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cassandra

Callout - successful local food projects?

Hi guys, a friend of mine is visiting the UK soon. She is an advisor to a Greens MP here in Australia (well, Tasmania actually) and is looking to visit some successful local food initiatives while she is there. Locally grown, locally processed, locally marketed foods are her priority. So if you can please suggest some places she can visit that would be great!

Look forward to your ideas and suggestions.
Mistress Rose

Where in the UK is she visiting Cassandra?
joanne

Get her to talk to the guys at http://foodassembly.com - they have 6 live assemblies now in the UK with 5 in London and 1 in Chester. I'm part of it and will be launching on the 5th November in Lancaster. It's very much the type of ideas your friend would be interested in

Also Lancaster has a very very vibrant local food culture. We have probably the most active Transition Cities group as well as LESS and Sustainable Lancashire and we are probably the biggest Green (party) outside Brighton.

There are also initiatives such as Incredible Edible which started just a few miles up the road in Todmorden.

If you want me to introduce her to people in the area or to the Food Assembly lot in London I can do Smile
Mistress Rose

We have Hampshire Farmers Markets here in Hampshire, and I could probably arrange for her to meet some of the producers on their farms if she wanted. She would be welcome to see how we do our forestry in our woods too.
cassandra

MR, I think her travels will be dictated by what is available. These both sound really good initiatives and I will certainly draw her attention to them. Thanks for such prompt responses!

Joanne, I really like the sound of this too! With a small population spread over some 'interesting' terrain, an online network will work well. Particularly for tourists also.

Bring them on still, please, I will ensure she gets them all!
Mistress Rose

Thinking about it, there is also the Sustainability Centre, other Hampshire Coppice Craftsmen doing all sorts of things from hedge laying, though hazel and chestnut coppicing to oak timber framing and shingle making. A couple of farm shops where they grow their own to some extent (not organic), a community shop and a pub that the landlord has brought back to the centre of the community.
cassandra

Cool. All great suggestions. Many thanks I will pass them on to her!! Knew you guys could come up with some great ideas!
gregotyn

Have a word with Rob R, Cassandra, not sure if he is organic, but is in York area I think, he does meat. And the Centre for Alternative Technology in mid Wales, I go there every 3-4 years, all very 'green' and sustainable.
You could also write to the Green Party in the UK, there will be people there who will know, doubtless google will help!
As a matter of interest does green imply 'organic'? I would also talk to the man in Devon who has the biggest deliver to your door of organic produce-I have forgotten the name-someone will know!
I think I had a lucky escape going to work yeserday at 6am. A cement lorry was behaving badly on the road and nearly caused a fatallity by not allowing a chap who had overtaken him back into the line the result of which was that he managed to get in just intime by overtaking the next lorry along in our 3 artic/1 land rover convoy. I am writing to the company, as the rest of us were travelling legally at the right speed of 40mph on a single carriage road and he obviously wanted to break the speed limit!
I hope your cold is better MR, and your part of the world is warming up Cassandra. See you all tomorrow.
joanne

I can point her in the direction of the Greens up here, I'm friends with the local Green Party promoter up here. Plus I'm in contact with alot of 'green' project organisers - I've a meeting with a couple tonight actually
cassandra

Wow you guys! Thanks heaps.

Gregotyn, Green implies organic, at least not factory farming. The aim is to have a more sustainable approach to farming like holistic pasture management, or at least cell grazing and mechanical weed control rather than chemical, so yes I guess so.

Here they are the only Party that is willing to address climate change, environmental and social equity issues etc. Our Charter has about 20 odd points, which I refuse to enumerate right now as I am totally knackered, lol.

I will dig them out of my campaigning bag and get back to your on that.
Mistress Rose

We also have the National Coppice Federation (NCFed). The Gathering will take place in Dorset on the weekend of 18th-19th October, when coppice workers from all over the country will meet up to discuss various issues, visit woods, see demonstrations of skills and do some hands on work themselves. The idea of the NCFed was to give coppice workers a voice and provide support in the same way that county groups do at present, but nationwide.
gregotyn

The organic 'deliver to your door man' was voted farmer of the year last year, he is greener than green-well me anyway! He is in charge of a nationwide organization for organic veg. boxes, and I think his brother is running the farm at home in Devon. Actually the greens are the same in the UK as everywhere else.
I would have gone organic with a pig farm I was planning with a former girlfriend, but realised I was not good enough with things like medicines, to know what to use and what not to use. I read reams and still didn't understand it, but the expense to join in officially was also beyond my pocket for even qualifying for certification.
Anyway there are plenty for you friend to 'go' at in the UK. Get some rest!
Mistress Rose

