Bristol's local food update by liwenting


									Bristol’s local food update
courses · skill-sharing · events · news · volunteering                                          september–october 2009

                                           September is food festival month! The Organic Festival returns to
                                           Bristol’s harbourside, and the ‘Taste’ local food festival brings a
                                           host of foodie events to the north Bristol fringe. But don’t forget the
                                           smaller events. Across the city, local groups will be celebrating the
                                           local harvest. Why not join them?
                                           Please email any suggestions for content of the November–December newsletter to
                                  by 13 October.

 Freeskilling Food Standards Agency’s
              Organic Review
 The Better Food Company
 Proving House, Servier Street,
 St Werburghs, Bristol
                                           The Food Standards Agency (FSA)’s               given antibiotics, and is reared to high
                                           review of the benefits of organic food          animal welfare standards, or that organic
 7pm Tuesday 15 September                  received widespread press coverage              farms encourage wildlife.
 How to make Mead and Wine                 when they concluded that there were
                                                                                           So did the FSA just pick the papers they
                                           no significant nutritional differences
 Local bee-keeper Allen Coates will                                                        wanted, to give them the conclusions they
                                           between organic and non organic food.
 talk us through general wine-making                                                       were looking for? For some alternative
 principles, with an emphasis on           The FSA report was based on a review            views on the FSA’s conclusions...
 making delicious, honey-based wines       of existing academic studies, and it
 incorporating local fruits and spices.    selectively chose which studies to include.
                                           The Soil Assocation claim that this ruled
 7pm Tuesday 6 October                     out a considerable number of papers,  
 Permaculture – An Introduction            which then led the FSA to conclude that
 Join Sarah Pugh for an introduction to    “the increased levels of nutrients found in
 Permaculture.                             organic food were not significant because
                                           of the consequently small number of   
 7pm Tuesday 20 October                    studies”.                                       article-1203343/JOANNA-BLYTHMAN-
 Dowsing                                                                                   A-cancerous-conspiracy-poison-faith-
                                           The Soil Association also say that the
 Discover what dowsing is and how                                                          organic-food.html
                                           researchers failed to include the results
 you can use it in practice. With Alison
                                           of a major EU-funded study (QLIF). Results
                                           from this study include the findings that:      chi-0812-peaches-pesticides_
 For more information on your local        ‘Levels of a range of nutritionally desirable   mainaug12,0,3775004.story
 Freeconomy Community                      compounds (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins,
                                                                                                 glycosinolates) were shown to be higher in
                                           organic crops’ and ‘Levels of nutritionally
 The evenings are absolutely FREE and                                                      conventional/
                                           undesirable compounds (e.g. mycotoxins,
 EVERYONE is welcome, though
                                           glycoalkaloids, Cadmium and Nickel) were
 donations are accepted for the venue.
                                           shown to be lower in organic crops’.”           debate-soil-organics-nutrition/
                                           The FSA report also ignored all of the other
                                           benefits of organic farming – that organic      healthwellness/142145/desperate_food_
                                           food is not covered in pesticides, that         industry_tries_to_tar_michael_pollan_
                                           organically-raised livestock is not routinely   and_organic_produce/
    …with Eastside Roots                          …at the University of Bristol               …at Windmill Hill City Farm
    Trinity Arts Centre                           Botanic Gardens                             Philip Street, Bedminster                                                        
                                                  Hollybush Lane, Stoke Bishop, Bristol                      For all course information:
    trinity-gardens                                         Permaculture
                                                  BotanicGardens/about/education.htm          9.30am–12.30pm Tuesdays
                                                                                              10 sessions starting 29 September
                                                  A day of herbs in the garden                £110
                                                  10am–4pm Saturday 5 September               Interested in sustainable living and
                                                  Tutor: Ann Freeman · Course fee: £45        self-sufficiency, but living in the city or
                                                                                              suburbs? This course is an introduction to
                                                  An exploration of the use and history
                                                                                              permaculture and how it can be applied
                                                  of medicinal plants using plants
                                                                                              in your life and to your garden, even if you
    Autumn organic food growing                   from the European Herb Garden and
                                                                                              don’t have one!
                                                  glasshouses. The study day will be a
    10am–12.30pm Thursdays                        mixture of presentations and practical
    17 September–5 November                       demonstrations, focusing on the herb
    £50 (waged) or £25 (unwaged)
                                                                                              Grow Your Own
                                                  collection’s late summer early autumn
                                                  fruit and flower. Course for beginners.     9.30am–12.30pm Thursdays
    This short course will focus on seasonal
                                                                                              starting 1 October
    tasks and skills. We will learn the tools
    and tricks to ensure you can eat from your
    garden throughout the autumn and winter
                                                  Surveying and enriching your                A course to provide you with the know how
    and get set ready for the next season.        garden for wildlife                         to grow your own organic food effectively
                                                  7–9pm Tuesday evenings                      in your garden or allotment plot.
    We will cover…
    n Making raised beds                          13 October–17 November
    n Growing vegetables over winter              Tutor: Emma Smith · Course fee: £65
    n Winter salads
                                                  Even the smallest urban garden can          …at the Create Centre
    n Green manures
                                                  provide a vital refuge for wildlife.        B-Bond warehouse, Smeaton road
    n Fruit bush and tree pruning
                                                  This course will cover basic surveying
    n More plants for free – taking cuttings
                                                  techniques needed to produce an             stream/asset/?asset_id=31106010&amp
    n Seedsaving
                                                  inventory of wildlife in your garden,
    The sessions will be a mix of ideas and       practical measures that can be taken to
    information indoors, followed by hands-on     improve the diversity and richness of       Introduction to Permaculture
    work in the thriving community garden.        habitats your garden can offer, as well
                                                                                              6.30–8.30pm Tuesdays (6–8pm 22 Sept)
                                                  as showing you wildlife friendly ways to
    To join or find out more, call Tom on 07988                                               8 sessions from 15 September
                                                  manage your garden.
    460373, or email                                                      Tutor: Ruth O’Brien · £80/£40
                                                                                              From the ethics and philosophy to the
                                                  rHS (Level 2) Certificate in                nature-inspired principles, with real
    …at Ragmans Lane Farm                         Horticulture                                examples of Permaculture in practice,
                                                                                              this course aims to give you a good basic
    Lower Lydbrook, Gloucestershire               9.30am–2.45pm, Wednesdays
                                                                                              understanding of what Permaculture is,                             23 September 2009–June 2010
                                                                                              and explore how you can start to put it into
                                                                                              action. Course includes visits, practical
    Permaculture for Groups                       This popular theory-based course            work, nature walks, group activities,
                                                  covers all aspects of horticulture          talks and slideshows, plus two Saturday
    13 September–3 October
                                                  including propagation, pest and disease     mornings for visits/practical and design
    £550, bursaries available for low/unwaged
                                                  recognition, plant biology, garden layout   work on 3 October and 7 November.
    A two-week Permaculture Design Course         and design, ornamental horticulture,
    for individuals working within a group to     fruit and vegetable growing, soil science
    bring about change. We will concentrate       and general horticultural practice. The     Organic Gardening
    on the skills needed to bring about           course requires no prior knowledge and is   6.30–8.30pm Tuesdays
    successful and durable achievements in        suitable for amateur gardeners as well as   10 sessions from 15 September
    a group situation. After this course you      those beginning a career in horticulture.   Tutor: Tim Foster · £80/£40
    will have a good grasp of permaculture        There is an opportunity to take the RHS
    principles and be able to help create an      (level 2) Certificate examination in June   Learn how to grow your own food in a
    ‘holistic’ goal to clarify and celebrate a    2010. Enrolments now taking place.          small space without the use of artificial
    common purpose using facilitation skills,                                                 chemicals. The best techniques are
    open space and conflict resolution.                                                       covered for the organic cultivation of the
                                                                                              main vegetable groups and fruit.

