FOOD GROUP MONTHLY MEETING NOTES
In attendance: Val Mister, Kate Holloway, Helen Gillingham, Andi Rickard.
Community gardening session review from 1st June:
Andi scythed the stinging nettles and brambles from the area the evening beforehand, which was extremely helpful for us to be able to access the trees without difficulty. Five people came to the session, and raked up the cut scythed pieces, pruned some overhanging trees, gave the cherry trees a light prune to remove any crossing over and inward pointing branches, and loosened a few ties to prevent rubbing, even removing the stakes that were rubbing on three.
We left all the rabbit-proof mesh guards on. We were sad to see that a russet apple in the community woodland area, that had no guard, has been felled by rabbits. This tree can be replaced this coming winter, but it is a lesson to be learnt that no tree can be left without a guard on.
Next Community Gardening Session
The next session will be held at the community woodland behind the sports centre, as there is some summer pruning of plums, sweet cherries, quince and greengage there, we need to check on the blueberries and aronias. Ann recently sent us a photo of the herb bed, it looked reasonably weed free and the chives are flowering, with lavender and thyme just coming out too, it looks very beautiful.
Next meeting: Friday 29th June 9-10.30am at the community woodland.
The foraging map
This is just being printed at the time of the meeting, some copies were available to look at. The format, colour and content are all improved for this second edition, which will be available to pick up from the tourist information centre shortly. We had sponsorship from “Eat Wellington” and Braziers coffee shop and have had 7000 copies printed. They will be distributed around all the schools, so if you have children at school, look out for it in their home packs towards the end of June and July. Anita and Helen will be stepping up their promotion soon, by putting it on the website, doing an article for the paper, putting posters around town etc.
Community Scything group
This has met twice in May, the first time clearing the weeds from the apple trees in the community orchard, the second session clearing around the blueberries and aronias and plum trees. If you would like to have a go yourself, everyone is welcome, no experience is needed. It is a great form of exercise, helpful in keeping you fit, great for improving core strength, and can be done at your own pace. If you would like to join in, Andi will add you to a group to inform you of dates and times, which will vary. Email her directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Close Community Orchard
Kate has had email conversations with Jane Billing about getting Wellesley park involved, but has still not managed to meet in person. We are unsure if Jane really understands what the idea is. Hopefully by the next meeting there will be more progress. Kate suggested that the coffee afternoon event might be better in September, closer to harvest time. Andi has scythed the area recently.
Insurance - An update from our last meeting
Helen found the best deal was from Ladbrook, who specialise in small community groups’ public liability insurance, for £142. However, since speaking to Bridgette Sells, has found out that one of Rotary’s remits is to support local groups with insurance, and so has given Ada’s contacts to enquire about this. Val added to make sure market stalls were covered with the insurance, for things like Eat Wellington, and others, as it’s been an issue before.
Recipes are still being discussed and submitted. Many thanks to Phillip for all his work and giving us the idea of the cookbook. Philip has decided to step down from the project at this point in time. Kate to find out if there is someone who can format the book in LETS, with Val to collect the recipes in “Word”. Action: everyone to forward their recipes via email to Val by the next meeting, as we have been slow to do this last month. We decided to extend the introduction to include more about sustainable food choices, including why go organic, trying to source your ingredients locally to reduce carbon footprint and support local farmers, and if you are going to eat meat; how to choose more sustainable meat and fish.
June Barn dance
Kate would like to inform everyone, that unfortunately this has had to be cancelled.
Preparation for the “Eat Wellington” festival in September
We are going to be having a slot on the cookery demonstration stage, so discussed weather to hold any of our usual cookery events in the autumn to advertise. As they were poorly attended last year, Kate and Val weren’t keen to run them again, and feel the stage might be a better way of connecting with a wider range of people. We hope to have the cookery book finished by then.
We decided to run the apple juicing day on October 13th at Swains Lane this time.
Helen is going to run the September veg talk, and run it next year depending on attendance; and if new people come from advertising at the festival.
Re promotional material, we need to ask Anita if she will help to produce posters/ fliers to advertise the apple pressing, veg talks, fundraising gig, and also discussed a leaflet describing the general concept of Transition, with more information on who we are and what we do.
Following on from a suggestion 2 months ago from the local band Discocactus to help raise funds for the group, their drummer’s wife Bridgette Sells, who has connections and experience in this area, has offered to help us organise a fundraising gig. She suggested bringing together two local causes; ours, and her friend Nancy who runs Odette’s tea room, and is raising money and awareness to help save the monument, https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/walktowellington with two local bands, Discocactus and The Blue Room Baboons, for a funk night at the arts centre. Andi, Val and Kate all offered to help with tickets on the door, clearing glasses and washing up on the night. Anita has agreed to help design the poster. Bridgette, Nancy and BRB’s Keira, will attend next months meeting to meet the group and talk more about the details of the event.
Garden Groups Networking event
Richard Fox has organised a get together for all the various garden clubs in Wellington, on Friday October 26th 6.30 -9.30 rugby club, and would like representatives from the sustainable food group, and the community meadows group to attend. Everyone has added this to their diary.
Next meeting Wednesday 4th July 7.30-9pm at the Dolphin pub.
In attendance Pat and Mike Crew, Mary Bradford, Val Mister, Kate Holloway and Helen Gillingham
Most of the meeting was spent pouring over the list of recipes compiled by Phillip, and making amendments and filling in any gaps. Most importantly we tried to make sure all the ingredients would be available locally in the season that headed the chapter. We all took away a list of recipes we need to submit via email, and Mary will visit Phillip soon, so they can work on it. Helen brought a rough sketch of the front cover which was approved by the group.
Fundraising Barn Dance / Celidh with the Jamesons
Kate is organising two events, with any profits to be shared between the TTW Food Group and Help the Child.
Dates; May 19th 7.15-10pm at the Community Centre on White Hart Lane
June 30th 7.15pm at Langford Budville hall (Bring a picnic!)
Tea and coffee are provided but bring your own refreshments.
Everyone is welcome, but space is limited so you need to book. Price: donation of your choice, will also be used to cover the cost of the hall.
To book either email Kate on email@example.com, text her on 07403 333867 or phone 01823 667170.
Kate and Helen filled sacks of bark chipping on Friday 6th April and Kate took them to top up the herb bed, and raked any weed seedlings.
Helen joined Steve Freeman, tree surgeon, at 9am and got a lesson in how to prune the trees, with Steve pruning the apples. We removed some of the stakes that had rotted in the damp soil. He advised a couple of stakes be re-mounted with a long cushioned tie to pull back two trees that were leaning. Helen also stayed and filled some holes near the roots, loosened tree ties and attached some of the signs to the tree guards, but didn’t have time to check on the Morello cherries or the bushes, so plans to return later. This could be a regular slot, with Friday 4th May, Friday 1st June, Friday 29 June and Friday 3rd August being possible future dates.
Steve mentioned a safety issue and suggested wearing eye protection for pruning, as a twig scratching the eye can lead to blindness. He suggested providing safety specs for any members of the public who might help to maintain trees in the future. This was discussed with the group and decided as a good idea. We also discussed getting some insurance. Hopefully the cost won't be too much.
Community Gardening Session. Friday 4th May 9am-10.30am.
Meet at the community herb bed on Bulford Road/Mount Pleasant TA21 8DA. Volunteers wanted, no experience needed. Bring gardening gloves/ tools if you have them, however some will be available to borrow. We have 23 plants of Rosemary, Sage and Thyme to plant, some light weeding to do, and some signs to put up.
A message for all the people who have caught me in the street or in the pub and said "you know that place with those fruit/nut trees & bushes" or for those that meant to get back to me but haven't yet, please can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with details of exactly where and what food you have seen to forage around Wellington. I need to know the exact spot if possible, so the best idea is if you pick up a hard copy of the map from the tourist information centre, mark the spot with an x, include what variety it is you've seen, and either photograph it and email me, or pop it through the letterbox at number 73, Springfield Road. The deadline for this is Saturday 12th May, as I will be meeting with Simon to complete the 2nd edition of the map. Thank you- Helen
Wellesley Park School / Post Close Community Orchard
Re organising an awareness event, Helen has been frustrated with the incredibly slow pace of communication with the teachers at Wellesley Park. She spoke to the headmistress by a very quick phone call, who was keen on the idea and said Jane Billing would call. Jane finally sent an email, with an invitation to come and speak to the Eco group on a Thursday afternoon. We wanted really to do something bigger than this, to invite all the pupils in the school to be involved. She still hasn't phoned, so Kate is going to go down to the school this Thursday to see if she can catch her for a chat.
Simon is opening up Trinity Orchard on Saturday 5th May
It has been discussed in previous meetings, to open Trinity Orchard for a blossom picnic. Helen contacted Simon Ratsey via email to try to get a date with a bit more notice to advertise the event. On Monday, Simon decided to open the orchard up on Saturday, unfortunately missing a deadline to advertise it in the paper. We will advertise it via Facebook, website and our email groups. He advised against children coming as there are some ant hills that he didn't want to risk being flattened, and also thought it would be unsuitable for a picnic. We all agreed this was a shame, however as a nature reserve, and potential harvest site, the public are welcome to come and have a look. The gates will be open from 2-4pm
Community Meadows Group
Andi Rickard and the Somerset Scythe School has been awarded £100 from the Brendon Energy fund, to buy a new scythe for volunteers to help cut the grass around the community fruit trees. Helen and Andi to pose for a photo for the paper.
The group will be starting scything sessions soon, to join in, email Andi directly on email@example.com
With the new laws on data protection, Tony is dealing with the main "beasts" group, that this email gets sent out on, and Helen is dealing with the newsletter group. We are rather concerned that this will mean a massive drop in numbers on the list. There are currently 167 people on the beasts list and around 90 on the newsletter list. We feel emails are a vital way of communicating about our events, so hopefully people reading this will want to stay on the list and have replied to Tony already!
Directory of Local Food Producers
As Andi was not present at the meeting, we can only presume she is really busy. We will ask how the directory is getting on next month.
Next meeting: Wednesday June 6th, 7.30pm at the Dolphin Pub
Philip has given us a proof copy for us to look at, although not got that many recipes in. Action: can Phillip add more recipes for the next meeting?
Illustration. Possibly put the fruit icons from the foraging map inside - Kate thought this would link the two publications together.
PG might be able to do a front cover? He showed us a painting by an Italian painter from the renaissance, Giuseppe archimboldo, which wouldn’t be subject to copy write, however Kate felt the image was a bit scary for children,being a man made from vegetables. PG’s other image which was a cartoon version would have to be altered due to copy write.
