Notes on Food & Gardens group meeting, 6th June 2013

Chaired by Martha.

1. Gardening workshop at LAGS last Saturday. Well attended and Bobby’s style was very accessible. Emphasis on seasonal work is a good idea and lets people actually do things at the gardens as well. Being able to take plants, veg, etc away with. Steve needs some plants for a session at the public library on 15th June which Martha and the LAGS folk can provide.

2. Shelthorpe Community Garden. Paul thanked the Green Army for helping with the emergency digging a few weekends ago. He attended a meeting last week and there appears to be a desire in the community to make better use of the garden. Planning two of Bobby’s workshops there: one on 20th July covering basic introduction to community garden and 28th September on rescuing fruit bushes. Also looking for people to come and help this Sunday between midday and 3pm to tidy up the plots. Steve suggested that TL workshops should have a donations box to help cover the costs of the workshops. Martha suggested seed saving workshops, which Jon said Fiona had talked about running (probably in the late summer).

ACTION: Martha to put together a plan of four workshops to take us up to November.

ACTION: Paul to ask Margret on Herrick Road if she’d be prepared to host another apple pruning workshop.

3. Flock Around the Plots/Winter Feast. Flock Around the Plots went well, with new folk visiting the gardens. We’ll do another one in 2014. Winter Feast is Thursday 28th November at the Polish Club – hope to provide much of the food from the various community plots.

4. Transition Loughborough Community Allotment. John & Kathy have put in an equipment bid to the Loughborough East Forum. Decision will be made on 2nd July – could do with TL folk supporting the bid on the web (http://www.leicestershireforums.org/lboroea/). Need to get the greenhouse glass in and then work on the water supply engineering. Working evenings are 17.30 to 19.00 every Wednesday during the summer.

5. Martha’s letter to introduce the Community Allotment the Kings Road residents. Kathy suggested we need to clarify that people who come to the site are there by invitation. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Should send copies to fellow plot holders on the site as well.

6. Paget Pastures. Fund raising BBQ coming up on 29th June 3.30pm to 7pm. Kathy would like people to RSVP so that they have an idea of numbers. Natural England are keen on getting livestock on the site, including getting the fencing done. Rotary Club are offering help to build the bridge. Keen on linking community allotments to Paget Pastures.

7. Update on Green Grub Leaflet. Steve said that with the food & gardens projects going well it seemed like a good time to update the TL Green Grub leaflet with details of apple pressing hire, community gardens, etc. Need to distribute it more widely. Steve has the PDFs of last year’s leaflet so if we want to edit that we’ll need the original source documents. Ken pointed out that the TL branding isn’t very evident on the current brochure – some discussion about how much branding we want on the leaflet.

ACTION: Steve to contact Kaz and ask for original or get together with her and Ken to produce an updated version..

8. Hackspaces. Steve and Jon went to see the Nottingham Hackspace; Steve is going to join to see how it works from the inside. He can also do TL projects at the Hackspace. Jon explained how the hackspace is set up. We’re probably aiming for something between the self centred hackspace ethos and the community driven Transition ideals – aiming initially for “allotment engineering” projects to support the community allotment project.

9. School gardening. Steve went to a meeting with Mike Jones and a couple of council workers. This showed that there’s already projects under way with the eco-teachers so there’s no point us duplicating this. We should encourage this and support it where we can though. John keen to keep contact with the schools for Paget Pastures as school visits will be a primary income stream for that project.

10. Apple pressing. We have three bookings so far. For the early bookings in June and August we can get waste apples from supermarkets (eg via Barry or Steve’s letter to Sainsburys). Robert Bakewell – need to check if its in afternoon or morning. Martha said that the University would also like to hire the press to make juice.

ACTION: Martha to check with Robert Bakewell on the time of the event and to see if Phil Simmons would like to train on how to use the press so that they are self-sufficient for future apple pressing events.

AOB:

Bertil introduced the community orchard scheme in Woodhouse and would like to establish contact with TL to see what pitfalls, support, etc such orchards can have. Bertil invited members of the TL food and gardens group to come and look at the space assigned for the community orchard. He’ll liase with Jon about a date/time (probably in early July now).

Bertil also said that a BioBlitz is being run in Woodhouse Eaves for 24 hours between June 14th and 15th. All welcome to attend the events (which we’ve promoted for him already and will add as Greeniversity events).

Rahul said that the Fruit Route on campus is having a walk arrange on 19th June.

ACTION: Jon to ask Jo Hasbury if there is an eletronic version of the Fruit Route flyer for him to promote via the TL website, twitter, etc.

Next meeting: Thursday 4th July at the community allotment if fine, or in the pub if its wet!

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