    More tales from                                                                              CAMPAIGN uPDATeS

    the Blue Finger
    richard Spalding
                                                                                                 Save Our Green Spaces
                                                                                                 Since launching in June, Save Our
                                                                                                 Green Spaces has been working to
                                                                                                 spread the word and build a broad
                                                                                                 coalition to fight building on greenfield
                                                                                                 sites across the South West.
                                                                                                 We believe that the issues around
                                                                                                 planning and building on countryside
                                                                                                 and open spaces are far-reaching and
                                                                                                 affect everyone, urban and country
                                                                                                 dwellers alike. Valuable farmland
                                                                                                 and that of smallholders has been
                                                                                                 targeted and ‘banked‘ by developers
                                                                                                 and allowed to sit unused and uncared
                                                                                                 for, often for years, so that it can
                                                                                                 subsequently be claimed that it is
                                                                                                 worthless and adding nothing to the
                                                                                                 community. Time and again we are
     Reflecting on derelict smallholdings from     The beginnings of Blue Finger
     the comfort of the sofa!                      revitalisation?                               seeing plans submitted across the
                                                                                                 region that encroach on allotments
                                                                                                 and other food production land.
    The last few weeks has seen the                contributor to delivering more local food
                                                                                                 There has been a rash of recent
    appearance of a number of boards along         provisioning. We used to have a legal
                                                                                                 planning applications in the Bristol
    the blue finger of grade 1 agricultural        framework protecting the top grades of
                                                                                                 area. If you would like to know more
    land next to the M32 on the north Bristol      agricultural land under something called
                                                                                                 then sign up for our newsletter at
    fringe.                                        “Best and Most Versatile” land. This
                                                                                        to be
                                                   protection no longer exists as we appear
    They are encouraging growers to think                                                        kept up to date with what is proposed
                                                   to have de-valued its ability to contribute
    about renting parcels of land to grow food                                                   and how you can help us fight it.
                                                   to feeding us as the global food economy
    or graze animals on short-term leases.
                                                   kicked in.                                    See also the July–August issue of
    This does seem to be a really encouraging
                                                                                                 this newsletter for more background
    development for which Bristol City Council     The current offers of land for short term
                                                                                                 information on this campaign.
    should be applauded. However, it needs         use is to be welcomed, but the whole
    to be tempered by a healthy scepticism         issue of strategic planning for food in
    which asks deeper questions about the          locations like the north Bristol fringe       A Sustainable Food Strategy
    long term future of this priceless land        demands a city-region approach in order
    resource.                                      that we can assess the contribution
                                                                                                 for Bristol
                                                   the highest quality soils might make          We have followed up the third
    Potential business plans being drawn up
                                                   to feeding our cities and towns into an       consultation session with an afternoon
    for food growing enterprises need longer
                                                   uncertain future.                             with our Lottery Advisor to discuss
    leases to encourage strategic use of the
                                                                                                 the best way to handle the issues
    land in order that viable food enterprises     The former market garden landscapes
                                                                                                 raised and to talk further about a
    can emerge.                                    of the blue finger could be re-vitalised
                                                                                                 Community Interest Company (CIC)
                                                   through the development of smarter ways
    Planners from both the Bristol and South                                                     management structure that will satisfy
                                                   of re-designing food into our daily lives.
    Gloucestershire bits of the Blue Finger*                                                     the Lottery. Once these have been
                                                   This must surely come through a range of
    need to be encouraged to have a dialogue                                                     incorporated into a revised draft, it will
                                                   business models involving commercial
    which looks towards enabling growers to                                                      be recirculated and letters of support
                                                   AND community food initiatives.
    be provided with real incentives to use                                                      sorted. In the meantime we have also
    this fantastic soil resource for a more        If you want to contribute to this debate,     met with the Sustainability teams from
    localised food economy.                        then please contact me at:                    the four local authorities to ensure the
                                                       strategy is supporting and linked in
    I want to encourage ALL food initiatives
                                                                                                 with them.
    (new, fledgling and established) along this
    strip of land to join together to celebrate    *The phrase ‘blue finger’ comes from my       See the July–August issue of this
    ‘Blue Finger Food’ as a mark of quality and    own continuing exploration of the 1953        newsletter for the Executive Summary
    authenticity as north Bristol’s kite mark of   Agricultural Land Classification of England   of the Strategy, or go to
    distinctive local produce.                     and Wales, Sheet 156, which identifies a for revised
                                                   strip the highest grade land running out      versions of the strategy as they
    The recently published Food Matters One
                                                   of the north Bristol fringe and into open     happen.
    Year On from HM Government makes all
                                                   countryside. This land used to be at the
    kinds of noises about local food security                                                    For more information email:
                                                   heart of the market garden landscape
    whilst remaining largely silent on the                                             
                                                   helping to feed the city.
    whole issue of soil and land as a key