Helen offered to draw the symbols on the cover, like the ones Phillip chose but in the same style as the foraging map. These would be a simple picture to indicate the seasons: a snowflake, some blossom, a sunshine and a leaf.
Action: Helen to do this, and scan and email to Phillip
We liked the title of sweet things rather than puddings, as this would include jam etc.
Font chosen agreed was good.
Action: Helen to email Phillip the introduction approved by the group.
Anita said she was happy to offer her services as editor of the cookbook.
Daphne offered to help if we did home printing, but as home printers are expensive for ink, we will have to compare costs, as it would probably be cheaper to have it done professionally, especially if we went for a colour front cover.
Wax cloth workshop
Val and Andi held a workshop to make wax cloths on March 10th. Andi did the teaching using her method of ironing layers of wax, and showing 5 others how to do it. Everyone went home with lots of cloths.
Food directory update
As Andi wasn’t present this has been put back to next month
Community Fruit : Signs
A big thanks go to Ian, as the signs are now written, despite his detached retina! They will be put up this month.
Community Gardening Session
This was planned for Friday 6th April 9-10.30am, apologies for not getting these notes out in time so you could have made it. Advertised in the newsletter as follows:
“We will be meeting at the community woodland behind the sports centre, at 9am, to tend to the fruit trees and bushes planted there, and put up some of the signs. Please bring tools (eg garden shears, trowel, or scissors to loosen ties) and gloves if you have them, and I would imagine it will be wet underfoot, so also wear appropriate shoes. No previous gardening knowledge is required and any help is greatly appreciated”
Helen plans to make this a regular session, on either the last Friday morning of the month, or the first. Next session will be emailed with more notice.
Summer Scything group
This will be starting up again soon. Dates and times will not be emailed to everyone, instead you must tell Andi Rickard directly that you are interested, on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will set up a separate email group to let everyone know of the times meeting, which will be 2-3 times per month.
Foraging map update
Anita, Simon and Helen met up after last month’s meeting to discuss the map. Artwork for the second edition was discussed, and Helen has drawn some smaller maps for each planting area for the back. The sponsors of Eat Wellington and Braziers want to submit their own logos to add on to one side, formerly the “notes” section. They have offered up to £500 sponsorship between them.
Unfortunately the quote given from “the edge directory” was too expensive: over £500 to have an insert in the magazine (so only A4), and around £750 to have an A3 included in the mailout. A quote from Acanthus would come within budget for 7500 copies, to be distributed:- 4800 in Eat Wellington’s school promotional pack, 1000 for the Eat Wellington market in September, and the rest for collection from the tourist information. We plan to do a big promotional push leading up to the launch so people know where they can get a copy, including an advert in the edge, promotion via around Wellington, and asking for an article in the Wellington Weekly. Helen, Simon and Anita plan to meet up again in the next couple of weeks to get the copy ready for the printers, with the launch aimed for June.
People have responded positively to the first edition, with some coming back with new foraging areas, and one great email from Louise, saying as a childminder she likes to take the children out foraging and talking about the plants and trees, and suggesting a season time table would also be good. We all agreed this was a great idea. Unfortunately it is too much to add on the back of the map, but we thought either we could write an approximate harvest time on the back of the slate plant labels, and have a chart on the website, and post when things are ripe on our Facebook page.
Post Close Community Orchard update
Helen had a good chat with Lee Kimber who is the forest teacher at Wellesley Park School. He was keen to help get the kids interested. However despite calling by phone 4 times, and leaving messages, Helen was unable to speak to the headmistress about arranging an awareness/ fundraising event. Kate suggested sending her a brief email.
Action: Helen to try again soon (once they are back from Easter holidays).
Action: Kate offered to do some A4 posters of trees for the voting activity. Helen to send over her research so far, Kate to discuss good varieties with her husband, who knows a lot about it.
Article for the Welly Weekly
Helen wrote an article for the paper this month about monocultures and polycultures, and eating organic food. It was submitted to the editor, and even though it exceeded the word count, it has been printed in this weeks paper. We have been warned however to avoid advertising local businesses directly in future. We discussed that we could put local businesses somewhere on the website and refer to that, or the local food producers directory. We could also offer to pay for advertising if it was totally essential to the article, and it wasn’t too expensive!
Fundraising/ Awareness raising
Rupert Sells, drummer for the band Helen is also in, has suggested holding a fundraising gig for us. It might attract people who may not necessarily come to a Transition Town event, but would be a way of us spreading the word and help launch the map, cookery book and food directory, as well as raising funds for things like the website and printing costs. We are unsure on date, the end of July or September was favoured by the group. Various venues were suggested: the arts centre is a great venue, but would result in raising money on ticket price alone, as they run the bar for the arts centre. If we were to find another venue, we would have to run the bar. Val knows someone she can ask. Any ideas are purely speculatory at the moment as the band haven’t all spoken about it, but if it was to go ahead the group agreed that would be a good idea, and would be happy to support it.
Title....."monumental cooking"? Or "Cooking in Season"?
Designing the cover.....
Simon would be happy to help with the format if it was vegetarian, as he works for a vegetarian charity. Viva cookbooks by Simon are gorgeous, and have some luscious looking recipes in. They are also small and will fit on a crowded bookshelf, which we liked. I'm certainly going to be getting some, if you are interested, go to Vivashop.org.uk
Maybe Anita would be able to help with the cover if we did add meat ones? We don't know what recipes will be submitted yet, there is a chance there will be very few meat ones anyway, as a lot that have already been submitted are ways of using vegetables.
We discussed if the sustainable food group should be encouraging veganism/vegetarianism or meat eating. We decided that this is such a big subject for us to tackle, that we want to concentrate more on what is sustainably farmed and locally sourced, encouraging people to avoid buying imported and intensive farmed food, weather it is meat or vegetable based.
Photos of the recipes....
We discussed adding photos of the recipes, however this would take a lot of work. Every recipe would need to be cooked and photographed, and food photography is a skilled job to get right. We don't have the funds to employ a professional photographer. Also having colour photos will increase the cost of publication, so we decided against photos.
Phillip has offered to format and put together the book in the same style as the indian Cookbook he has already written, on a low budget. His book is called the Calangute Cookbook, and you can get it on Amazon as a kindle version for only £2.32 - here is the link! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Calangute-Cookbook-Philip-Boyd-ebook/dp/B007JNEZWA
Keeping it black and white would save on costs. Phillip has done a mock up of an A5 booklet, stapled in the centre rather than bound, with a heavier weight cover. Printing costs can be researched later. Phillip also knows how to make it available as a kindle version through Amazon. If everyone who want one was to preorder, then when it was launched, the book would immediately be rated highly, showing it to more people.
One recipe per page, if possible, maybe stretching over two if it's a complicated recipe. All in metric measurements. Font was also discussed. Organised into the 4 seasons, possibly then subdivided into starter, main, pudding.
The group has been collecting "tones" from the LETS system. As there are some editors on LETS, then we could ask them to edit/proof read the Cookbook, and hopefully help with the index.
Kate to email Phillip re the LETS members to ask for recipes and an editor.
Helen to write an introduction, then email it to the group for alterations.
Directory of food suppliers
Val took her lunch group to the Orchard at Hillcommon, they said nothing processed, nothing caged, nice to know - maybe for the directory?
Andi said it's coming along but slowly. As there is no time deadline then really it can just be fitted in when she has time.
At the seed swap, Trisha Comrie from the Blackdown Hills Transition Group said Churchingford stores stocks food from lots of local suppliers, and Andi has the contact details.
Eat Wellington's Bev and Sarah might be able to help by giving us their list of market stall holders too.
September 1st "Eat Wellington" market
We have booked our stall again, near the LETS market, as it will be on the same day.
Helen will do a 10 minute session on the main stage, introducing the veg talks, to try to encourage more people to grow vegetables at home, and to come to the talks.
Bev and Sarah asked if we could do a cookery demonstration, preferably with fruit foraged from the fruit on the foraging map, to be 40 minutes long. There will be a compare there to help if someone feels too nervous to talk much. Everyone was in agreement that this was a good idea. We brainstormed what things we could make from foraged fruit. Ideas: blackberry jam, sloe and blackcurrants jelly, gooseberry jam. We could use fruit actually grown in our own gardens so as not to raid the public beds, and have "some we had made earlier".
Articles for the Welly Weekly
We had 2 articles submitted in the last month that were, the group felt, a bit negative. They did raise however about 4 topics that could be expanded on for 4 or more separate articles. These include; sustainable travel and tourism, organic farming techniques including soil erosion and monocultures, ethical meat production, and the use of synthetic fabrics. Helen was worried about offending anyone that made the effort to submit an article, so we decided it would be good to agree on some guidelines for the articles.
1. To be generally positive. So many of the environmental problem we face are so depressing, we hope to not depress anyone further.
2. In order to be more positive, if there is a problem, we should offer a proactive solution in something the individual can do to help do their part to fix the problem. This is a core value of the Transition movement.
3. This all leads to the main title of the articles "Sustainable Living Tips" so we are looking for tips of small changes we can implement in our daily lives to make our existence more sustainable.
We hope that this won't limit too much the scope of the articles, but will make it easier to keep some kind of continuity to our message.
Talk on Growing Organic Vegetables.
The first talk was held on 21st February and 10 people attended. It went well, and we raised £10 from donations from the written notes and the foraging map. The next talk is to be held on Wednesday 21st March, at the Methodist Church at 6.30pm-8pm. Everyone is welcome.
The Foraging Map
Acanthus has given a quote that is competitive with Instantprint, so intend to use them, and we have found sponsors in "Eat Wellington" and "Braziers", and Helen Simon and Anita are working on the second edition.
We would like to expand the map to show more wild fruit and nuts, very few are marked at the moment, so if you know of a foraging site, please get in touch. Sloes are a bit late to flower this year, but are always the first out. If you spot any of their beautiful white blossom, on a very thorny bush also known as blackthorn, please could you tell me where it is by replying to this email. I would suggest picking up a hard copy of the map from the tourist information offices (Action: Mary will put some there soon), marking the site with a cross, and emailing me a picture of it. You can do this with sites of other fruit and nuts too.