That is one of the problems with certification systems Gregotyn. They are often expensive and really only prove that you can afford it. Others can be as good and organic, but may not be able to afford the paperwork to say so. Applies to all certification schemes I am afraid.
gregotyn

My current holding has had no fertiliser spread in my time here 12 years, and is completely non-chemical; grown a good crop of hay for the last 5 years, well the people who have it appreciate it!
cassandra

Thanks guys. I have passed your recommendations on to her. I will let you know what is happening if I get to find out! lol. She has a 30 day tour of investigation, but already has a few contacts lined up, so it will depend on where she will be and who she needs to talk to (if she is not already in contact with some of your recommendations). Like I said, I will let you know.
Aeolienne

In London there's Growing Underground and Edible Overground. Wombling free...
Hairyloon

There's the Real Junk Food Project...

Our local one is raising funds for refurbishment, if anyone is feeling flush: https://www.gofundme.com/2u43pdrg
OtleyLad

A friend of mine runs this very successful group:
Incredible Edible Wakefield
Mistress Rose

All look good.
cassandra

What a creative and energetic lot you all are! My friend is long back in Tassie, but I will bookmark this in case she or any others are heading your way in future!
Hairyloon

It is a bit early to call it successful yet, but there is the Wildcraft Gluten Free Bakery. It makes what are easily the best gluten free cakes I have ever tried.
dpack

edible york / abundance

forage and harvest and waste reduction and then feeding hungry folk, nice people and rather efficient in various ways.
Mistress Rose

Both of those seem really good. Thanks for the links.
dpack

Both of those seem really good. Thanks for the links.


it is rather a good way to put fresh fruit etc into the system. the shipping container is a great bit of kit as an apple store as it can hold a multi site crop of the "hand" picked ones as well as give a cool space for juicers until they can be processed.

a decent sized (100kg batch) press would be nice as the available one is about 15 kg of scratted fruit at a time and therefore very labour intensive.
Aeolienne

Made in Hackney (as in the London borough - pedants will point out that it's actually located in Stoke Newington)
Mistress Rose

That is good, and probably not too expensive for London. Trouble is, even with the concessions it may be too expensive for the people who really need it, who won't really be able to afford anything. The food bank I help at had an idea about doing cookery classes for our clients where we would show them how to make the most of what they were given in their food parcels or using very cheap ingredients, but it hasn't started yet.
Aeolienne

There's the Real Junk Food Project...

Our local one is raising funds for refurbishment, if anyone is feeling flush: https://www.gofundme.com/2u43pdrg

As is the one in Manchester.
Aeolienne

A "community fridge" has launched in Brixton, London: The People's Fridge
Although Frome in Somerset got there first: Link
I hope this doesn't reflect a creeping London bias on the part of Positive News ever since they upped sticks and left Shropshire for the Great Wen.
Mistress Rose

A good idea. Food banks have to have mainly tinned food, and so often people that have to use them don't get fresh veg etc. Pilsbury

Our local salvation army major goes to Costco a coulme of times a week and collects a car full of their out of date cakes and fruit and bread and anything else they are giving away and sells it from tables in the church, 10 p loaf of bread and 50p bag of Apple type thing but as far as i knkw it's not an officially organised thing with a website and such but always popular Slim

Are food hubs a thing in the U.K.?

https://web.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-043013-151105/unrestricted/Food_Hub_IQP_Final_Report.pdf
Aeolienne

Are food hubs a thing in the U.K.?

https://web.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-043013-151105/unrestricted/Food_Hub_IQP_Final_Report.pdf
TL;DR - is that the equivalent of a food assembly? Here's one in Leamington Spa.
Slim

Yeah, that looks quite similar.

There has also been a resurgence of local distributors in New England, folks who will stop by a farm to pick up orders and drop off local, regional, and national/international orders. Often working in conjunction with food hubs
Mistress Rose

We also have farmers markets, but they are not particularly cheap. Generally distances are not as great in the UK which makes distribution easier in some ways. I don't really know about cities elsewhere, but round here we don't have the problem with minority groups being poor groups too. Our pockets of poor seem to be more in certain areas, some historically poor, and sometimes going back generations in the same local families where they just haven't got out of the problems. Aeolienne

The farmers' market in Leamington Spa is a bit disappointing - it seems to sell more pre-prepared stuff (pies, jams etc) than ingredients. Mistress Rose

Farmers markets are for producers of local food. You will often find people selling meat, fish and vegetables at some markets, but only where it is financially viable. Others will be selling pies, preserves and bread that are made from local produce. If it is a Farma affiliated market the rules are that the things have to have more than a certain percentage of produce from that county or from within 10 miles of that county.
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