Food & Garden Group meeting

Held at 8pm on Tuesday 27th March 2012 in the Swan in the Rushes pub.  No formal agenda but several people had points they wanted to raise and discuss.

Sally said that Charnwood Borough Council have asked about running food markets. TL have been asked if we’d like a stall at the strawberry themed market on 15th July between 10am and 4pm. Need to focus on showing local food sources – find out who grows/sells
strawberries locally. Steve suggested a 1940s addition to the theme as he knows a lady who does period cream teas, etc. There’s also a harvest themed market on 2nd September – that may fit in really well with our apple press. There’s an Xmas event on 9th December focused
on christmas puddings, etc.

Wild flower sowing alongside Epinal Way was successful – over 30 million seeds sown and they finished by 12.30pm!

Apple press: have 10 pressing events set up. Sally said the Transition Leicester press has been enormously popular. We’ll be having a “dry run” with some freegan salvaged apples at the LGS site at some point in mid-May. We’ve had a grant from the Co-Op for £200 which will cover the pasturiser. Paul contacted Dani from Transition Leicester about jars to use – passata jars are best because their uniformity of size, screw top bottles are OK for storage up to 2-3 months but don’t have lids that “pop” and he’s not tried bottling with corks.

Paul has put a request out from the Bangladeshi women’s group who want some help with digging over their allotment at Great Central Road site. Paul and Steve are going on Thursday if anyone wants to join them. The LGS group at the University are also have an area that they’d like help digging over.

The Loughborough area forums have £12.5K for community projects, which may include projects that TL members are keen on developing.

Loughborough in Bloom – Paul suggested that at the moment we just need to go to the meetings. LGS have already entered their garden space. We also need to make sure that we’ve got volunteers in place before trying to do too much with Loughborough in Bloom as we’ve lots of other projects on.

The “two fields project” – several folk from TL are interested. Going to organise an evening meeting there to look at the site and to try to formulate potential uses for the site. Bob Bailey has suggested using it for educational purposes such as taking children on wildlife trips or
teaching them about growing.

Community Orchard: not heard back from Mark at CBC what TL’s partnership in the Gorse Covert orchard plans would actually involve. Need to ensure that there are sufficient motivated, able volunteers to actually do the orchard projects. Steve reckons its early days and that the Apple Press days may help encourage more people to actively volunteer with us.  We could include a community orchard in the “two fields project”.

Steve has been working with Bobby at the Charnwood Gardening project, who want to run workshops to help them raise some money. They’re looking at £14 per hour for these workshops. LGS could help contribute to running such a course – suggestion initially is a potato growing course. If a two hour course costs about £30 to run, £3 per head would mean we’d only need 10 people to cover costs (we could charge less for concessions (students, OAPs, etc) – say £1 each for those). Drought resistent planting is also an option as climate
change is likely to result in some drier summers.

Next Food Group meeting provisionally is Wednesday 18th April at the LGS Shed behind car park 5 on the University Campus at 6.30pm.

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