Coffee morning for Post Close Community Orchard
It was decided we need to start arranging this now. We felt the best venue for it is at Wellesley Park School, as it's so close. Andi knows the forestry teacher, Lee, and passed on his details to Helen. Action: Helen to phone him and perhaps arrange a meeting with the head teacher. We might also want to approach the parents association. Andi suggested, rather than doing it on a morning, if we want to encourage kids and parents to come along, we could see about having it after school at pick up time, at 3.30. We discussed the voting system for residents, parents and children to vote for their preferred tree. Andi suggested putting stickers on the posters to vote
The workshop Val and Andi planned for 3rd March had to be cancelled due to snow. It was however fully booked, with others on the waiting list. It has been moved to this Saturday 10th 10.30-12.30 at Val's house. If it goes smoothly, we may think about doing it again as people were interested.
Maintenance of herb bed
On Saturday 24th February it was a beautiful sunny day, Kate and Helen loaded up a boot full of bark chippings at 10am, then went straight to the herb bed and started weeding. We noticed some of the rosemary was in flower. We were joined by Ann Elliot-Day at 11.30, who offered to help finish off, as we had not had time to do it all before Kate and Helen had to leave for other commitments at 12. Unfortunately no other people came to volunteer, although quite a few sent their apologies. It looked a lot better when we finished. The bark chippings didn't go very far- it was decided we would have to fill a trailer next time. There were also some spaces where plants had died. We need to count these, and decide weather to replace with the same to keep the rows of the same species, or weather to replace some rosemary with low growing sage. We met 4 passers by and talked to them about the community herb bed, giving them a copy of the foraging map. It was discussed we need to put up a sign ASAP. Kate offered to fill a trailer full of bark chippings with her husband, to return to apply them before our next meeting. This will make sure the weeds don't get too bad.
Unfortunately, Ian Spurway, who is a sign writer, and offered to write our signs, was just about to do them, then got a detached retina, so is unable to now. Mary offered to do them instead.
There are some plants that need to be replaced. This can be done next month when the weather is better.
Mary has loads of seeds from Willowbrook that should be sown by end 2017, only slightly out of date, and unopened, so hopefully they will all be viable. There were lots of flowers and some vegetable. There were some F1 varieties in the selection. It was discussed that if people were to take away F1 varieties and then swap the gathered seed next year, the seed would not come true. Did we want to still give these seeds away? The answer we agreed was yes, as the F1 modern seeds are not genetically modified, and produce some amazing plants, helping gardeners, which is such a good thing.
Val didn't manage to get as much as usual from Brighton
Helen has lots from the heritage seed library, mainly vegetables.
Helen has lots of strawberry and bishops flower (like a large garden cow parsley) plants to bring, a rhubarb crown and some environmesh.
Helen and Daphne have some home saved seeds to sort on Friday during our seed sorting morning. Val, Daphne, Mary and Di Hall are able to come and help, so we should have a good houseful of helpful hands.
All posters have been put up. Comments were that we could have done with more. A lot were given out before the Christmas event with both events on, one on each side. Action: next time print more posters
Anita has put it on the about wellington Facebook page
Helen has put it on the ttw Facebook page
Nadine has added it to the website.
Helen is to be on 10radio on Friday 9am advertising the event.
Anita has a board we can use for the seed swap for posters and the map etc
Helen to bring the donations jar, maps and fliers for the veg talk
Jane, Mary, Val, Lucy, Helen are available to come and help on the day, and perhaps others.
Helen will soon be starting the free talks on how to grow vegetables, with information on how to grow fruit and flowers for cutting, organically and in a range of conditions. So if you have a garden or allotment, a private or community space, tubs on a patio or soil, a shady or sunny spot, and would be interested in growing something productive, why not come along.
This year the first two talks will be held downstairs at the Methodist church, in one of the rooms on the left, accessible for wheelchairs. Children are welcome. The talks are casual and chatty, but we will cover a lot of information, backed up with written notes you can take away for £1. You will be able to ask questions, and input of everyone's experiences is encouraged. The talks are aimed at beginners, so if you have never grown a thing before, please come along, and we will help you have success in growing in your first year. If you have grown things before, there is always new knowledge to be gained from talking to others and sharing experiences.
The next talk will be Wednesday 21st March 6.30-8pm, the summer and autumn dates are still TBC. You can come to all 4 talks or just some, each talk covers topics relevant to the time of year. Please help us spread the word where you can by sharing with friends and on facebook
The yearly fee for the website has been paid as the renew date is the 25th January. The food group has contacted the core group by email to ask if the core group can pay half again. It's on the adgenda for next week's meeting.
Should we have an AGM? It would be a good idea if we worked together more, so a joint meeting might be a good way of communicating joint ideas, working together more as a ttw, and discussing funds we have and how we spend it. Perhaps a day in the next couple of months could be arranged.
The foraging map
Anita and Helen have done a first edition of the foraging map with all the varieties of apples etc on the back.
We have done a very small print run, costing only £20 for 50 copies, plus £5 p&p, meaning each copy has cost 50p. We did this so there would be some for the seed swap and veg talks, and we could try out the quality of a very cheap online printers. It was discussed to use someone more locally, but they were much more expensive for a small amount, becoming cheaper with multiple copies.
Anita is in the process of getting sponsorship for the map, possibly from Sarah and Beverly of "Eat Wellington", whom have been very enthusiastic about the idea via email conversations. Helen is having a meeting next week to start discussions.
We could try to get it put in the paper at a larger size, however this would probably mean we were less likely to get sponsors? Suggestion: to do an article for the paper with a map too small to use, but to encourage people to pick up a map.
You can pick up a copy of the first edition at the seed swap, where we are suggesting a donation of 50p to cover costs. If we get sponsorship later on we will be able to do many more and give them out free, but if you want a copy now, you can be among the first to get your hands on one on Sunday.
Apple blossom picnic - we would like to help organise an apple blossom picnic with Simon at Trinity Orchard. We discussed doing one at Swains lane, however two in one year felt like too much. This will be put in next month's adgenda
These are waxed fabric pieces that can be used as a substitute to cling film in the kitchen, to wrap around the top of bowls and containers, or to wrap food up in. After use, you can simply clean them by wiping with soapy water, and reuse.
Andi has some ingredients and has experimented in the best way to make them. She found ironing them to be really successful, and using "fat quarters" of cotton like that found at Dotty Dolly's
There is a problem with making them to sell at the LETS market complete, as they are used in the storage of food, and therefore are subject to lots of licences etc. We would have to be making them in a kitchen passing a hygiene rating just as you would if you made food to sell, and another licence I forget.
The way round this is to either teach people how to make it themselves, in an event such as the cookery events we have held, or to sell a kit and instructions at the LETS market. It was suggested to divide up the wax into the right amounts, along with 3 different sized pieces of fabric.
It might be a possible article for the welly weekly in the future, to share how-to instructions. There are also lots of u tube links we could add.
Andi is going to hold a practical session showing how to make these, on Saturday 3rd March 10.30am at Val's house- space is limited, so please contact Val on email@example.com if you would like to join us in learning how to make them.
Cycling tour (13th January)
No one came, but as it was a miserable winters day, this didn't surprise us. Helen used the time as planned to tour the sites checking for maintenance needs, and to write down the varieties of apples and other trees for the reverse side of the foraging map.
Maintennance of community plantings
Helen saw on her cycling tour, that some of the trees' ties need loosening for the next growing season. Andi and Helen to do this small job soon.
The herb bed near Bulford, was seen to be needing to be weeded, although Jane confirmed that she and Ann Elliot-Day weeded it in October, it simply just needs doing again.
Kate suggested that the bark chippings last applied by the DLO, may now be rotting and need to be topped up, to cut down on weeds growing.
Kate and Helen will meet at 10am at the basins, where lots of bark chippings are available for us to use. They will fill up some sacks and use Kate's van to transport them to the herb bed.
We will hold a communal gardening session, open to anyone who may like to join us, on Saturday 24th Febuary, from approximately 10.30-11.30am. Please bring gloves and a trowel or fork. The site is not usually muddy, but you may find benefit in bringing a kneeling pad. We will be removing the weeds, and assessing if any of the plants have died. We think some rosemary had not survived last year, so we will be deciding weather to replace with more prostrate rosemary, or add in some low growing sage (Lucy's suggestion), perhaps the purple type.
We would like to ask Ann if she has spotted anyone harvesting the herbs out of her kitchen window.
It would be really nice if we could mount the signs for this site on this date- Action: to ask Mary if these are ready yet.
Directory of local food producers
Andi has started this project, but needs help with more local food producers, so if you know of anyone, please be in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andi has decided to put suppliers and producers in categories, depending on what they sell, and will decide on the radius from Wellington depending on how many she can fit on the leaflet!
Helen mentioned that Anita and Simon Parkin had been really helpful with the design of the foraging map and may be able to help with this too?
TTW Cookery book
Phillip has been in touch about the cookery book, and will hopefully come to the next meeting to discuss that in more detail.
Summary of actions:
Everyone: pick up posters and fliers for the seed swap from Kate's porch at no 6 Corams lane
Ann: Fore street (posters)
Jane: North Street, south street (posters)
Val: High street (posters), seeds from Brighton
Mary: window, garden club (posters), article for Welly weekly, seeds @garden centres, ask Ian about signs
Helen: posters, around Wellington Facebook, finish map, cycling tour
Vivienne: Garden club (posters)
The seed swap on Sunday Feb 11th 2-4pm
Posters are in Kate's porch (6,Corams lane) for collection, A4 and A5 (the A5 ones have the Christmas event on the back) if anyone reading this can put one up, then we would appreciate it. Here is a virtual version:
Actions for distribution:
Fore street -Ann
North Street, south street - Jane
High street - Val
Val to get seeds from Brighton seed swap leftovers the week before
Val has put it in kitchen garden and 2 other garden centre magazines
Mary to ask at the garden centres if they have last years seed packets to donate
Helen should soon receive seeds from the heritage seed library
Mary or Helen to tell Wellington garden club.
Vivienne to tell Sampford Arundel garden club
Helen to add to newsletter, around Wellington Facebook, 3 noticeboards and 2 windows
Mary to put in her window.
If anyone reading this could put a poster in their window or on a noticeboards, or add the poster to Facebook, then please do. If there any friends you could tell too, please help spread the word! Any problems attaching the poster just ask.
Seed sorting morning 9th February 9-11am
Helen will hold a get together to sort out any seeds that you have saved from your garden. Just bring your seeds (and yourself) to number 73, Springfield Road on Friday 9th February, between 9-11am we will separate them from the chaff if not done before, and divide into envelopes. Envelopes (and tea and coffee) will be provided. If you don't have any collected seeds, you are welcome to come and help sort ours and the heritage seed library ones, and see how you can save seeds for next year. It would be helpful to bring a normal ceramic kitchen bowl. It would also help if you could email email@example.com and let me know what seeds you have, so labels can be made beforehand.