    Events                                                                                           eASTSIDe rOOTS

                                                                                                     ‘That’ll Learn You’
    Hotwells & District Allotments
    Association open day                                                                             6.30–8.30pm
                                                                                                     Wednesday 2 September
    11am–3pm Sunday 6 September                                                                      Stapleton road Train station,
    Alderman Moore’s field                                                                           easton
    Fruit & veg competitions · Children’s
                                                      The Organic Food Festival
                                                                                                     A free skill share night by the
    Activity Tent · Wonky Tent (with Roy’s            10am–6pm Saturday 12 September                 community, for the community
    automata) · Live music · Photo slide show         10am–5pm Sunday 13 September                   will be held on at our site next
    Cake sale · Refreshments                          Bristol Harbourside                            to Stapleton Road Train station,
                                                      £5 Entry, free for children and Soil           Easton.
                                                      Association members
    htm                                                                                              The topic is ‘Gardener’s Question
                                                      The Organic Food Festival is Europe’s          Time’ with three professional
                                                      largest showcase of the organic                gardeners to answer your problems
    Organic Fortnight 2009                            community, with hundreds of organic            plus a ‘What to plant over winter’
    5–20 September                                    products, an organic bar, cooking              special.
                                                      demonstrations with Raymond Blanc,
    A nationwide campaign highlighting all                                                           Tea, coffee and cake from 6.30pm
                                                      Barny Haughton and other top chefs,
    the great things about organic. Across                                                           for donations and workshop from
                                                      childrens’ taste workshops and a lively
    the UK, people in shops, schools, cafés,                                                         7pm.
                                                      Street Food Bazaar.
    churches, farms and schools will be
    raising awareness about why organic is            The purpose of the Organic Food Festival is
    the healthy choice, the best for animal           to bring together and expand our organic       Benefit night
    welfare and the right thing for the planet.       community. We want to introduce more
                                                                                                     9pm onwards Friday 25 September
                                                      people to the pioneers growing delicious
    For event suggestions:                                                                           Trinity Centre
                                                      organic food, items for home and garden,
                                                      beautiful fibres and sumptuous beauty          A benefit to pay for the Community
                                                      products in a way that is truly sustainable.   Harvest Fete (below). Please join
                                                                                                     us if you can – full line up on our
                                                      The Great Bake with Wallace & Gromit
                                                      Children all over the country are invited to
                                                      take part in The Great Bake competition,       Community Harvest Fete
                                                      giving them the opportunity to take
                                                                                                     12.30–4.30pm Sunday 4 October
                                                      part in a flour workshop with Aardman
                                                                                                     Stapleton road Train Station,
                                                      Animation’s Wallace & Gromit, at
                                                      Bordeaux Quay cookery school.
    Ludlow Food Festival                    
                                                                                                     Eastside Roots, the not for profit
                                                                                                     workers co-operative creating a
    Friday 11–Sunday 13 September
                                                                                                     ‘Community Gardening Hub’, brings
    Britain’ original food festival is now in its     ‘Taste’ – South Gloucestershire                you a free Community Harvest Fete
    15th year. This year’s Festival will feature                                                     including a wide range of workshops
                                                      Local Food & Drink Festival
    more than 130 small independent food                                                             for adults, youth and children,
    and drink producers from the Marches              Saturday 12 Sepember–Sunday 11 October         games, storytelling, arts & craft
    (England-Wales border country), plus              events held all over the county                & food stalls, circus performers,
    demonstrations, talks, trails and more.                                                          healthy cafe, live music and much
                                                      The ‘Taste’ month-long food and drink
                                                                                                     more. We may also include a food                            festival consists of 39 separate events
                                                                                                     swap event (if you have grown it,
                                                      being held on farms, bakeries, breweries,
                                                                                                     prepared it, picked it, cooked it, etc,
                                                      a castle, farm shops, a processing factory,
    Abergavenny Food Festival                                                                        then swap with others).
                                                      and many other venues.
    Saturday 19–Sunday 20 September                   New events for this 5th year of the Festival
    £6 Sat/£5 Sun/£10 weekend                                                                        We are also doing a Permaculture
                                                                                                     talk and stall at Bristol Festival,
    Now in its 11th year. Test out the                n   Visit to Shipton flour mill                18–20 September, Harbourside
    Observer’s claim that ‘Abergavenny is to          n   Tour of Thornbury Castle and vineyard
    food what Cannes is to film, an annual            n   Butter making demonstration
    festival for spotting rising stars in Britain’s
                                                      For more information:
    artisan-food firmament’.
                                                      Download the programme at:

