Food and Gardens group notes from Manor Farm meeting 2nd May 2013

Many thanks to Graeme from Manor Farm for hosting this evening’s meeting, including supplying lemonade, tea and some delicious treats!  Its lovely starting the meeting sitting at picnic benches surrounded by lambs and ducks!

The 27th April garden workshop was successful with quite a lot of members of TL & LAGS attending.  Good to see some new faces as well.  The next gardening workshop is 1st June 11am to 3pm focusing on soil conditions.

There’s garden Open Day at 134 Herrick Road on 15th/16th June.

Looking forward to the rest of the year: planning another festive feast at the end of November/beginning of December. It would be great if the vegetables that we grow on the community allotment can be used as the basis of dishes in the festive feast. Try to book Polish Club for Thursday 28th November.

ACTON: Lillian kindly offered to look at booking Polish club for the Festive Feast.

Encouraging schools to get growing: Martha suggested asking the school teachers to come to the TL/LAGS gardening workshops. Steve and Jon been talking to several of the schools about veg planting in planters. LAGS were visited by Patrick, who has bees on the University campus and donated bee friendly plants and seeds. Martha suggested organising a Saturday afternoon to go and see the bee hives and learn more about them.

Paul has got most of the money back from Delice Deli for the local evening.  The Deli are still trying to get a licence for evening meals so we may try again later in the year. Its the Leicestershire local food festival later in the year and Delice and Manor Farm have been contacted about it.

On 1st May the TL Community Allotment had a planting day. We had help from LSU Action volunteers in digging during the afternoon. Carrots, parsnips, potatoes and fruit bushes planted. Steve has installed a small blackboard in the shed for people to leave messages for one another. We need a planting plan so that folk know what can be planted where. Ken has produced some fantastic large wooden labels. Need to get a shed for toilet use. John suggested that we need to talk to other plot holders on the site about our plans, possibly involving Mather Jamie as the leasing agents, and we should always arrange to accompany community visits for non-TL folk.

ACTION: All to help draft document about our plans for the site for discussion as the main topic at the next Food & Gardens meeting.

ACTION: Jon to produce a layout plan for the three plots. Include disabled access, herb area, permanent plantings, nectar bar for pollinators (include borage!).

Steve learnt today that Vicky Brackenbury from the CBC’s waste & recycling department has been working with schools for gardening, and Steve has volunteered to help her contact the eco-teachers in the schools. Need to make sure that TL isn’t reinventing the wheel in working with schools, so that we aren’t stepping on the toes of other groups. Going to do an apple pressing at Stonebow School on June 29th 11am to 2pm. John Sweet said that they were thinking of a Paget Pastures fund raiser, either on June 29th or July 6th.

ACTION: Steve will liaise with CBC and Moira from Cobden school.

Rock around the Plots on 2nd June: Paul has email to Isaac Ashe from Loughborough Echo about the plans, which went into last week’s Echo. The trip round the plots will take all morning and  will finish at the LAGS garden at lunchtime followed by a BBQ at the LAGS plot as part of the Big Lunch.

ACTION: Judy/LAGS to organise the Big Lunch BBQ.

Apple Events: still need to have a meeting about apple pressing set up plans. Have already done a pressing earlier in the year at Stonebow and are beginning to get more pressing event enquiries and bookings. Steve suggested having a booking form. Need to include a “tick list” of facilities available at the site – electricity, washing facilities, the need to collect bottles, covered space, etc. Need to stress that it is a community event and the apple juice will be shared.

ACTION: Jon to produce a template for a paper booking form.

Folk liked the apple dehydrating video and its been widely watched. TL has a dehydrator + peeler/corer for people to borrow if they want to try it – interested folk should contact Steve King.

On 18th May Steve is having a stall at the Peter Le Marchant trust open day – it would be great if some more TL folk could come along.  Peter Le Marchant are based just round the corner from the TL Community Allotment so there’s plenty of opportunities to work together in the future.

John Storer house are having a plant sale in June. Martha suggested a plant swap/sale – Steve suggested it as part of the Skill Share event in the public library this weekend.

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