Talks on how to grow Vegetables
Wednesday 21st February and Wednesday 21st March (summer and autumn dates TBC) 6.30-8pm at the Methodist church.
The talks are back! After a years break, Helen is holding free talks on how to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers for cutting, organically and in a range of conditions. So if you have a garden or allotment, a private or community space, tubs on a patio, a shady or sunny spot, and would be interested in growing something productive, why not come along.
This year the first two talks will be held downstairs at the Methodist church, in one of the rooms on the left, accessible for wheelchairs. Children are welcome. The talks are casual and chatty, but we will cover a lot of information, backed up with written notes you can take away for £1. You will be able to ask questions, and input of everyone's experiences is encouraged. The talks are aimed at beginners, so if you have never grown a thing before, please come along, and I hope to help you have success in growing in your first year. If you have grown things before, there is always new knowledge to be gained from talking to others and sharing experiences.
Again, if you read this and can help spread the word, that would be much appreciated.
Garden Club Talk
Helen is doing an abbreviated talk on growing vegetables to the Wellington Garden Club on Tuesday 16th January at 7.30pm for 40 minutes. The topic most likely to be discussed will be the no-dig method, as this is a really sustainable permaculture gardening practice, however as there are so many subjects we could talk about, the plan is to ask questions and see what people might be interested in. Helen also plans to promote the TTW and the seed swap, and will be given a donation to the food group as payment.
The Transition Cookbook
Gluts Cookbook -Val has still got electronic version of Transition Brighton's Cookbook
Helen's and Nadine's recipes (and others donated in the veg talk notes or Christmas event) are on the ttw website see http://transitiontownwellington.tumblr.com/
Mary has print outs of her recipes.
Wait until Plillip returns to ask if he can compile it, Kate sent an email before the meeting that said he wanted to be involved but is still in India. Pat might know when he's back.
This will roll on to the next meeting.
The Food Directory
Andi was not at the meeting due to illness, but her plan was to start compiling the food directory in January, so please can everyone help by sending possible food suppliers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will come back to this at the next meeting.
Sustainable Living Tips Article for the Welly Weekly
This month Mary has volunteered to write an article, not sure what on yet. 250-300 words, Helen to forward the editors email address to Mary.
If anyone reading this has an idea for next month, please just go for it, you can write about anything transition/sustainability related, and Helen can send it in, the deadline for next month would be Feb 16th. Just email email@example.com.
Mary mentioned that Jules has been investigating the disposal of starch packaging. It is obviously better to use starch over plastic, as it is biodegradable, however currently there is no way of composting it as it takes too long to put in the green waste, so it has to still go in landfill. Jules will come back to us with a report when she has more answers.
These wraps can be used as an alternative to cling film. They are fabric that have been treated with beeswax and some sort of resin. You can use them to cover dishes of food in the fridge, or wrapping food such as half a lemon etc. They are reusable and washable (by wiping). Val had the idea of making some as a group, as the resin you can only seem to buy in large quantities, so it would be good to share. We could have a community making session. Plan to discuss this further at the next meeting.
The Foraging Map
This has been hand drawn by Helen, using a mixture of the town guide map, os maps, apple maps and google earth as a guide, A3 in size. It was well received. It highlights all the areas we have planted with fruit trees and bushes. There is space on the key for more wild or planted fruit or nuts to be added later. The map can continuously be added to over the years, or changed as new housing developments occur. Mary highlighted an area that has chestnuts, so this can be added. We could also add hazelnuts, wild plums and sloes at a later date once we know where to find them. Input from other people in the town may help this, and it's nice for the community to be involved. The footpaths are also not complete, and Vivienne helped by informing us that there is a map showing footpaths in Wellington, called The Definitive Wellington Footpaths, available from Greg Dyke. Helen will add these in. It was decided not to put the crosshatched areas (brown) which indicate allotments, or the red broken lines that indicate footpaths in the key, as it was fairly obvious what they are, and the key would be just used for fruit and nuts for foraging. It was decided not to add mushrooms, as they can change location, and you really need to know what you are looking for so as to not get poisoned. Relyon needs to be added too.
On discussion, an A5 folded leaflet could be made to distribute, with a description of ttw and the project on the front, and some smaller maps showing each planting space individually, with what variety of apple trees etc are planted and exactly where, on the back. In the centre could be the map of all of Wellington, as an A4 copy. A trial copy has been done in A4, and it is still perfectly readable at that size.
Trial photocopies have been taken by Carley press, however the colour has not come out quite right. Once the small maps and whole leaflet has been completed, then a better method of reproducing it can be found and prices compared. Aim to get the booklet printed by the seed swap.
Here is a photo of it so far, please bare in mind it is still not complete, and it will take another month to finalise a PDF copy.
Maintenance of Borough Way Fruit Bushes
Kate has visited the site in since the last meeting, and sent a report via email before the meeting to share: "We have weeded the beds up at borrough way and replanted one of the plants that was dead. Not obvious which the other sick one was so will wait until spring to check. Still need to add more bark chippings but hope to do that before end of January."
Cycling Tour of the Community Fruit Plantings Saturday 13th January 12pm
Helen will be running a tour of the community fruit areas by bike, (as walking will take too long between sites, although we will obviously dismount in some areas and on grass.) You can be shown exactly where each plant is and what variety. Helen plans to write down each variety to continue with the map drawing, as well as check for any maintenance needs. Anyone is welcome, please bring a bike and also wear wellies! Meet at the sports centre car park at 12pm. (If you feel you may be late, reply to this email and I will give you my mobile number).
Signs for the Community Fruit Plantings
They are still with Ian the signwriter to be written - Mary said she would ask him if they were done yet next week.
Campaigning of the supermarkets
As Pat couldn't attend the meeting due to illness, we will discuss this at the next meeting.
Tracebridge fermenting classes
Helen mentioned that she had heard that Tracebridge run classes on fermenting, which was raised after the preserving day. Jane said she has attended one and it was very good. Val wondered if anyone had any of the "mother" for Kombucha she could have, possibly as a swap for some eggs? This item wasn't discussed further at the meeting as we ran out of time.
For your information: Fermenteria and Tracebridge Sourdough are doing classes on cooking fermented food for preserving, visit https://www.tracebridgesourdough.co.uk/fermenteria-3/as well as making bread. They also have recipes on fermented or pickled preserves, which you can find by visiting https://www.tracebridgesourdough.co.uk/recipes/. It sounds very much like what we are trying to do at the sustainable food group, hence you might be interested, although where our classes are free, this is a business, so they charge as any other professional adult learning business would.
Saturday 20th January 2018 10.30-4.30pm. Sourdough for the home baker
£89 - You will be baking in a working bakery rather than a cookery school. Gordon takes you through the sourdough process from ‘starter’ to finished loaf using the Blue Peter principle of ‘one I prepared earlier’. This means you get to practice each stage of the process adapted to home baking. You will make a range of wheat and rye loaves. You do not need any previous baking experience to enjoy this class and you will take home all the skills and starter culture to make fantastic sourdough at home.
Delicious vegetarian lunch included. Maximum 6 people. Rose Cottage, Tracebridge, Wellington TA21 0HG. To book, either Telephone 01823 672301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 27th January 10.30-4.30 Introduction to Fermenting
Introduction to Fermenting - Vegetables and Drinks
£75 - With Katie Venner. In this class we’ll make Sauerkraut and Kimchi and I’ll set you up to make Kombucha and milk Kefir at home. We’ll take a look at why fermented vegetables and drinks are good for you, and I’ll show you how to look after and store your ferments. You’ll go home with SCOBY’s for Kombucha, water and milk Kefir and pots of sauerkraut and Kimchi.
A SCOBY is a symbiotic community of bacteria and yeasts – your journey into this magical world is just beginning!
Delicious vegetarian and vegan lunch included. Maximum 9 people. To book, either Telephone 01823 672301 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday 30th January 10.30-4.30pm. Sourdough for the home baker
Tuesday 6th February 10.30-4.30pm. Sourdough for the home baker
Saturday 24th February 10.30-4.30 Introduction to Fermenting
ttw mailing list
Christmas Event - Saturday 25th November 1-4 pm at the community centre, White Hart Lane
Mary, Daphne, Pat, Kate, Val and Marjorie are going to be doing different interactive demonstrations of various Christmas crafts. We hope that lots of children and families will enjoy the event as in previous years.
As the venue has two rooms, we will divide the activities into two groups, crafts and cookery.
Mary will make mincemeat and then mince pies.
Mary will also do Stollen but will bring dough ready prepared (and the recipe) and make the marzipan filling. Then bake and taste!!
Pat will make truffles and chocolate treats
Val will make cranberry sauce versus red currant sauce as a more sustainable recipe
Kate will make gingerbread biscuits
Daphne will make Christmas wreaths from gathered foliage etc
Marjorie will make Christmas cards
Val will make Christmas decorations
Each demonstrator to bring ingredients for what they need to make their activity.
Kate to bring a flip chart, the A frame from "Friends", and do some A3 posters to put up outside the event.
Arrive at 12.30 to set up (nb. Daphne will be arriving a bit late)
Around Wellington - Pat
Welly weekly diary - Val Mister
Posters - as these have not yet been finished, Helen to go to the printers then deliver to Kate. Kate to then give to Pat, Jane etc. A4, A5 and A6 to be printed by carley press with the seed swap on the reverse.
Jane to distribute on High street and South Street
Kate to distribute on fore street
A3 posters - Kate
Article for the Wellington Weekly, plus added to the club report- Helen
Contact the schools to put the poster in their newsletters and to distribute A6 fliers to school receptions. - Helen
Monthly article for the Wellington Weekly
It seems that last week, Ann's article on vegan food didn't make it to the paper. We don't know why this happened as it was submitted on time. No one has looked at today's edition yet to see if it just went in late. Helen to ask the editor.
Helen to write the next one related to planning for Christmas, with a recipe taken from the Christmas event, and to plug the event.
Next month- waste no want not? Not to wast leftover cheese/turkey etc from Christmas.
Practical tip: Jane has been speaking to hairdressers at the mount and apparently human hair cuttings can be used around chicken enclosures to deter foxes. You may wish to ask your hairdresser for hair clippings next time you are there, if this is a problem for you.
