From Beer to Beetroot - Blackshaw Food Network set up.Last update: 23.02.10 First posted: 23.02.10 by IE team in Blogs
You only need take a peep in the produce tent at Blackshaw Head’s Fete every September to see that we have a happy band of growers beavering away producing a staggering array of foody delights – shiny onions, carrots, courgettes, purple beans, gorgeous salad baskets, – even a 10 foot long garlic! Eggs of all colours, mouth-watering cakes, breads, jams and pickles, as well as buns and biscuits beautifully decorated by children.
So as part of a survey carried out last year to decide what to focus on in the Blackshaw Parish Plan, residents were asked whether they would be willing to buy locally produced food if it were more available. A resounding 80% of respondents said yes and as a result the Blackshaw Food Network has been set up.
A very well-attended first meeting at Kebs Pub heard from Kirstin Glendinning from the Soil Association about Community Supported Agriculture projects, which gave us lots of encouragement and good ideas about how to make it work in our small, somewhat scattered, rural community.
Since then we’ve met twice at the New Delight pub and here’s what we are up to:
• Compiling a list of current producers to go on the Blackshaw website, also to be distributed in leaflet form throughout the parish.
• Getting our own link on the parish website, which should be up and running any day now.
• Producing a map showing where all the producers are. (Fab idea – where could that have come from???).
• Visiting Swillington Hall on 13th March – a Community Supported Agriculture project near Leeds which supplies veg, pork, chickens and eggs.
• Inviting the whole community to a BarBQ in August to show off our fabulous foody wares and get more folk involved.
• Doing more displays and promotion at Blackshaw’s Spring Fayre, and the hugely popular Blackshaw Head Fete in September.
Produce offered so far includes eggs, meat and poultry, fruit and veg when it’s available, and even our local Bridestones Beer! Other ideas include trying to distribute the vast quantities of horse manure available to us from horsy folk in the area, sharing knowledge about storing produce, and landshare.
About a dozen survey respondents said they had pieces of land they would be willing to share for food production. And at our second meeting, a lovely bit of landsharing happened right under our noses. Someone said they were looking for a veg growing space and another person offered some land because they were unable to manage it themselves. A great example of productive co-operation!
So watch this space for futher bulletins from Tod’s neighbours up at Blackshaw Food Network. In the meantime we’ll being busy hacking at the permafrost to get spuds in, beds dug and seeds planted!
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