Newsletter January 2010:
International Year of Biodiversity
The UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. One way to preserve the biodiversity of our food is to grow and eat more of our unusual plant varieties. The Real Seed Company offers a wonderful range of reliable, tasty and interesting non-hybrid vegetables for home growers. They never supply F1 hyrbids and only supply real, open-pollinated varieties, which means that you can save seed from the plants that you grow. By saving our own seeds, we are protecting the genetic diversity of our food. For a really good explanation on why real vegetable seed is best, visit http://www.realseeds.co.uk/why.html
The Real Seed Company's fascinating and inspiring seed list for 2010 is now online, along with tips for beginners and a month-by-month sowing calendar: http://www.realseeds.co.uk
And if you can't grow any vegetables this year, you could adopt one! Garden Organic's Heritage Seed Library offers an amazing range of rare heritage varieties, including: Rent Payer broadbeans, Silsden Bomb Red cabbages, Red Elephant carrots, Lazy Housewife beans, Gravedigger peas, Hailstone radish. See them all here: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/support_us/adopt.php
Eat the Seasons
Each week, the Eat the Seasons website focuses on a food which is currently in season. This comprehensive web resource offers enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and their favourite books. You can also sign up for weekly email reminders. As the editor of the website says: "Say goodbye to monotonous, mediocre meals and discover the world of sublime and sensational seasonal foods"
Scarborough Shearling CSA - new shares available
The Scarborough Shearling Community Supported Agriculture partnership supplies moorland-reared shearling meat to the people of Scarborough and guarantees a secure income to traditional sheep-farmers on the North Yorkshire Moors. The scheme has been running successfully since October and many of us have been enjoying the excellent meat. We can now offer some additional half shares, running from February to May 2010.
By joining the partnership you will:
- receive a monthly supply of locally grown, flavoursome, heather-reared meat
- benefit from the good value of £7.50 per kilogram of shearling
- help maintain the characteristic landscape of the North Yorkshire Moors through supporting traditional sheep-farming
If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining, please put them in touch with me. Full details about the Scarborough Shearling Community Supported Agriculture Partnership are available on the website: www.shearling.org.uk, where you can also download a leaflet and the membership agreement.
Introductory Permaculture Course
Whitby 27-28th February 2010
Tricia Griffin from the Whtiby 2010 campaign has sent details of this course which is open to everyone.
"Permaculture is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature."
The course always changes / varies to some degree depending on group’s interests and prior skills and knowledge but will include:
- the principles and ethics of permaculture
- permaculture gardening
- the design process - on site and on paper
- practical work
- opportunity for questions and discussion
- where do we go from here?
The course will run from 9.00 - 5.30 on Saturday and 9.30 - 5.00 on Sunday.
The tutors will be Suzi High plus a colleague. Suzi works with three local food growing projects, teaches permaculture design courses, is a founder member of the Leeds Permaculture Network and works for the Permaculture Association (Britain) as the international coordinator. See http://permacultureinstitute.pbworks.com/Suzy
Cost: Sliding scale £30 - £120, based on your income and what you can afford. Please bear in mind that this charge covers everything - admin, tutors, venue hire, handouts etc.
For further details, a recommended book list, what to bring, and to book a place, contact Tricia on 01947 606189 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible
For people not living in Whitby, it may be possible to arrange places to stay or to put people in touch with each other to share transport."
Cheaper than the supermarket
BigBarn, the local food website, is recommending that we save money this new year by switching from the supermarket to buying locally. They are including "cheaper than the supermarket" flags alongside many of the supplier icons on the BigBarn map. This means that the producer or retailer is cheaper, normally on the products they produce. That's not difficult when on average only 9p in every pound spent on food in the supermarket goes to the farmer. Find out more here: http://www.bigbarn.co.uk/cheaper-than-the-supermarket/
To find local producers and suppliers visit our own online Scarborough Local Food Directory www.scarborough-local-food.org.uk where you can search over 100 entries by postcode or type of food.
The Big Swap: Fairtrade Fortnight 2010
22 February - 7 March
This year, the Fairtrade Foundation is asking people to swap their usual stuff for Fairtrade stuff. Each swap that is made will help raise the issues that affect farmers, workers and farming communities. It will proves to companies and governments alike that the UK wants a fairer trading system. Find out more here: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/thebigswap/
The Rise of Real Bread
At the very end of last year, there was an excellent edition of Radio 4's Food Programme about bread. Here's the programme description:
"Sheila Dillon finds out about some of the new ventures that are making artisan bread more widely available, and at a competitive price. Reporter Gerard Baker (who also contributes to the Cookery School at The Lanterna in Scarborough) visits the Handmade Bakery in West Yorkshire, a community-supported bakery with dozens of local subscribers.
"Sheila also hears about St Mary's Bakery in Frensham in Surrey, where Richard Dean started his venture by offering his bread to the neighbours. Sunday Telegraph food columnist Bee Wilson explains what happened to bakers in the Middle Ages when their bread was not up to scratch. In the studio, food writer Rose Prince launches her idea for extending breadmaking skills to the young as well as encouraging more people to enjoy 'real' bread."
Listen again http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pdz1q
Also see The Real Bread campaign: http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/
Happy New Year and more happy eating.