Food & Gardens group meeting notes 9th Jan 2014

Held at Delice Deli on 9th January 2014 from 7pm

Started off by talking about when to have F&G meetings for the rest of the year and it was agreed first Thursday of the month. Steve suggested that we tackled one main topic per meeting. Jon suggested each meeting have a third of time devoted to general topics and two-thirds for this main topic. Need to find meeting places as Paul tells us that we can’t use Delice Deli on Thursdays normally (they can do Friday evenings but that’s a bad day for lots of TL folk).

Potato Day

On 25th January Transition Chesterfield are holding its potato day. A car is going from Loughborough – contact Paul or Caroline if you want to come along. They have seed potatoes, shallots, onions and garlic. They’ve offer a couple of us to go the evening before to see how the pre-orders, etc are put together. The week before they have an event to make aprons for the volunteers. Caroline offered to take orders from TL folk who would like potatoes from the event.

Community allotment

Steve worked on the allotment until it got too wet. He’s split the beds in the first two allotment plots into 2x3m plots that could be allocated to folk who want to grow. Martha felt it was better to have community ownership of the plots rather than individuals/families. Jon suggested a compromise of a community run centre plot with four small allocatable plots on the first plot next to Minara’s world foods beds.

Steve said that the high winds had almost knocked the greenhouse over – in some ways it was handy that it wasn’t glazed otherwise it would be suffered worse damage.

Caroline suggested that we have dates of workshops planned a year in advance so that we can produce a flyer.  It was suggested having a workshop on Saturday 22nd March and we’ll decide on what topics it will cover at the next Food & Gardens group meeting.

Steve suggested that the main topic of the February Food & Gardens group meeting should be about the community allotment and the workshop. It was also noted that leeks and kale are currently available at the allotment.

Martha and Jon both said that they’d made use of the produce from the community allotment last year, including beans, potatoes, onions and squashes.

Fruit cage & planters

Kathy ordered the fruit cage and it arrived at Ken’s house this afternoon – its a 4m x 4m. Ken will be ordering the raised beds material.  Kathy has been paid by Paul and Ken will reclaim what the planters cost.  Jon suggested not using sleepers for the planters as they can leech nasty chemicals into soil that are unsuitable for veg growing. We’ll erect the structures in the Spring as the plots are too wet to work on there, as long as that’s OK with the funders.  Martha said one of the other plot holders on the site has a friend who will be bringing wood chippings to help make the path and Steve said its actually a good time to work on the path whilst the ground is softer and there are fewer people using it.  It was also mentioned that we should probably work more with the other plot holders on the site.

ACTION: Paul to check that there’s no deadlines for having the cages and planters erected.

Fruit Route Extension

Anne Marie is applying for a grant to extend the Fruit Route project out into the town with a PhD researcher looking at how to make such projects sustainable. The role of TL is to be involved on the community involvement aspect and advise the project team.  We discussed whether we felt this was OK for TL and the consensus was that it was.

ACTION: Jon to send the final version of our support letter to Anne Marie.

Loughborough in Bloom applications

This year’s topic is pollinators and “Growing for Gold”. Bees, butterflies, wild life, etc. We should aim for a yellow/orange/gold themed plants – sunflowers, nasturiums, marigolds, etc.  Marigolds fits in nicely with the Asian ladies’ bed plantings.

We can apply to In Bloom now but we should probably check if Mike Jones would prefer us to apply via him/the council as we did last year.

Seed swap

Planning on doing a seed swap on 8th February for 2 hours in the Library. Could have other workshops at the same time – eg repairing clothes, simple cooking with home grown ingredients, etc.

ACTION: Steve to book the library back room from 10am-noon

ACTION: Caroline to make a display board advertising Grow Zones, etc.

ACTION: Jon to send an email to Fiona asking her along as she and her son were great at last year’s seed swap.

ACTION: Jon to create a new Google group for the food & gardens group.

ACTION: Steve to contact LCC library events coordinator about having a display of gardening and/or food related books at the event.

ACTION: Jon to promote the event to the Echo, Loughborough Community Eye, twitter, BBC Things To Do, etc.

ACTION: Jon to create an A4 PDF seed swap poster based on his existing
template.

Exotic Fruit & Veg Workshop

Steve had contacted a Garden Organic Sowing New Seeds project chap called Anton who would do a work shop for £125 for a half day or £250 for a full day. Steve was thinking of having this in May as promotional event for the community allotment. Steve, Martha, Jon and Bertil said they were happy to underwrite the cost to the tune of £20 each, with the remainder coming from TL funds, donations on the day and plant sales. Suggested date would be 17th May.

ACTION: Steve to contact Anton to see if he’s available for this date.

There’s a pruning workshop on 14th & 15th February at the University being organised by the Fruit Route folk.

AOB:

Leicestershire Local Food Festival

Delice Deli interested in taking part again in September of this year – they were the only Loughborough place involved last year. Paul wanted to get more local folk involved. Suggested having the main topic of the April F&G meeting be how to get more local food vendors/suppliers involved in the festival. Could tie in with local schools.

Woodhouse Community Orchard

Bertil explained there’s an orchard being planted on the Broombriggs site just outside Woodhouse. First planting sessions at Saturday 18th and Wednesday 22nd January – folk are free to come along to help dig and plant. Longer term they are looking at a fruit route between the orchard and lower Beacon car park.

ACTION: Bertil to let Jon know times for the plantings on 18th & 22nd and Jon will then promote them.

AGM meeting is on Thursday Jan 23rd from 7pm in the Delice Deli. If anyone wants vegetarian sandwiches you can pre-book them with Laurent in the Deli for £3.95 per head.

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