Local Food directory
After being inspired by the film Demain, Anita wrote in a recent email about their booklet which listed local food producers, and suggested if we could do something similar.
Kate and Holly investigated doing this about 5 years ago but someone else was doing it at the time, so they couldn't get any funding for it from the council. What was produced was a lovely founded leaflet, however as this was some time ago and no one can recall seeing one recently, it may be time to think about this again.
Andi thought there may be a Facebook page highlighting local producers. Action-Andi to search for it. Andi would like to be involved with this as a winter project when she is less busy at work.
Pat suggested linking up with estate agents to give to all new house purchases, especially to encourage people moving to the area.
Suggested action - everyone in this group and the core group to start making a list over the the next month of food producers.
Helpful people to ask would be Bev and Sarah Milner-Simonds, who organise the food market in September. Also Nadine as she has often wanted to promote local food producers and created the website "grow, eat, gather" http://groweatgather.co.uk/.
When discussing something like this for the website some time ago, Nadine suggested the possibility of people writing a blog if they have a good experience somewhere. If anyone would like to write a blog post for the website about a local food producer then please just submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org
We thought just to stick to a radius of 10 miles around Wellington may be helpful to have some kind of limit to who is suggested.
If anyone reading this knows if this is already done or in the process of being done, then please let us know before we do a lot of work on it.
Helen met with Andrew Govier after the last meeting to see what can be done about overcoming the hurdles we are encountering with the Post Close community orchard.
Kate to go to see Greg Dyke and Andrew Govier tomorrow, about coming to the council meeting on the 6th November.
Di, Kate and Andi hope to attend the meeting on 6th November and to fight to be able to continue with the Post Close community orchard project. In short we need to ask if the council will be willing to hold the adoption licence for this piece of land, in order for the project to go ahead. The licence has already been granted by the highways department.
(Since the meeting we found that this hadn't been put on this month's agenda but will be on the meeting December 4th, which is still before our next meeting on the 6th December)
If you would like to join us for our next meeting everyone is welcome: we meet in the Dolphin on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm, it usually goes on until 9pm.
We discussed the previous event- the preserving day, and assessed that overall it was a successful event. Five of our group ran the event, 3 others donated veg, and 6 new people came along, one of which said they would like to bring two friends next year.
Lots of produce was donated, so much even that it didn't all get used. It was thought that maybe next year it might be easier to plan preserves using the ingredients we bring as a group, rather than getting the public to bring things. Leftover produce was shared out at the end, and everyone had a share of the preserves too.
Green tomato chutney
Apricot and apple chutney
A made-up "Chuckney" made from lots of different fruit and veg!
Strawberry and apple jam
Bottled Aronia and Apple, pears, apples, aronia, plums and gooseberries
No jellies were made, due to time running out.
Someone wanted to do fermenting but we weren't planning on doing that, however
Nadine, Val and Andi would like to do fermenting, so maybe this is an event we can run separately another time. We would need to find someone specialising in fermenting to do this, as none of us know how to do it.
We would like to point out to check your seals of the bottled fruit, as we noticed an Aronia and apple leaked, so the seal didn't work. On discussion this would be due to a dodgy jar. If you took things home, and you encountered this, then it won't store.
It was felt that the venue wasn't as good as the Methodist church, for many reasons, one of which was the size of the kitchen; in future we will be holding it at the Methodist Church again.
Apple pressing day - 7th October
Val did a lot of work trying to get manual pressing equipment, with many avenues falling flat, and Brendon energys equipment deemed unsuitable for the garden due to water pressure needed.
Val's friend of a friend finally rectified the problem, lending us a lovely big manual press, Kate has had a demo, so we now have two presses for the event, our small one and a large one. This will mean that everything will run much more speedily than last year, and will help us to cope if we get lots of people.
Us to arrive at 10.30 to set up. Open to the public from 11-3.
Held at the friends meeting house garden. If it rains there is some cover.
Everyone is welcome including supervised children. Please bring your own apples to juice and bottles (not milk bottles).
Soup and Bread day
There has been an important development about this event- we have unfortunately decided to cancel it.
We were planning to make a lovely thick and creamy pumpkin soup, also very seasonal and hopefully will encourage people not to throw their Halloween pumpkins in the bin! Mary was going to make bread rolls to have with it.
But we have decided to cancel because when we tried a new venue at the preserving day, we found the kitchen to be really unsuitable. There were many problems with it that we discussed in depth, and we felt that to run another event there would be a struggle, and although we could bring equipment to deal with some of the issues, some would be impossible to fix. We tried to change venue, but at this late notice, this would be impossible, so we will hope to run this event next year instead.
We are really sorry to disappoint anyone who wanted to go.
If you have put up a poster for it somewhere, would you be kind enough to take it down for us?
Make your own Christmas
The date and venue have now been booked and paid for- it will be held at the community centre in the centre of town at White Hart Lane, and will be on Saturday November 25th, 1-5pm.
We will start organising posters and promotion during this month via email.
Andi was disappointed that no one came to the last scything day on Saturday 23rd
She is planning on doing it differently next year, as it is difficult to know how many scythes to get ready for people, with not knowing how many will turn up. Sometimes we shared scythes, such as in August when we had 7 people come along. She is starting an email group for people who are interested, and the times and dates will vary to suit her diary. Some will be weekday daytimes, some evenings and some in the weekend. Hopefully this will also cater for people who cannot attend one particular day.
If you would like to be alerted when there is a scything session going on, please send your details to Andi on email@example.com
Next year the trees may be big enough for some pruning, this will be held on a different session to the scything, along with any other general maintenance sessions of the communal areas, which we will let you know about via this email group.
No updates to report on this, other than the residents are continuing to persue the felling of the sycamore, as they feel it is a danger to their properties. Hopefully we will have more to say on this next month. Everyone is still keen to do this project if it is possible, as we feel it will be an asset to the town and the group. It would also help to promote the other plantings we have done.
The foraging map
Is now about half way to be being completed, the group were happy with how it looks so far.
Article for the Wellington Weekly news
Ann Elliot-Day has agreed to write an article on vegan food this month in time for the Great Vegan Challenge in November.
Success at our stall at the "Eat Wellington" food market on September 2nd
The stall was deemed to be a real success, and a fantastic joint venture from all of us, all clubbing together behind the scenes and taking it in shifts on the day. We had a fantastic plot on a corner, and the table was larger than expected, so our display looked great and could be seen from two sides. Many people stopped to chat and 20 new people joined our contact list. The posters looked great in colour, and the photos, newspaper cuttings and apple press drew lots of attention.
Would you like the chance to join our NSALG (society of allotment and leisure gardeners) group to get cheaper vegetable and flower seeds, seed potatoes and fruit plants, this year?
If so, the membership is £3, but you will be saving about 50% on seeds in comparison to the rrp. More information on https://www.nsalg.org.uk
Kate happy organise this again this year, however the porch that is so useful for picking up catalogues, seeds, magazines and seed potatoes from is out of action due to being rebuilt. It should be finished at the end of September, but in the mean time, if you would like to be a member, please phone Kate on 01823 667170 to organise getting the catalogue.
Helen to do a poster for the allotments and ask Debbie to send info round
Preserving day- 1-5pm Saturday 16th September
Held at the active living centre, North Street, which has a Commercial oven, although no one has been able to contact Barbara to find out how many hobs or pans they have.
Us to Arrive at 12.30 to set up, Daphne to phone about the key beforehand.
Val, Daphne, Kate and Mary will be helping out.
Daphne to introduce the day and find out what has been brought etc.
It was decided to bring as much as possible ourselves, in case there are not that many pans. Below is what we are bringing in order to help out Daphne organise things;
Helen will bring 1.2 kg white granulated sugar, 300g Demerara sugar vinegar, and approximately 800ml malt vinegar left over from last year, one preserving pan and some jars, and can bring aronia berries, beetroot, red tomatoes and celery if wanted.
Ann Sparks can bring 5 litres white vinegar
Mary to contact Daphne with any ingredients she can bring.
Val can bring green tomatoes
Kate to bring a litre of cider vinegar, a few jars, some onions a pumpkin and a marrow
The food group can reimburse any ingredients she needs to buy if receipts are kept.
Posters were divided up, between us to distribute around town.
Ann to do high street and fore street
Daphne to do Rockwell green and willowbrook
Jane to do tonedale and North Street and mantle street
Val to do south street
Apple juicing - Saturday 7th October 11-3 at the friends meeting house garden
As so many people were interested in coming to the Apple juicing day that came to the stall at "eat Wellington", Val suggested either hiring or buying another apple press. Unfortunately it is too late in the day to apply for another grant to buy one before the start of October, so we will try to find somewhere to hire or borrow one.
Val has been researching Brendon Orchard and their equipment is currently available that day for a cost of £30.
Their crusher is electric so needs a power cable and both it and the press need mains water via a hosepipe. No kids are allowed to use the equipment. The benefit is that the apples can be put in whole, so there is no need to chop them.
It could be a useful addition to our manual equipment but Val's not sure about operating it in the Friends MH garden. It looks as though the water would just be tipped out after each pressing. There may also not be a hosepipe or enough water pressure. Another thought is- would we need insurance if we operate powered equipment?
The Wive group hold Community pressing nights every Thursday as from the 14th September- Val (and possibly Ann) to have a look how it works
What about insurance- Val to ask at Wive about what insurance they have.
Andi to find out if someone she knows may be able to lend us their manual one. If this is available, then this would be preferable, as we are unsure if the electric one will work or be possible.
(http://www.brendonorchards.co.uk/hire.html for costs and general info.)
We would like to highlight that there are apples ready now at swains lane community orchard, and everyone is welcome to pick them. If an apple does not come off the tree with a gentle twist, it is not yet ripe. Please be respectful not to damage tree branches when picking.
Post Close Community Orchard
* These notes are made at the time of the meeting, see below for events that have happened since the meeting.
This month Helen applied for the adoption licence from the highways department, and a grant from the town council in August. Unfortunately the council did not give the grant, for a number of reasons.
1. "A grant of £1,600 was made to the Group just 18 months ago and it appeared from the figures submitted that only £1,279 of this had so far been spent on the work outlined at that time." We did propose using £100 of the grant towards the project, however in hindsight maybe Helen should have written more clearly what we planned to use the rest on. We need to save £40 to replant about 1/4 of the rosemary that has died in the herb bed. Although most has taken, this can sometimes happen with plants. We need about £30 left to get some more signs, as we are not sure we got enough last year. Any left over was only being held for unseen maintenance, so this leaves £251 we agreed we are happy to spend on the project.
