Incredibles out and about.

Last update: 21.11.10 First posted: 21.11.10 by in

Between us, we’ve been out and about a lot lately. Debbie took soup to the Calderdale Carers event at the Central Methodist Church and met lots of people interested in Incredible Edible and keen to get involved.

Pauline and Debbie went to talk the good folk of Slaithwaite Community Shop. They run the Green Valley Grocers, a fantastic shop selling locally produced fruit, veg, jams and pickles. People can bring in any surplus they’ve grown or made to sell. The rest of the stock comes from other local producers, the closer to home the better and trips to Manchester’s wholesale market.
Heather works front of house and here she is on the left with Marie-Claire who showed us around.

Lots of local goods here clearly labelled to show where they come from.

They have a fish counter with plenty of information to let consumers know which sustainable sources it comes from.

At the back of the shop (for now – they’re so successful they need bigger premises and will be moving along the road soon), there’e the Handmade Bakery. Lovely bready smells drifting through the shop and you can see what they’re up to through the window at the back of the store.

And the flour comes from Yorkshire!

The shop started after a public meeting was called to raise money through the community buying shares to keep the failing grocery store going. They needed about £10,000 to get going but within a few weeks people had pledged £18,000! Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength and have fantastic local support. We plan to keep in touch to share ideas and learn from one another.

Tying in nicely with this visit, Melvin and Debbie attended a seminar on Community Owned Enterprises in Northallerton. We heard from Heart, a community-owned arts centre in Headingley, Leeds, a community-owned pub in North Yorkshire and community-owned wind turbines in Cumbria. In all these cases, money is raised by (mainly) local people through shares issues and to take on and run enterprises by and for themselves.The success of these businesses rests on hard work, commitment and loyalty, whilst strengthening the local economy and bringing the community together. Exciting stuff.

Pauline and Debbie staged the first of their monthly Soup Kitchens on the market last week. We will tempt shoppers with tasty soup and spread the word about Incredible Edible, hopefully signing up lots of new folk to join the ranks. Pauline’s Parsnip Soup went down a treat.

And soon we had people signing up to help out.

On Saturday, Debbie and Pauline met with some growers on the Longfield Estate and Val and Nicki from Pennine Housing.We’ll be having a growers meeting in January to talk about the veg beds there and plan for the coming growing year. Dawn and Brian are stalwarts of the growers’ group. Dawn has won an award for being an all round Good Egg in her community. Here we are outside the community room – Dee, Dawn, Brian, Debbie and Nicki (with Val coming up on the inside…)
Great suggestions for the coming year, including hen-keeping, more veg beds and maybe even bees!

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