Food & Gardens group meeting notes 4th April 2013

Paul opened the meeting by showing a copy of the Transition Free Press newspaper that Ruth had picked up at the Greenlight Festival in Leicester. Paul wondered if we’d want to get some copies to show/sell to folk at events we attend?

Had contact from a group in Aylestone about their “Pop it in a Pot” planting activity. Looked interesting and Steve suggested we should do our own session like this.  Unfortunately their one clashes with our next skill share workshops in the public library on 13th April.

Peter Le Marchant Trust are running a family event – Steve suggested having a Paget Pastures/Transition Loughborough joint stall at their event.

National Gardens Scheme booklet for Leicestershire & Rutland says that on 15th/16th June at 134 Herrick Road will be having an open garden session.

13th April is the next skill share in Loughborough Public Library 10.30-12.30.   Sue and her friend will be running a make-do-and-mend session and other workshops are welcome to set up taster sessions as well.

Good feedback on the Nottingham Organic Gardening meeting on Todmorden’s Incredible Edibles. Lots of good ideas from that group that we can learn from for TL Food and Garden group projects. The “In Bloom” Its Your Neighbourhood could result in very similar growing schemes. Networking with other groups is important. Barry pointed out that the council often plant rosemary – telling people what it is and how to use it is a useful way of contacting one another.

Community Allotment – Steve has entered it into the “Its Your Neighbourhood” scheme which is another great way of linking to other people. The weather is stopping people sowing and planting at the moment as its been too cold and dark. Shed raising is happening at 10am this Friday (ie tomorrow), with the greenhouse hopefully going up on Sunday morning from 10am. There’s a source of free horse manure in Hathern (just after the golf course). Location of shed on the plot – Ken said to place it to the right of the greenhouse site. Talked about location of compost bins and the need for separate “nasty weed” soaking bins (we’ve got a couple of old water tanks that can be used as that). Martha suggested keeping a look out gloves, wellies, etc that can be kept in the shed. Should we put in for a fruit cage and/or raised beds for disabled users and better paving for access from Loughborough East funds.

ACTION: Jon to look up costing for raised beds, etc.  Paul to supply funding scheme details & dates (Presentation meeting on 2nd June).

Local food event at Delice Deli on 6th April. Only 8 people have signed up – suggestions that it wasn’t clear on the web to non-TL people and there was no posters in the cafe itself. Looks like its going to have to be cancelled. Paul to talk to Laurent tomorrow to see if its possible to try again later in the year (possibly 4th May).

Town Twinning event – we have a stall at John Storer House from 10am (to get there by 9.30am to put up information boards, etc).

Gardening workshops: Martha said 27th April and 1st June. 27th April event will be at the LAGS site on campus.

ACTION: Martha to talk to Andy and Bobby about what early summer tasks they want to cover at this event and then tell Jon so that he can promote it.

“Flock around the crops” and The Big Tea (2nd June) – visiting community gardens in the town and then a community high tea. Paul will circulate a document detailing the timings and route. Steve suggested contacting Mike Jones to find out it there is a Big Lunch we could visit instead of the Big Tea as he’d suggested having our walk around the town on the same day might result in lower attendance as people will be attending their own Big Lunches.

Working with schools: had a meeting last week with Maria from Stonebow school, who have already got a grant for planters. We’re now waiting for the school to get back after the holidays to find out what sort of crops they want to plant, but Maria has already said to Steve that she’s interested in getting a bug hotel made. Also had contact from Cobden and Boothwood School on old Ashby Road. As well as helping them with their own beds we might be able to encourage them to take on projects at the community allotment (eg bug hotel, pond dipping, etc).

Supporting Charnwood Youth Council: at the TL general meeting Sue said she’d been approached by the Charnwood Youth Council about helping them with their raised beds as Paul and Roxanne did themselves last year. Paul had tried to contact Andrew who runs the project there but hadn’t had any reply, and Martha had spoken to him and he said he wasn’t keen on any of the Its Your Neighbourhood community gardening stuff.

Apple pressing/events: Its only April but if we get a good crop of apples we need to start planning events now. The only concrete date so far is Cobden school on 17th October. Paul suggested contacting Isaac Ashe at the Loughborough Echo to put in an article reminding folk we have the apple press and asking groups to contact us. Steve suggested that we should have a small group looking at the practical aspects of the pressing events and making sure that people that we do the pressings for know what we expect from them as well as them from us. Need booking forms, a template for how a pressing works, etc.

AOB: Steve said that Mike Jones asked about the community orchard as its been planted in a location where a bike route is going. Ken said it isn’t a problem.

Time and date for next meeting: 2nd May. Paul suggested asking Graeme if we could meet at the farm in Long Whatton.

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