2. "It was recognised that the fruit at Swains Lane had been fully harvested but it appeared that other sites developed by the Group had not been (Coram’s Lane for instance)." We felt that this was perhaps a little unfair, as Andi has seen that, although the bushes are still small and only producing a small harvest, that all the blueberries and Aronia berries have been harvested from the community woodland, and passers by had been spotted picking fruit from the bushes on Corams lane, including some young girls. The bushes planted in Feb 2017 have not produced fruit yet and the trees planted in Feb 2016 have not produced fruit yet. (There was about 4 morello cherries produced by the trees at the rugby pitch which were eaten by Andi and Helen while scything the area). However this lead us to think if the community had been invited to pick the apples planted at the Trinity Orchard in 2013. Simon Ratsey has been caring for this site, and has a key to the gate. Action- Andi, Jane and Val to ask Simon about this at the next core group meeting, as these trees should be starting to produce fruit now. We felt date should be arranged that the public are able to access the site, which we can publicise.
3. "It was suggested that perhaps the good work you all carry out should be publicised a little more so people were aware of the opportunity to take advantage of it." This comment has been noted (although we didn't advertise fruit that wasn't there for obvious reasons) and we really need to push forward with the signage of the areas planted in 2016 and 17. There has been a delay on this due to lack of communication/ organisation with a sign writer who has offered to do this for us. Action- Helen is to email Mary with a concise list of exactly what needs to be written on each sign, to try to get this sorted by the next meeting. Then we can aim to put the signs up in October.
We have however advertised them with articles in the newspaper, and on the website of when and where they were planted, and had photos at the stall at "eat Wellington" last week, and there is a map of where the sites are with a description on the website that Nadine did, and we sent out emails to this group on the progress.
There has however been talk of a hard copy of a map for about 2 years now. It has been delayed as one member who started it left the group and no one has taken up the challenge of producing it. Helen has now started to produce the map now, although wasn't able to complete it for the food market due to illness, will continue with it this month.
4. "There was also a concern at the proportion of the overall cost that would be needed to employ a tree surgeon – it was felt that perhaps this sort of money could be spent on a less challenging site." We do feel that as so much work has already been put in towards this project, that we would like to continue with it. As the residents backing onto the site were instrumental in proposing to remove the sycamore, they are happy to make a contribution between them towards the felling of the trees. It was decided to still use, if possible, the quote Helen got from Arborocare, as it included the grinding out of the stumps, a detail the food group wanted to make maintenance of the area easier. This is where the extra part of the food groups monetary input would be spent.
However, there is still a shortfall of money to buy the trees.
We found a solution to this that will hopefully raise the money needed, and will really get the local community involved in the site:- a coffee morning.
Helen is happy to organise this, however will need a lot of help from a team of people willing to make cakes and distribute fliers. Chris Jones who lives nearby has offered to help, Billie and John, Val, and Jane have also offered to help. We hope that more volunteers reading this might be able to help make a cake for it (please contact Helen on firstname.lastname@example.org)
We would produce fliers to advertise it using money taken from the grant funding. (Helen to contact Anita about this), which we would like to post through the doors of all of Barn Meads Road and surrounding closes (we estimate between 300-500 fliers)
We would also contact Wellesley Park School, to invite parents and children to be involved. As one exit from the school means children will be walking past on a daily basis, the children's involvement has always been on the addenda anyway. Extra posters and fliers would be needed for this. Helen to contact the school.
Helen can take the opportunity of the coffee morning to incorporate a short talk about the site, the nearby swains lane site that already has apples to pick, and the Transition Town's ethos, and will let people vote for the exact variety of tree that they would like.
Hopefully this will encourage people to come to help plant the trees, to help maintain them and the grass around them, and to pick and use the fruit in the future.
A number of venues were suggested to hold the coffee morning, with a Wellesley park school being the most convenient. Helen to contact them to see if this is possible.
In order for a Helen to attend the coffee morning, it needs to be on a week day morning, so during half term is preferable for the children to be more likely to attend, so hopefully the 24th or 25th October am.
(Helen to contact Simon about trees, and Arts centre as second choice to hire for coffee morning)
* We are still waiting on the council to decide if they are willing to hold the adoption licence from the highways department. This involves their trust in the ttw group still continuing into the future to maintain the trees. We hope they will put their faith in us. Plans of a coffee morning etc are on hold until they decide this.
Maintenance of herb bed
Jane to go and weed the herb bed in September
Article for the Wellington Weekly
Kate's article on using supermarket herbs to create a herb bed, was in the paper on the 16th August.
As it is very seasonal at the moment, perhaps an article about apples this month would be appropriate. Last month Kate suggested writing about cider vinegar, and Val about making home made pectin. Perhaps this could be written also highlighting that apples are available to pick at Swains lane. If we are able to confirm a date for the Trinity Orchard to be opened to the public, this could be advertised as well. To be discussed further by email.
Heritage seed library
Helen to apply for seeds for seed swap in February.
Article for the Welly Weekly
Kate write about cider vinegar, Val to write about using the leftover peelings to make pectin, both to see how many words this makes to write an article about other uses for apples.
Sarah Milner Simonds who organises the food festival "eat Wellington" on September 2nd, sent an email in July which in summary said...
"I have been reading about your cooking classes recently, and thought we might be able to help. It seems like you are really stepping up your ability to reach more local people. We'd love to see what we can do to engage with some of the wider community.....There are a few new things we've got planned for the festival this year; more thoughtful, more personal, maybe more homely but definitely more interactive."
On discussion, we have decided that we can run a stall at the festival
Pat can lend us a gazebo and we can use their public liability insurance.
The stall will involve a table, with boards showing information about us.
On the table we will have the apple juicer as a discussion point, some juice to try, fliers to distribute, and could collect data to add people to the email list.
1. Pat to take a picture of Mary on Sat 5th and make it into a poster on the board, directing people to the LETS market?
2. We could have a jar for donations? -decided No
3. Helen- to do some data collection forms for email addresses for the email group/newsletter -give to Kate
4. Small cups for trying apple juice - Val to try to source paper ones (c h sundries?) rather than plastic ones.
5. Kate to deliver apple press and bottles of juice to the friends meeting house before the day.
6. Val to bring newspaper cuttings
7. Rowen to bring photos and a board
8. Jane to bring a tablecloth, baskets, bunting, things to make the stall look pretty and inviting.
9. There also needs to be all our A4 posters on showing future events
10. How will the boards be mounted? Andi- is your board available? Or Daphne suggested a folded wallpaper pasting table, Rowen also has boards and wonders if the size is right. To discuss by email beforehand.
11. Length of market= 10-4pm set up from 9am
Shift pattern =
Val, Rowen, Jane and Pat help set up 9am
Mary and Pat doing LETS at the friends meeting house 10-12
Val to do 10-12
Rowen to do 10-12
Mary to do 12.15-1 ish
Holly to do 12-2
Andi to do 1-3
Jane to do 2-4 and help pack up
Pat to collect the gazebo at the end
12. Risk assessment - Rowen has offered, however Sarah said there is no need from her point of view. Pat, do you need one for your insurance?
13. Helen to Email launch party invite to the rest of the group.
14. Mary to receive a pack from Sarah and Bev with all the details of organisation we will need on the day.
Rowen has found a really good supplier for colour printed fliers, at a reasonable price. This is in Taunton. It was agreed that it would help to grab attention if the fliers were in colour, and we should have enough money to cover it in the kitty. Helen needs to do the accounts for the grant application, so will bring them to the next meeting, so we can see how finances are looking. Kate has offered to collect the fliers from the printers as she is in Taunton a lot.
Rowen did a mock up for a new poster, however although we liked the picture used and the fact the title for the poster was really nice and visible, we decided would like to keep the original layout designed by Anita, which has evolved over the years, and is some form of continuity. We think that Anita's posters will look great in colour rather than in black and white too.
Daphne has been thinking about the order of the day, and has come up with a suggested itinerary:
1. Sterilising jars
2. Preparing pickles, salting/ steeping, spicing vinegar, cool
3. Bottling fruit and tomatoes, quick, people can get on with it
4. Preparing chutney, sauces, marmalade, jams jellies, chopping etc
5. Setting of jams jellies chutney etc
6. Bottling, jams, chutneys
7. Bottling pickles, leave in brine as long as poss
In order to do this more ambitious event, we will need an extra hour, so will run it 1-5pm.
There were real worries from Mary and Daphne about if the kitchen for Where would have enough cooker hobs. Mary has tried numerous times to pop in but it is always closed. Also the Methodist church has lots of chopping boards and preserving pans, what equipment does Where have? Please could Rowen pass on the details of the manager to arrange a meeting asap, so they can decide if we need to use the Methodist church after all.
Kate to bring tomatoes, onions and apples to the event, Helen to bring whatever she can.
There has been much discussion as to what to put on the poster. Keeping it short and sweet was preferred, as Helens suggestions were too long winded for a poster.
The finalised wording is:
Title: "Learn to Bottle and Preserve Food"
Love to learn how to make jams, pickles or chutney?
Come along to our informal cookery class
Take home what you make
We can provide a few ingredients, but please bring your own clean glass jars and lids, and fresh fruit or veg if you can
Children must be supervised
Contact 01823 661772 for more info
Venue : Where, Northfield Centre, North Street, Wellington TA21 8LY (TBC)
Saturday 16th September 1-5pm
Soup and Bread
Title. "Soup and Bread Day"
"We are holding a free community cooking afternoon, where we will be making our own soup and delicious bread to go with it! Enjoy eating the fruits of your labour at the end of the afternoon. We will provide home grown veg and all the ingredients, the event is free to attend, and everyone is welcome, including supervised children, so why not come along."
1-4 pm, Saturday 21st October.
Venue : Where, Northfield Centre, North Street, Wellington TA21 8LY (TBC
11am-3pm at the friends meeting house in the garden.
Saturday 7th October
To use the same or similar poster as last year
It would be a good idea, as the fliers could be double sided, to include a calender of events on the back, as we have done before.
