Food & Gardens Group Meeting Notes 3rd July 2014

Held at the LAGS Shed

Pollination Pioneers

Steve said all we need to do is organise a meeting when the students which will have to be in mid October. Martha said a Friday at the LAGS meetings would be best – Steve said that it would be good to get Mike Jones along as well.

Inviting Bloom photographer to community allotment

Steve suggested getting the local In Bloom photographer/webmaster along to the community allotment to photograph the site. Discussed briefly and thought to be a good idea.

Martha also said that LAGS will be having its East Midlands In Bloom on Wed 9th July from 10.56am to 11.04am (a whole 8 minutes!) – anybody who is free then is welcome to come along and show community support for the student garden.

Coordination for Community Allotment

How can we encourage more people to garden on the site. Steve has spoken to a group of elderly ladies who meet at the Shree Ram Krishna centre from 11am to 1pm on Fridays. Still time to sow flowers and herbs. Martha said we need a hoe, trowels and gloves – the students were getting Wilkinsons grant information. Steve also suggested having a childrens’ raised bed that could have what they like in it – Martha suggested asking if Sue (who lives close by with children) if she would like to take that on. There’s also Peter Le Marchant Trust as well who we’ve already contacted – we’d like to get them to come round to look at the site. Steve also suggested using one of the large raised planters as a “sensory planter” for visitors with poor eyesight. If anyone reading this has any more ideas for using the planters, please step forward! People are also encouraged to come along on Wednesday evenings to actively take part in the community allotment – peas, beans, onions, beetroot are ready for harvesting now and it needs people to pick them now otherwise they’ll be wasted (which is against Transition ethos after all). Even if you don’t want to plant or weed, come along for some free food! Jon suggested we could possibly also do demonstrations of how to cook what we’re harvesting.

ACTION: Martha to talk to Sue Forrester about using one large planter as a childrens’ bed.

ACTION: Steve to talk again to the SRKC elderly ladies group

ACTION: Jon to try contacting Peter Le Marchant Trust about them using the fruit cage and dealing with site access issues.

Forming a Community Enterprise

Steve has had the idea to form a community enterprise to support the community allotment which people join for a minimum standing order of £1 a month, much as the Nottingham Hackspace folk do.  He felt paying a small regular contribution may encourage people to be more involved andcome more frequently. Neither Jon nor Martha felt it was a suitable idea for the community allotment though. Jon said that such standing orders work in places like Hackspaces because they give people something they can’t have at home (eg large machine tools) – we’d need some Unique Selling Point for the allotment. Martha wasn’t keen on the idea of enterprise, especially if people could just come along anyway.

Harvest session at community allotment

Suggested that this could be a workshop looking at harvesting and cooking/preserving. Steve said it would be good to have recipes that people could use with their crops at home. Martha suggested having a workshop about preparing for winter at LAGS in November as well.

Winter feast planning

Generally seen to be a good idea to have one! Possible venues would be the Polish Club again, or Roseberry St Peters (both of which have functional kitchens for cooking/heating up). It was thought to be carry on the tradition of a hands on cooking experience with various people making different dishes. We’ll discuss again at the next general meeting to get a wider view of what people would like and where to hold it.

Apple Pressing

First bookings are in – 7th September for Sutton Bonnington show and Caroline had asked about it for the St Peter’s church. Jon suggested we could have a series of potential locations that we man  for pressings that we invite people to come to instead of asking community groups to book the press (which is how some other Transition Towns run their pressings). Steve said we could try this at a pub potentially to see how it goes.

Talk at Sutton Bonnington

Barry said he had a contact (Dr Grantley Lycett) at Sutton Bonnington who has offered to do a talk for us. We could book a room at John Storer house. He is a tomato specialist but could talk on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). We’ll talk more about this in September with the idea of having such a talk later in the Autumn/Winter when more of the students are back, although it would be great if Barry could ask him to come informally to either LAGS garden before then.

ACTION: Barry to talk to Dr Lycett about what sort of talk we could arrange for the Autumn and also to invite him to either meet with the LAGS folk on a Friday afternoon or come to the next TL F&G meeting in September (as we’re going to skip August when many people are away – we’ll aim for Thursday 4th September).


Barry said that there is an Open Gardens weekend in Shepshed – lots of gardens are open. (Check the web for details).

Steve said that Loughborough in Bloom want “stand bys”: people who would be free and willing to come to support community gardens during the working day for the judging periods (so would suit unemployed/retired people).  Any volunteers should contact the Loughborough In Bloom team.

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