    Food stories
    on the web
                                               Westbury on Trym eco-Fiesta                   Free ‘Organic for Schools’
    Green walls: the growing success of
                                               2–5pm Saturday 20 September                   Workshop
                                               Sustainable Westbury on Trym (SusWot)         10am–3pm 19 October
    digest: Architect Ken Yeang makes
                                               proudly presents an Eco-Fiesta in the         Twerton Infants School
    future plans for ‘vertical farms’ where
                                               village. Lots to see and do. It’s in the      Poolemead Road, Twerton, Bath BA2 1QR
    residents could grow and harvest food
    from the walls of their homes.             High Street, which will be specially          As part of the Food for Life Partnership,
                                               pedestrianised for the day.                   Garden Organic offers a Continuing
                                                                  Professional Development Event for school
                                                                                             staff and associated colleagues such as
    urban Farming, a Bit Closer to the
    Sun                                                                                      The training event will support schools to
    digest: Rooftop gardens thrive in                                                        learn about growing skills activities and
    Washington DC where tax subsidies                                                        how these relate to achieving a Food for
    favour roofs covered with plants.                                                        Life Partnership Mark award.
                                               Love Food Festival                            The day will enable participants to work
    dining/17roof.html?_                       10.30am–4pm Sunday 27 September               with pupils to ensure food is successfully
    r=3&pagewanted=1                           Paintworks, Bath road                         grown through to harvest; to successfully
                                                                                             make compost; and to engage the
                                               The aim of the festival is to get children
    Fruit tree revolution                                                                    wider school and community in growing
                                               (and adults) from Bristol, out into the
    digest: Thousands of fruit trees           countryside learning about how and where
    and bushes are to be planted in            our food should come from, how to grow        Interactive sessions will cover starting out,
    Manchester – with an invitation to         and cook their own food and generally try     sowing techniques, planning your plot,
    ‘Help Yourself’.                           to spark an interest in the topic through     growing in containers, Health & Safety
                                               various mediums including hands on            issues and curriculum links.
                                               experience, tasting, art, movement and                                                         For further information about this event
    revolution                                                                               or the next planned event in your region
                                                           please contact Angela Bridge, the Garden
    Carrot City                                                                              Organic Administrator:
    digest: An exhibition at Toronto’s                                                       02476 217 747
    Design Exchange presents a cross-
                                               Best of Bedminster Show
    section of urban agriculture ideas.        10.30am–3.30pm Saturday 26 September
                                               North Street Green, Bedminster
                                               (opposite Hen and Chicken)
                                                                                             Free Vegan Food Fair
                                               This year’s Best in Show categories: Best
    Stalled building sites in Square Mile      cake, Best sunflower head, Best jar of        12–4pm Saturday 31 October
    to become allotments                       chutney, Best jar of jam, Best miniature      Broadmead Baptist Church, Broadmead
    digest: The City of London plans to        garden, Best wildlife photo, Best home        (next to Tesco)
    transform development land thwarted        grown pumpkin, Scariest fruit and             Free
    by the recession into temporary            vegetable monster and Best display of
                                                                                             Have you ever wondered what vegans
    allotments.                                seasonal produce. Entry forms with a
                                                                                             eat? You don’t have to be Chinese to eat
                                               full listing of categories and instructions                                                             Chinese food, and you don’t have to be
                                               available from the Southville Centre
    news/daily-news/stalled-building-                                                        vegan to eat vegan food!
                                               Reception now.
    sites-in-square-mile-to-become-                                                          n   Find out more about veganism and
    allotments/5203998.article                 Refreshments by the WI, face painting,
                                                                                                 celebrate World Vegan Day with us!
                                               Roy’s Wonky Tent, Human fruit machine,
                                                                                             n   Delicious free food samples
    Parents and pupils dig the                 bicycle maintenance with Lifecycle’s
                                                                                             n   Cookery demonstrations
    Food4Families message                      Dr Bike and lots of climate-friendly stalls
                                                                                             n   Films
    digest: Parents and children learn to      Contact Jim:          n   Free nutrition surgery
    grow fruit and veg together, creating      or telephone 0117 9664318                     n   Ethical merchandise
    a network of food-growing gardens
                                                                                             Sponsored by Animal Aid & Vegan Society
    across Reading.
                                                                                             For a full programme, visit
                                                                                             or call 0759 574 5441

    Community supported agriculture
    Community Farm open day                        members of the farm, it will be a centre          n   Kids corner with story telling and lots of
                                                   for recreation, skills and learning, and              games and a bouncy castle
    Story Community Farm, Chew Valley              members will all have a share of the              n   Farm vegetables for sale and veg box
    12pm till late Saturday 5 September            produce.                                              sign-up
    £3 for adults, free for children
                                                   Who is behind the Community Farm?                 n   Information about the project and how
    Local farmer Luke Hasell has teamed up                                                               you can get involved
    with The Better Food Company organic           Some of the people involved include:
                                                   Luke Hasell of Herons Green Farm                  n   Live music throughout the day
    growers and with local community groups
    in Chew Magna and Bristol, to plan a           Phil Haughton of the Better Food                  We are just up the road from the Harvest
                                                     Company                                         Home festival taking place on the same
    pioneering new venture. It is all about
                                                   Jim Twine of the Storey                           day in Chew Stoke – so why not make a
    local food for local people, grown in a
                                                   The Soil Association                              day of it and come to both events?
    way that cares for the soil and for our
                                                   Avon Wildlife Trust
                                                   Chew Valley’s Target 80 project                   How to find us
    At the moment The Community Farm               Transition Bristol                                The Community Farm is on Denny Lane,
    is an eleven acre field, in a gorgeous
                                                   There will be:                                    about half a mile north of Chew Valley
    location overlooking Chew Valley Lake.
                                                   n   Tours of the farm with Luke the Farmer        Lake. The postcode is BS40 8SZ. There
    It is brimming with bountiful organic
                                                       and Phil and Ben the expert growers           will be signposts and bunting and plenty
    vegetables, delicious soft fruit, wild
                                                                                                     of space for cars and bikes. We are on
    flowers, and wildlife.                         n   Field Kitchen demonstrating many ways
                                                                                                     national cycle route number 3.
                                                       to use field produce
    The plan is to create a Community
                                                   n   Beef BBQ, Vegetarian BBQ and                  If you can volunteer to lend a hand on the
    Farm that gives everyone involved a
                                                       fantastic hog roast                           day please email Luke the Farmer
    sate in the food from the farm, where
                                                       A bar with local beer and cider (till 11pm)   email
    landowner, growers, and consumers are          n