This would be:
Learn to Bottle and Preserve Food - Saturday 16th September 1-5pm
Where: Northfield Centre, North Street, Wellington TA21 8LY (TBC)
Apple juicing - Saturday 7th October 11-3 at the friends meeting house in the garden
Soup and Bread day - Saturday 21st October 1-4pm
Where: Northfield Centre, North Street, Wellington TA21 8LY (TBC)
Make your own Christmas- Saturday November 25th 1-5pm at the community centre
Seedy Sunday- seed swap- Sunday 11th February 2018, 2-4pm at the Dolphin pub
Sycamore/ Post Close Community Orchard update
Helen has been in touch with three contractors (contacts given from the highways department, who have all the insurance and paperwork) about the sycamore removal, and got quotes from them.
The sycamore must be removed before planting of the orchard, due to its size, the risk of damage to neighbours houses and fruit trees should it come down in a storm, and the amount of maintenance it involves removing all the saplings. It's removal would also allow more trees to be planted in its place.
The stumps need to be dealt with too, as some are resprouting, and they are difficult for Andi to use a scythe around.
Field maple- this tree has been damaged by possibly the removal of a lot of ivy from it, or perhaps from the ivy itself. It is unusually tall and not a very attractive tree, and is weak and diseased. Billie and Di would like it removed. John was in two minds weather to save it for its nature value, however it will be harder to remove at a later date, both money wise and re damaging the small apple trees. Also we could add a replacement fruit tree in its place, which would be more useful.
Arborocare have given a quote of £400 plus VAT, and they have all the kit to grind out the stumps to ground level, and this quote includes the sycamore and all the other stumps on site. Helen has asked to add the field maple to this quote.
Mike Brass has given a quote for both trees at £440. Mike is very busy and booked up a month in advance. He cannot grind out the stumps but can poison them so they don't regrow, however the transition town and the residents are not happy to use poison for many reasons, essentially it's not very environmentally friendly. The site is already home to wildlife, peacock butterflies and a hedgehog have been spotted there by Di.
Keith Yates has given a quote of £120 to grind out the sycamore stump only, and £498 to remove the sycamore, so the arborocare quote is cheaper. However as our contact in the highways department, where he works part time, he has given permission to remove both the sycamore and field maple.
Helen is currently working on the grant application and getting the licence from highways, both aim to be completed this month.
Food Hygiene Certificates
Daphne, Mary, Rowen, Helen and Nadine now have one.
Daphne has had a lot of experience running cookery workshops, and would like to offer running a preserving workshop.
Would we be able to do bottling and chutney on the same day?
Maybe we should do bottling etc instead of the chutney day, as there is so much Daphne could do: pickles, chutneys, jams, bottling.
Possibly 23rd September? Or 16th? The 30th is the carnival, and Daphne is not free earlier in September. If we were to do it in October, there probably wouldn't be any tomatoes to bottle.
Date to be confirmed via email discussion in the group.
Soup / bread making day
September 16th- can we ask Mary if she can do a date in October? So we don't have to do two weeks in a row? It was thought that there would still be plenty of harvest to make soup with in October.
Rowen has been doing some research, and it has come to her attention that we need to think about the legal requirements if we run events, be it the food teaching, apple juicing or foraging.
We need a Food hygiene certificate level 2 each, which is quite easy to complete online for £12.
Daphne has done it before and would be happy to do it if TTW paid for it
Andi already has one.
Rowen to research it and forward us the details.
DBS checks : we need for working with vulnerable adults or children, or anyone really.
So we would all have to have this if we advertise to the public, otherwise we would be opened up to being sued. Unsure on the cost per person, roughly £30-40. Renewal for £13 every year
We have some money in the kitty to do this, so unless we want to give up, we had better do it. If we run out of funds, hopefully we can apply to the council for a grant to cover it.
Public liability insurance, we shouldn't have to worry about it, because the venues normally have this.
Risk assessments-Rowen happy to do this.
Rowen has visited to check out the kitchen and speak to someone running it.
There is a Commercial oven in the kitchen with 6 rings, it's a Large kitchen similar to the Methodist church, Massive dining room next door we could do some prep in.
Rowen met with Barbara, who runs the charity. Rowen told her about the food group, and the events we do. She was really up for it, really liked the idea. The kitchen hire is £17.50 per session.
She wouldn't want us to do anything without a food hygiene certificate and DBS check.
They would like some advice on possibly making a garden, maybe growing some produce in raised beds, may need some advice.
When we rent the space we should be able to have a chat. Maybe Helen could run the veg talks there next year?
Could we get Debbie to send advertising to the allotments email group when we run food or growing related events?
The town council guide
there has recently been a yearly edition released in June.
Maybe we could put an advert in there
Labels for the herb bed
Rowen has found some clay labels, which are really sweet, and is up for trying to make some from clay that has been dug out of the ground.
Or pots with a stake- these could have more info on, e.g. Nadine's idea of saying what you can use then for like- "I go well with lamb" or "put me in a stew"
Has Mary got any labels? Have we got any further with the writing of these etc?
Article for the Wellington Weekly's sustainable living tips column.
Please can we now ask for anyone reading this who would be interested, to write a short 250-300 word article on some sort of subject related to sustainability or cutting your carbon footprint. Please send it to email@example.com we need something for this coming month, we usually send it in next week. Ideas might include something like recycling or upcycling, mending, growing veg, food waste, buying sustainable products or food, using public transport or cycling, renewable energy, etc
If anyone wants to share any events, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or share it on this email group so everyone can know about it. If you want to receive the newsletter, you need to reply to me so I can add you to the list.
Kate suggested to put the letts market date on the newsletter.
Maureen has some things to share.
Next meeting is on Wednesday 2nd August, 7.30pm, at the Dolphin.
Soup and bread day
Mary has suggested that she helps to run our next event, combining two previous events, the soup making day that we have held twice, and the bread making day that has previously run in May. We thought that September was a good month, as there will be lots of home grown produce we can use for the soup. We need to avoid the same day as the carnival, Mary and Kate prefer the 16th September. The venue was discussed, weather we should try somewhere else, although the Methodist church has the best kitchen. It was suggested by a professional in this area, that if we are trying to encourage people to come that don't usually do much cooking, then we might want to approach existing groups and to do it in the venue they are held. The advise was that if someone doesn't have a lot of confidence, then going to a new group is a big step, and that leaving a venue they are comfortable in might be enough to put them off. Rowen and Mary to investigate venues. Helen to contact Michael Johnson from the church to find out about their different groups. Andi told us about a new Facebook group: Wellington support group - for people with issues like depression or loneliness, or single mums stuck at home - maybe we could try to link with that by adding the advertising to their page, as it can be a nice social event as well as learning a new useful, money saving skill. We also discussed "Where" as somewhere to link with.
We agreed that the friends meeting house is a lovely place to hold the juicing day, and it is handy for people to pop by when they are shopping.
We hope that the swains lane community orchard will run their own event separately, although they can borrow the community press, to highlight where the orchard is and the availability of free apples, and to give two possible dates for people to attend.
We would like to hold our TTW apple juicing day on the 1st Saturday in October, the 7th, at the friends meeting house, from 12.30-3.30pm. (TBC)
Chutney day to be arranged at the next meeting.
Promotion with the Wellington Pantomime
Helen has been speaking with Bridgette Sells, who has been telling the panto committee about us. No one had heard of the group, but they were all really interested and thought what we are doing sounded great. Hopefully there may be the possibility of a link for some promotion in the future, which would help get the word out to more people in Wellington, to encourage people to join in with our activities.
BBC Somerset radio
A man called Will contacted Helen about the Sustainable Food group, and they had a conversation on the phone about what the group does, and we may be contacted soon about them coming and doing an interview or feature on us.
Wellington Weekly's monthly column
Last months article from Nadine on Soapnuts was deemed to a real success, and a great start to kick off our column, being well written, interesting, and very positive.
This month Helen and Pat have written an article on food waste. Pat suggested tackling the basics of milk, bread, eggs and cheese, as these are most often wasted. Due to the limited word count of between 250 and 300 words, we have tackled milk first, and will do subsequent articles on the others at a later date. We have included a roux recipe, and had some debate about weather there could be a better use of the space, and if we were to just put a website link to a recipe. However in the research for the article, recipes online are often over complicated, so a simple recipe showing how easy it is to make, will be included, in order to try to get those who don't do much cooking to give it a go. Next month we hope to do something different again, possibly on supporting sustainable farming practices. However we are always open to suggestion, so if anyone reading this has an idea and would like to write a 250-300 word article, please just send it to email@example.com
Rowen has been in contact with Nik Harwood from the Somerset Rural Youth Project, to see if we can plant any fruit trees down there. Nik will find out if they have got their funding soon, so will be in touch.
Andi has continued to maintain the area by scything. Di is to find out quotes for removal of the sycamore.
Community fruit beds near Bowles club
People have been spotted picking the fruit! Including two young girls, which is really nice. Mary has installed a sign.
No one has seen it since we did the maintenance in March, Mary to check it out, and see about putting up some signs.
Summer Scything Group
Posters and fliers have been dished out to the group to distribute to help advertise the group, thanks to Anita for designing these!
Last month the group was held on Thursday 18th and Wednesday 31st due to bad weather. This highlights the importance of checking with Andi if you are coming, for both date and location, by checking her Facebook page, Somerset Scythe School, or phoning her on 07581 239453.
Andi is planning to run it next month on the Wednesday 21st and 28th June 7-8pm
The Green Scythe Fair is held in Muchelney near Langport on Sunday 11th June 10am-11pm, with lots of stalls and music, and Andi hopes to keep her national title, finals are 3-5pm, visit www.greenfair.org.uk
New newsletter email
Helen is going to start a new email group for the TTW as a whole, summarising upcoming events in a once monthly email. It will include events from the core group and food group, as well as things from the wider network that are linked somehow to sustainability. If anyone has anything they wish to include, just send it to the existing ttw beasts group, and she will put it on the newsletter. Anyone is welcome to join the new group, an invite has already gone out by the time you receive this, so just reply to this if you want to join. Thank you to those who have already replied.
Article/ column for welly weekly:
Helen met with Mark Prichett, editor at the Wellington Weekly news, last month, and had a chat about our idea for a regular "sustainable living tips" article. He said that he would be happy for us to write one per month, as this would fit well with other monthly articles submitted by other people. He felt that a weekly article would be a lot for us to write, but if they are received really well he may be able to increase it in the future. The word count should be roughly 250 words. One thing he said was he didn't really like the word "sustainable", and could we brainstorm at our next meeting to see if we could do a different title.
We discussed this at the meeting, and feel that "sustainable" completely and succinctly describes what we are trying to say, whereas "green" or "Eco" don't really cover it. So it has been agreed to argue the case for the title "sustainable living tips." An introduction paragraph would probably help. Suggested phrase would include "We are offering tips on how to live in a way that the planet and your bank balance can sustain!"
