Hamilton – wild food discuss different soil properties, identify writers, authors of The Selfsufficientish common pests and pest control methods n Volunteer motivation Bible, and foragers for the Eden Project. and recognise common plant diseases. n Barriers to volunteering n Recruitment techniques and processes n Developing adverts for volunteer roles bristol.html organic_food_production.html n Action planning info?reset=1&id=292 The practical Sustainability permaculture Allotment course gardening Techniques with Mike Feingold BepS (Bristol Electronic Starting September 2010 with Shift Bristol procurement Systems 1–7pm Saturday 17 july Starting at Royate Hill community Training) and Funding Advice This course brings together some of the UK’s most experienced teachers Orchard (on Royate Hill Allotments) & Sessions and practitioners for an exploration of finishing at Kebele Social Centre Delivered by BDA and Voscur creative community led solutions in Sliding scale: £20–£50 FREE (BDA & Voscur members get priority) response to Climate Change and Peak The day will start with a shared lunch, Oil. This course is for anyone wanting Each 1 hour session can cover: followed by a practical workshop to make a difference by giving people at Royate Hill allotment, finished n Registering on the Bristol Electronic the practical skills, knowledge and by a slideshow on permaculture Procurement System confidence needed to make positive horticultural techniques. A tour of Mike’s n Funding Advice change in their own lives and within permaculture allotment – a work in n GrantFinder Search their communities. Deadline for progress for over 20 years. Low impact application is 25 July 2010 – please Six 1 hour sessions are available per day and sustainable practice at its most email for an (2 per time slot). Sessions need to be radical and experimental. application form. booked in advance. For times, list of venues and booking information: 11 BRISTOL’S LOcAL FOOD upDATE · juLy–AuguST 2010