    in partnership. Local people can become        n   Tug-of-war                          

    Newly revised and updated                          CSA regional Networking                           raising Community Finance
    CSA Action Manual – A Share                        event                                             10am–3pm 7 October
    in the Harvest                                     10am–3pm 19 September 2009                        Phoenix Arts Centre, exeter
                                                       embercombe, nr exeter                   
    The Soil Association action manual
    detailing how to set up a CSA has been                                 Community investment is the practice of
    revised and updated and will be going              This event is being organised by the Soil         communities investing capital in business
    live on our website later this week. Newly         Association for South West CSA groups,            ventures serving a social or community
    laid out and split into individual pdfs, the       including farmers, growers and core group         purpose. This is a unique opportunity to
    manual provides all the basic information          members. The workshop will include:               learn from community finance specialists
    and guidance that you need for setting up                                                            Jim Brown and Paul Sander-Jackson
    a CSA.                                             n   Networking opportunity with other             (Wessex Reinvestment Trust) who will be
                                                           south west CSA groups and practitioners       delivering a one-off day event focussed
                                                       n   Facilitated sessions with Jade Bashford       on community investment for Community
                                                           (Soil Association/Stroud CSA) to              Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects.
    tabid/201/Default.aspx                                 identify and discuss your next steps          This event is invaluable for any land
                                                       n   Mark Simmonds from Coops UK                   managers, farmers, growers or community
                                                           session to help resolve your legal and        groups who want to raise capital for their
                                                           governance questions                          CSA without being dependant on statutory
                                                       n   Tour of beautiful and inspiring               funding and/or bank loans.
                                                           Embercombe ‘inspiring committed               The workshop will be as practical as
                                                           action for a sustainable world’ with          possible – focusing on the development
                                                           Jo Clark, head of land based learning         plans and interests of the participants.
                                                                                                         Free for CSA groups and practitioners, with
                                                       This is a free event with lunch and
                                                                                                         lunch and refreshments provided.
                                                       refreshments provided. Booking is
                                                       essential. Contact Traci Lewis on                 Booking is essential. Contact Traci Lewis
                                                       Takeaction/Getinvolvedlocally/                    Takeaction/Getinvolvedlocally/
                                                       Communitysupportedagriculture/                    Communitysupportedagriculture/
                                                       Newsandevents/tabid/373/Default.aspx              Newsandevents/tabid/373/Default.aspx

    News from Hartcliffe
    There is a growing demand for allotments       WHIB and Hheag would like to organise
    not only in Bristol but nationwide. Despite    some events and work days on the               Fit for a Longer Life
    this, some designated allotment sites          Bourchier Gardens site with a view to          Hartcliffe Health and environment Action
    in Bristol still have unleased plots. One      planting a Community Orchard this winter.      Group (Hheag), The Gatehouse Centre,
    reason for this is that the plots may seem                                                    Hartcliffe
    too much of a challenge for an individual
    to take on and get up to scratch in order to   Pick ‘n’ Bash!                                 Hheag are currently running an exercise
    grow things.                                   Get together & blackberry pick                 and nutrition course for people over 55
                                                                                                  years, called “Fit for a Longer Life”.
    Bourchier Gardens Allotments in                2–4pm Friday 11 September
    Hartcliffe is one of these sites – it’s in     11am–1pm Saturday 12 September                 The courses are designed to give
    a great location with wonderful views          Bourchier Gardens Allotments, Hartcliffe       a sociable, relaxed and enjoyable
    and is also reasonably secluded. It has        Meet at The Scout Hut, 501 Bishport            introduction to the benefits of exercise,
    lots of potential for growing however          Avenue, Hartcliffe                             good nutrition and preparing healthy, low
    16 of the 23 plots are overgrown and                                                          cost foods. The courses will be repeated a
                                                   n   Discover this beautiful allotment site,    number of times in the coming months.
    unleased. Walking the Way to Health,
                                                       its nature and wildlife
    Bristol (WHIB) and Hartcliffe Health and                                                      For more information contact
    environment Action Group (Hheag) would         n   Pick blackberries and get some recipes
                                                                                                  Sue Walker 0117 946 5285
    like to see this land being used more          n   Help plan what to grow on this site –
    productively and can offer some support            fruit trees?
    in order for it to happen.                                                                    Hheag will also be running their usual
                                                   n   If you’re really game… have a go at
                                                                                                  diet related illness courses and those for
    Bourchier gardens has 16 unleased plots            bramble bashing!
                                                                                                  young parents in the autumn.
    and there are currently 8 people on the        Refreshments provided. Bring a container/
    council list that are interested in having     bag for your blackberries.
    a plot on the Bourchier Gardens site. We                                                      We are developing a small library and
    think that as well as 15 or so individual      For further information contact:               resource centre at the back of the shop
    plots, there is space on this site for a       Nic Ferris                                     which should be open by September.
    community garden perhaps with fruit            07810 506738/      This area will also be available for
    trees, herbs and soft fruit bushes.            Sue Walker                                     nursing mothers if they want somewhere
                                                   0117 946 5285/          (relatively) private to feed their babies.