Nadine has already written our first article on soap nuts. We haven't counted the words yet, but once an introduction to the articles as a whole has been written, then we can submit it.
Ann Elliot Day has offered to write an article on why eating veggie would help with the worlds sustainability.
Pat Crew suggested many tips to waste less food, which could be written as part of one article, or added one at a time each month.
Andi Rickard would like to write about supporting sustainable farming practices.
Helen has started to research an article promoting cotton stem cotton buds.
So if anyone reading this has any further ideas, please email your article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for articles that somehow link to the transition concept of reducing our carbon footprint. This could be on recycling, mending, upcycling, sustainable food, household, renewable energy etc. Please keep the word count to around 250 words. If your idea is shorter than this, that's fine, we can add sone gardening tips, food waste tips or recipes at the end.
We hope this can be a way of more people joining in and broadening the message. All articles will also be put on the TTW website.
Post close tree planting project:
Helen has been following up on the licence from the highways department, and the felling of the sycamore.
Everyone from highways has been very helpful, and although Steven Scriven has now left the job, his replacement Keith Yates replied quickly and answered lots of questions.
Greg Dyke has agreed to hold the licence for us, after recommendation from Judith Ellis from the highways licensing department.
We will need to add the felling of the sycamore to the licence. He can offer some contractors for a quote, and is happy for us to remove it, but cannot pay for it unless the tree is diseased and dangerous. The residents are concerned about the tree because it is very close to their boundary, and is always dropping either leaves or seeds or something! If it were to loose a branch in a storm then it may damage their houses, and it casts shade on about 1/2 of the site. There are 2 stumps nearby from sycamores that have been felled already, and 100s of seedlings are growing in the area. We would not fell the tree during bird nesting time, as in before August, however if we could before planting the fruit trees this winter, then we could replace it with about 4 more fruit trees, as they are so much smaller. Rowen suggested to ask weather the cost of this could be included in the grant application from the council, as it is part of preparing the site for the mini orchard. She also suggested including the cost for a sign in our application.
A photo of the draft plan we discussed submitting to the council is as a photo below. Andi felt allowing 2.5 m diameter per tree should be enough as they are on dwarfing rootstock, and this would allow for more varieties. We are happy to alter this plan on further advice or input from residents.
A letter to residents asking what variety of trees they would like and if they are happy with the idea will be written and delivered soon too, before we apply for the licence.
Signs for our fruit trees and bushes
Slate signs -as Mary was not present we could not ask about what's happening with them. Mary has met a sign writer that has offered to write them for us. (Mary, If you need any clarification on what's written on them then just say.)
This should be done as soon as possible before fruit is available to pick from the the trees and bushes.
Summer meadow group -
Our 1st get together went well- 6 people attended and it was on "points west" on the telly!
And on the breakfast show BBC Somerset radio on the 25th April!
Links to these are available from Andi's Facebook page, "Somerset Scythe School", so please visit her page if you would like to see them.
(Action- to Ask Ash to link it from Andi's Facebook page and Nadine to add it to website. Add the next meeting to "what's on" in welly weekly. Also write up a Club report- mention we saw wild flowers - and Ground ivy is edible and makes a nice tea. Why not get rid of your strimmer and use a scythe!)
Andi will run the group on both the 3rd and 4th Wednesday each month, as there is so much to do. The next bits to mow are around the cherry trees at the second rugby pitch and around the blueberries at the community woodland. The next meeting will be Wednesday 17th May 7-8pm. Everyone is welcome. We were all impressed that we didn't ache the next day and it was great fun!
(Action - Posters...ask Anita to do posters/fliers. Helen will draft them, Andi will check, then Helen to email Anita.)
Possibility of AndI teaching someone at the council how to scythe, Rowen will follow it up.
Andi will mow the patch at post close and the bushes at swains lane by herself on Sunday, as practice for the scythe fair in June.
Dobree park -
The man from Somerset rural youth project has been contacted, but is away so will be updated by the next meeting.
Bread and soup day / chutney day -
dates to be discussed at the next meeting.
Unfortunately we missed Daphne, maybe she would like to input on a cooking event?
To be discussed on Wednesday June 7th 7.30 at the Dolphin in the bar area (we don't book upstairs any more unless the pub is unusually busy and loud.)
COLUMN FOR THE LOCAL PAPER
The aim is to write a short piece every week. How many words exactly we aren't sure, maybe 150-200? Helen to ask the welly weekly. Question is, could we do something every week, or would it be too much commitment? We would like it to be a broad heading, such as "sustainable tips from TTW", so we do not limit ourselves which would make it easier for ideas. We could put our "club report" for one week per month, or advertising of events. If we get stuck for ideas, there is always something to do in the veg/herb garden, or recipes to write about. Also Ash adds very interesting articles to the Facebook page, so this could be used for ideas. Fundamentally it needs to have input from as many people as possible so the work doesn't fall to a few, plus the articles would then be varied. We could do a lot of this via email, so from those not coming to meetings could submit an article. Articles could be added to the website so past articles could be also read.
Some initial ideas are:
Food waste- Andi
Paper stem cotton buds- Helen
Soap nuts - Nadine
Charcoal filter- Nadine
Current foraging- when fruit is ripe, where to find it, highlight foraging map on website.
Helen to contact welly weekly with 4 Ideas for articles, maybe one written, to ask about word count and title.
Simon very interested in going, however without Mary present we could not discuss further.
ANALYSIS OF NEW FREE FOOD PLANTING AREA ON POST CLOSE (visited 17th and 31st March)
Andi Rickard, Helen Gillingham, Di, Billie, John and Val Mister attended on 17th.
Andi, Helen and Di present on 31st.
The feedback from Di was that the residents were happy with the plan, trees were especially wanted over bushes, although some expressed worries over maintenance of the area. Most of the residents are either elderly or disabled, so other than maybe some help pruning, they could not offer assistance.
Helen spoke to a man living opposite on post close that was very keen for us to improve the area, and was approving of the scything as he used to do it himself. He suggested a crab apple for making jelly would be nice, and either sweet or morello cherries. He was happy for us to put in anything else, especially pears and plums. Also Chris Jones who lives on Monument close, comes and picks the cooking apples from the tree and says they are very nice, and would love more fruit to pick.
Andi has offered to mow the area once per month in the grass growing season, which should be all that is needed to keep down the weeds and brambles, and create a grassy area. We made clear that it would not be an immaculate lawn, and we highlight that as the area is currently getting no maintenance, except a small strip by the path mown by the DLO, that surely any maintenance would be an improvement. Helen and Andi removed all the brambles they could see, and Andi mowed the area.
We would take responsibility of the pruning, so none would be needed by residents, unless they wanted to get involved of course!
It was discussed that the residents must be made aware clearly that the whole point of us planting fruit on the area is for people to come and pick it, and any objections must be aired before we go ahead. We don't want people being shouted at if they come to forage. If there is any concern about kids throwing apples, we could suggest plums instead.
A letter has been drafted outlining these points, written in a positive way, and also offering them opportunity to input their views of what varieties of plants/trees will be chosen.
The site is 107ft long, giving space around a septic tank so we don't plant anything close to that.
We felt that at the far end towards the septic tank, that 2 sun loving fruit trees would have space, for example 2 pear/ Apple / plum (to left of big tree)
In-between the two mature trees, it will be shady, so we felt we could plant 3 morello cherries in clump.
We could then put a further 4 more sun loving trees in a square towards main road, avoiding the tree stumps in the centre of this patch.
However Di has suggested removing the sycamore tree as it has become a menace to their gardens, seeding everywhere. She has contacted a man she knows who is a tree surgeon. If this tree were to be felled this year, then it would cast more light to the area, and possibly mean we could plant another 2 sun loving trees, and possibly have sweet cherries rather than morello.
Helen has contacted the council re permission - Steve scriven From the highways department. He responded to the request very positively, with information and contact details of how to get the area adopted from the highways department, which just involves submitting a plan of what we want to do. Helen to follow this up and ask about the felling of the sycamore with both them and Simon for advice.
CHIVE PLANTING (10TH March)
The chive planting went well too, with Rowen Wilde, Mary Bradford and Helen Gillingham in attendance. We weeded the herb bed, removing a large wheelbarrows worth of weeds, and planted the chives in rows.
We were given some sorrel by Kate, however as there were so many weeds including docks that look quite similar, we felt they may be weeded by accident in the future, so Helen took them to plant at her allotment.
We had more than enough chives, so Rowen took a clump for her garden, plus we gave some to someone passing by. We made use of the opportunity to talk to people walking by about the community herb garden.
Although the new chalk pen did not arrive on time to finish the signs, Mary has met a professional sign writer, who has offered to write all our slate signs. Nadine suggested doing some to encourage picking like for example "good in stews" etc.
It was discussed about adding oregano to the bed, however as it spreads by both seed and runners, then we felt it could take over and suppress the chives and thyme, plus the bed is now fully planted.
BRAMBLE STUMP REMOVAL (25th March)
In attendance Andi Rickard, Kate Holloway, Anita Roy and Trish Young.
Many stumps were removed in the morning.
Nadine said about Alex from "steep holding.wordpress.com" chemical free off grid farm in Greenham. Perhaps people would be interested in an open day? Nadine to contact him and see. £10 small/£12.50 medium £15 large veg bags/ weekly
SUMMER MEADOW GROUP
Andi is going to set up a new scything group, in order to help maintain the areas we have planted with fruit. The first meeting is going to be on April 19th. It will be either the 3rd or 4th Wednesday each month between 7-8pm. Most of the group was interested in coming. Andi said she could cope with 5-6 new people scything at any one time, unless they have had her further training, however more people could come along and take it in turns. She has signs to warn people that scything is in progress. We hope that passers by will want to have a go, and may encourage more people to the group. It is only moderate exercise, just a gentle swing from side to side, so in the evening will be a very pleasant thing to do. We will be able to manage the grass to encourage wild flowers, such as is happening in the swains lane community orchard. If you are interested please call Andi on 07581 239453, or just come along, this month we are meeting at the community woodland behind the sports centre, 7-8pm on Wednesday 19th April.
Helen has visited Anderw Govier recently, and he highlighted the possibility of planting trees in the Dobree Park area, currently being developed by the "Somerset Rural Youth Project". Rowen to contact Nik Harwood about the possibility of us working together. Andrew also said that we could apply for another grant to plant trees.