                        FareShare South West
     FareShare South West is a registered          In addition to free food deliveries,          An appeal to allotment holders
     charity that works with the food              the project also offers volunteering          You too can get involved now by donating
     industry to redistribute quality, fit for     and training opportunities to the local       surplus fruit and vegetables from your
     purpose, surplus food to a network of         community. Our volunteers include some        allotment. The one thing we find hard
     organisations working with vulnerable         of our community members’ clients,            to get is fresh fruit and veg. If you have
     and disadvantaged people. Through food        environmentalists, retired, students and      surplus our community members would
     deliveries, community organisations such      professionals.                                be able to benefit from local, fresh fruit
     as hostels, day centres and luncheon                                                        and veg.
     clubs are able to make significant savings
     on their food budgets which can then                                                        We would love to hear from you if you are
     be redirected into improving services for                                                   interested in donating or volunteering
     their clients, such as drug rehab, medical                                                  Contact 0117 9711005
     services, housing advice and training.                                            
     Fareshare South West work in partnership                                          
     with over 40 food companies and 70 local
     community groups, and since opening in
     late 2007, we have redistributed over 390
     tonnes of in-life surplus food to charities
     in and around Bristol. Organisations
     based further afield such as Somerset
     and Gloucester come to pick up food from
     our warehouse situated in central Bristol.

   re-framing the great                          Water labels on food                             Can Totnes and district feed
   food debate: The case for                     Food ethics Council & Sustain                    itself?
   sustainable food                              The paper argues that we need to look not        Transition Town Totnes
   New economics Foundation                      only at how much water is used, but where        Utilising GIS mapping and the datasets
                                                 and what impact it has. For example,             that are currently accessible, the report
   Ideas around local food have played a
                                                 research cited in the report shows that          explores the current land classes and
   key role in the ‘great food debate’ over
                                                 while agriculture uses an average 24%            how farmland is currently used, and
   the last two decades. It is now apparent
                                                 of water across the EU, this rises to 80%        then, using Simon Fairlie’s ‘Livestock
   that the notion of ‘sustainable food’ has
                                                 in some regions. Some types of food are          Permaculture’ model, assesses whether
   important advantages over local food for
                                                 also ‘thirstier’ than others, with tomatoes,     or not Totnes and District could actually
   framing the next phase of the debate. The
                                                 sugar-cane and meat and dairy products           feed itself. The answer (assuming roughly
   report defines sustainable food as food
                                                 being particularly water intensive.              stable climate conditions) is that yes, it
   associated with high levels of well-being,
   social justice, stewardship and system                could, but only if:
   resilience.                                   need_info_on_watery_food/                        n   It lived in isolation from its large
                                                                                                      neighbours, Plymouth and Torbay. When
   Government needs to develop an
                                                                                                      these settlements are factored in, it
   integrated food policy that has relevant      Securing food supplies up to                         becomes far more difficult;
   economic, social, environmental,
   climate change and security policies.
                                                 2050: the challenges for the uK                  n   Far far more people lived on, and
   Specifically, the report says that a new      House of Commons environment,                        worked, the land; and
   food policy must mount a full-scale attack    Food and rural Affairs Committee report          n   We ate a very different diet from the one
   on the endemic ‘cheap food disease’                                                                we consume today.
                                                 n   The UK must make the most of its
   which manifests itself through labour
                                                     temperate climate and the natural  
   exploitation, environmental degradation
                                                     advantages this gives it for producing       announcing-the-release-of-can-totnes-
   and diet-related ill-health.
                                                     food.                                        and-district-feed-itself/
                                                 n   How food is produced is as important
                                                     as how much. We will need to reduce
                                                     greenhouse gas emissions, reduce
   Give peas a chance                                reliance on fossil fuel inputs and
                                                     conserve soil and water.
   Europe imports over 70% of the protein
   concentrates required for animal feed,        n   The report does not advocate UK
   mostly as soyabeans or soyabean meal.             self-sufficiency and emphasises
   This situation is problematic in several          the importance of strong trading
   economic and environmental respects.              relationships with a variety of countries.

   Peas can provide a realistic substitute for   n   The report highlights the development
   soy in feeds for animals of all types. This       of ‘food colonialism’ or ‘land grabbing’
   would yield lower energy use benefits, and        (large-scale acquisition of land overseas
   (albeit modest) cuts in greenhouse gas            by wealthy investors in order to grow
   impacts.                                          food for people in the investor country).
                                                     The report warns about the pressure this     Food security and                         could place on the global food system.       sustainability: The perfect fit
   eco_environmental_analysis_in_glip/                  Sustainable Development Commission
   introduction                                  committees/environment__food_and_
                                                                                                  Sense can only be made of the food
                                                                                                  security issue if policy at the same time
                                                                                                  delivers sustainability. The report makes
                                                                                                  7 key recommendations as to how this
                                                                                                  synergy might be achieved.

    Odds & ends                                                                                                                     PeTITIONS
                                                                                                                                    Herbicide petition
    Social Business Toolbox
                                                                                                                                    Last July, the herbicide aminopyralid
    Launched                                                                                                                        was withdrawn after a national outcry
    The Enterprise Support team of Making                                                                                           about the damage caused by manure
    Local Food Work have made available a                                                                                           contaminated with it. This damage was
    toolkit for social enterprises. Stuffed with                                                                                    experienced particularly by allotment
    cribsheets on topics as diverse as how                                                                                          holders, who unwittingly bought manure
    to develop a business plan to the current                                                                                       produced from animals which had
    trends and issues in the local food sector,
    these are a handy resource for budding
                                                                 The                                                                been fed aminopyralid-treated hay/
                                                                                                                                    silage. The herbicide didn’t affect the
    and seasoned social entrepreneurs alike.                  Abundance                                                             grass, and didn’t affect the animals that
                                                                                                                                    ate the fodder, but it passed through
    Download them from                      Handbook                                                              the animals to pass on its herbicide
                                                                                                                                    properties to allotment crops.
                                                                                                                                    Dow Agrochemicals have quietly applied
                                                      Abundance Handbook: a guide                                                   for aminopyralid to be reinstated
                                                             A guide fruit harvesting
                                                      to urbanto Urban Fruit Harvesting
                                                   (Learning from our experiences of harvesting in Sheffield)                       and this seems likely to be granted
                                                        Learning from their experience from                                         by Government unless protests from
                                                        harvesting in Sheffield, Abundance, a                                       influential groups and individuals can
                                                        local community project, have written                                       prevent it.
                                                        a beautiful guide to urban fruit and nut                                    Sign the petition on the No 10 website
                                                        harvesting. The guide extensively explains                        
                                                                             to take to start
                                                        what steps PDF viewing instructions harvesting and                          aminopyralidban/
                                                   For best viewing in Adobe Reader, go to View > Page Display > Two Up, and make
                                                        how to set up an Up’ at the bottom of the submenu is on.
                                                     sure ‘Show Cover Page During Two urban harvesting project

                                                        – and it’s free! To download, go to:                                        For more information about the problem,
                                                                                              full details of the story which started in
                                                        groshefhandb.html                                                           early 2008 can be found at
    Windmill Hill CIty Farm appeal                     Quick reference growing cards
    Bristol’s oldest City Farm is facing a             Garden Organic have launched a set                                           Save the bees!
    budget shortfall, and is at risk of closure        of handy, quick-reference Growing
    unless it can raise £50,000 before                 Instruction Cards – all the information you                                  The Soil Association are calling on the
    Christmas.                                         need to start growing your own veg, fruit,                                   Government to protect our honeybees
                                                       herbs, edible flowers and green manures.                                     and ban neonicotinoid pesticides.
    The Save our Farm Appeal was launched                                                                                           These pesticides have been shown to
    on 22 August with ‘The Big Fundraiser’             These can be downloaded free at:                                             kill honeybees and are thought to be a
    event, including a fun day at the farm,                                                      contributory factor in the recent dramatic
    and a fun night at Fiddlers. For news of           growyourown/growing_cards.php?dm_                                            increase in honeybee deaths.
    upcoming events and for details of how             i=4uO,1IHH,JCI86,4VDL,1
    you can help, go to:                                                                                                            Join the other 12,000+ signatories to the                                                                                                 petition at:
    or make a donation at:                                                                                                          Savethehoneybee/tabid/434/Default.                                                                                                aspx

                                                                                                                                    Save Southville from
                                                                                                                                    supermarket invasion
                                                                                                                                    North Street in Southville/Bedminster is
                                                                                                                                    one of the last thriving independent high
                                                                                                                                    streets in Bristol. Its future is threatened
                                                                                                                                    by the proposed sell-off of Bristol City’s
                                                                                                                                    Ashton Gate football ground for a major
                                                                                                                                    supermarket development.
                                                                                                                                    Campaign website:

   News from Knowle
   Knowle West’s Harvest                                                                                                                                                                                              After such a successful event, we don’t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      think we can wait a whole year for
   Celebration day                                                                                                                                                                                                    another one! So we hope you’ll be able
   12–3pm Saturday 31 October                                                                                                                                                                                         to come along in October to celebrate the
   Knowle West Media Centre                                                                                                                                                                                           gathering of the harvest. We hope to have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cider making, all sorts of fun with apples
   People from near and far flocked to join in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and after digging up our spuds from the
   with the flavourful fun at Knowle West’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Summer food fest, we will be baking them
   3rd Food Fest on Sunday 5 July. There were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in our clay oven. If you want an event
   workshops and talks on a range of food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      where the community is at the heart of it
   topics, including how to keep chickens,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      all, come and join us…
   plant potatoes and use plants to heal                                                                                                                               hit, too, with one enthusiastic teenager
   yourself. Only the briefest of rain showers                                                                                                                         saying “It’s really nice, you can taste all    For more information contact Misty Tunks,
   appeared to cool us all down. The home-                                                                                                                             the flavours in it. It’s like your own brand   Carbon Makeover project coordinator
   made Elderflower fizzy drink, made with                                                                                                                             of lemonade but better – it’s better than      phone: 0117 9030444 ext 211
   Knowle West’s own elderflowers was a                                                                                                                                cola!”                               

   Regular things
                                                                                                                                                                       GrOFuN Action Weekends
                                                                                                                                                                       Ashley Vale Allotments, St Werburghs
                                                                                                                                                                       every week, from noon Saturdays &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grub Club Organic Veg Club
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      every Tuesday 4.30–6.30pm
                                                                                                                                                                       Ashley Vale Allotments are just behind The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Midnimo Centre, 163 Ashley road,
                                                                                                                                                                       Farm pub, Hopetoun Road, St Werburghs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      St Pauls
                                                                                                                                                                       Drag on your wellies and come and give an
                                                                                                                                                                       hour or two. Refreshments provided             Enjoy wholesale veg prices on organic veg,
     Bristol local food directory                                                                                                                                                                                     by joining the The Grub Club veg co-op –
                                                                                                                                                                       Phone Nadia 0797 3847894 for more info.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      which now has its own website:
     Publicise your community project or
     promote your favourite stalls, shops,
     pubs & cafés. Help us to keep the                                                                                                                                                                                royate Hill Community Orchard
     directory up-to-date with reviews by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Regular monthly workdays
     you – people who care about local food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month
     Fill in the form on the website, or email
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11am–4pm (drop by anytime, but cleaning
     suggestions to:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      up starts around 3pm)
                                                                                                                                                                       eastside roots regular                         As well as the fruit trees, we also plant
                            Bristol’s local food update
                            SAVE THE GREEN BELT SPECIAL

                                      H e N hundreds of us last

                                                                          Save our soils – use our soils
                                                                                                                                              maY–June 2009
                                                                                                                                                                       volunteer days                                 vegetables, and whoever shows up for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      workdays when there is a harvest, gets to
                                      year took the Eat the Change

                            week eating only local, organic food free     richard Spalding
                            from plastic packaging, we discovered
                            just how limited local sustainable food
                                                                          It is great to hear that in the near future
                            is. There are myriad reasons for this, but

                                                                                                                                                                       Stapleton road Train Station
                                                                          we might see beef cattle grazing historic
                            the reality remains that with fossil fuels
                                                                          Stoke Park as Bristol City Council begin
                            likely to become extremely scarce within
                                                                          to think through reconnections between

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      take food home. Drinks available, bring
                            our lifetimes and food miles contributing
                                                                          town and countryside. I would want to
                            so intensely to climate change, we will
                            soon have little choice but to produce
                                                                          the camera lens up and over this idyllic
                            most of our food locally. In light of this,
                                                                          scene to settle on “the Blue Finger”.
                            it is essential that we start preparing
                                                                                                                                     Smallholdings in Frenchay
                            now by ring fencing land for sustainable      I have coined this phrase to get us all

                                                                                                                                                                       10.30am–4.30pm Wednesdays & Fridays
                            food production now.                          thinking about high quality agricultural      the M32 becoming an edible landscape
                                                                          land on the north Bristol fringe which        for the city. It would be a beacon for a
                            Transition Network is beginning to
                                                                          used to be at the heart of what was called    new AGRI-CULTURE which would help to
                            explore how Britain can best feed itself,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      snacks to share. Tools and gardening
                                                                          the Bristol Dairying and Market Garden        nourish our bellies and our communities.
                            analysing Britain’s land potential for
                                                                          Sub-Region. We can follow a blue [colour-     It would mark the beginning of a truly
                            food production in light of nutritional
                                                                          coded] finger of high quality soils on the    sustainable agriculture which reconnects
                                                                          1953 Agricultural Land Classification map     people and the land. It would celebrate
                                                                          of England and Wales which shows a strip      the importance of city and countryside
                            what is already overwhelmingly obvious
                                                                          of fertile land stretching from Frenchay,     working together to deliver food security.
                            is that we will need every inch of land
                                                                          through Hambrook and Winterbourne and         Impossible you say?
                            suitable for food production, in both the
                                                                          out into open country. The post Second
                            countryside and cities, if we are going to                                                  One thing is certain in my mind; the idea
                                                                          War assessment of land and soil quality

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gloves provided. There is also a compost
                            be able to feed ourselves in the future.                                                    of covering up the best farm land in the
                                                                          shows just how such land was valued as a
                                                                                                                        country with city extensions, park and

                                                                                                                                                                       Trinity Community Arts Centre garden
                            This edition of Bristol’s Local Food          strategically important resource under the
                                                                                                                        rides and notions of green infrastructure
                            Update shines the spotlight on how            banner of “Best and Most Versatile” soils
                                                                                                                        need to be challenged, in order that food
                            Bristol’s Green Belt and agricultural         for local food production.
                                                                                                                        produced from these soils takes its right-
                            hinterlands are increasingly being given
                                                                          The soils are deep, red, largely stone-       ful place at the discussion table. There are
                            over to development in the pursuit of
                                                                          free and close to the city. They have the     some signs that we are beginning to think
                            further economic growth (largely in
                                                                          capacity to help feed us, especially in the   again about the importance of the soil and
                            response to central government targets),
                                                                          context of climate change, peak oil and       the land to ALL our futures and I would like

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      toilet at the orchard. Everybody welcome,
                            despite the increasing imperative to
                                                                          food insecurity. The soils themselves now     to see Bristol and South Gloucestershire
                            save our soils for food production.
                                                                          lie largely derelict, the market gardens      Councils working together to enable the

                                                                                                                                                                       12 noon–5pm every Thursday
                            The Avon Green Belt, an area five times       having fallen prey to the global food         re-creation of the food economies on and
                            the size of Bristol and predominantly         economy and the land now de-valued for        around the “Blue Finger”.
                            classified as farmland (but much of           food production. We need to audit this
                                                                                                                        I am very keen to establish a wide-ranging
                            which currently lies fallow) is being         private and public land to establish just
                                                                                                                        set of debates about this topic and am
                            increasingly earmarked by Local               how possible it might be to re-create a
                                                                                                                        convinced that it might be possible to
                            Authorities for developments such             local foodscape for our region.
                                                                                                                        begin looking forward to another, and
                            as 117,000 new houses in the South

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      regardless of experience.
                                                                          There is much to gain from doing this         arguably more important, “dig for victory”
                            West. We all need to act now to ensure
                                                                          and my campaign seeks to mobilise             campaign. I sense that the cattle of Stoke
                            that Bristol City Council ring fences all
                                                                          another “dig for victory” campaign            Park might just be the idea that sparks
                            suitable land for food production: read
                                                                          to allow food communities, new food           a new and regionally important symbol
                            on and stay in touch to find out how to
                                                                          businesses and all of us eaters to begin      around which to secure and re-invent our
                            make your voice heard.
                                                                          the process of re-shaping our local food      local foodscapes. If you want to contribute

                                                                                                                                                                       Improve your local community, meet new
                            Claire Milne                                  culture. I have a vision for this foodscape   to this debate, then please contact me at:
                            Transition Bristol and Bristol Food Hub       which sees the northern gateway along

                                                                                                                                                                       friends, learn new skills and keep fit.        For more information:
     Bristol’s Local Food update                                                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                       For more information, phone Nick Ward          permaculture.html
     If you didn’t receive this PDF by email,                                                                                                                          on 07810 806 354 or email nick@
     you can send a subscription request                                                                                                                                                Map at:
     for future issues to be sent to you, to:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               permaculture_may08.pdf
     This is also the address for sending
     anything you would like included in
                                                                                                                                                                       This issue of Bristol’s local food update was compiled by Jane Stevenson and
     the next newsletter – deadline
                                                                                                                                                                       Kristin Sponsler · Design by Jane Stevenson:
     13 October.
                                                                                                                                                                       Thanks to Martin Haswell for the fruit & veg photos:


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