Seed Swap 2019

Next year’s Seed Swap has been confirmed for:

Saturday 2nd February 2019, 10am – 2pm, at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford.

THIS IS A FREE EVENT

Come along and swap seeds, plants and tips. Even if you have nothing to swap, you can still join in and take home some seeds or plants. Newbies are always very welcome at this friendly event, and we look forward to seeing familiar faces.

MINI POTATO DAY

For the first time there will be seed potatoes for sale – 18 varieties available, at a modest 15p per tuber. Great opportunity to buy all your Seed Potatoes!

STALLS

·       Tools for Self Reliance charity – they collect old tools (so bring yours along), and also sell a wide range of their refurbished tools;

·       Tool sharpening service;

·       Cottage Herbery;

·       Composting advice;

·       Bees/Honey/Jam and more…

TALK

Free Talk at 11.30 by Kevin Alviti on Unusual Vegetables.

Kev is a knowledgeable and highly entertaining speaker. He is a seasoned, multi-skilled homesteader and blogger.

There’ll also be lots of advice and opinion on offer too…

For more information:

Email: shed@swapseeds.org.uk, phone: 07880 730880

Facebook: Seed Swap Herefordshire

 www.swapseeds.org.uk

In Our Hands – Land & Food Links

Thanks to all who came to the Courtyard last night for the showing of In Our Hands. It was great to see many new faces and to carry the conversation on afterwards… and let’s keep that conversation going!

Please get in touch if you are part of any organisation producing food, locally and on a small scale. Let’s share what we’re doing… there was talk of a shared mill last night, perhaps this is already happening?

Herefordshire Food Links is an online directory for local businesses, food producers, retailers etc. Add yourselves to the Directory online at the “Join” section of the site at this link.

Please share In Our Hands – the film. It’s now available to buy (including digitally) – what an ace Christmas Gift!  This is an exceptionally important time to be listening to, and speaking up for, small scale ecological producers and the film is both a joy to watch and inspiring.

More information on the movement to fix our food systems:

Landworkers Alliance – a network of small and medium farmers in the UK, linked to the huge Via Campesina global movement

This Land is Ours: A Landrights Campaign for Britain

At EU Level:  The Good Food Good Farming Campaign.

Next month:  our gathering will be all about building our capacity for campaigns like this – Raising Funds, and Publicising what we do. If you’ve ever thought ‘I wish more people knew what we do’ this is for YOU! More here.

And all these links – plus your OWN if you are a small producer! will be found very soon in our new resources area. Watch this space!

Market Garden Business Opportunity at Ragmans Lane Farm

Ragman’s Lane Farm has an opportunity for someone to run their own Market Gardening business on 1.7 acres of organic land in the centre of the farm, taking over from a very successful business built up over the last 5 years.  The current tenant is leaving in the autumn to make way for a new grower and a new season.

Ragman’s is a dynamic farm in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire; they have been working with organic principles and permaculture for more than 25 years and supporting people to access land to establish their own business.

You will need experience, skills and the ability to deliver a self-sustaining project.

Closing date for applications: Sept 23rd 2018.

For more information and to apply click here.

May’s Green Network Gathering: In our Hands

Our next Network Gathering will be a pop-up cinema!

Alice, HGN member has been wanting to show this film in Herefordshire for a while and we are finally showing it – thanks to A Rule of Tum for hosting at their Bookshop Restaurant.

16th May 7.30pm The Bookshop

In Our Hands is the story of what small farmers are doing for the future of our food system post-Brexit.  There is a growing movement of farmers and food workers who are creating vibrant farms, living soils, thriving food markets and a fairer food system for all.

As one farmer in the film says – “The backbone and the bread and butter of this country has been the farmer… we should be able to make a profitable living but that’s not the case”

Alice says: ” This is what we need in Herefordshire, to return to a more local, sustainable food system, that provides local farmers and growers with a decent wage. This film is what our future is all about – how we produce food.”  Alice grew up on a small holding near Ledbury and was inspired to get into commercial growing after an apprenticeship with the Soil Association Future Growers scheme. She now works at Arkstone Mill organic veg box scheme, who will be one of the local producers showcasing their wares on the night. She would like to find ways for more young people to stay farming locally: “It’s very difficult for younger people who’ve grown up with farming to stay in it, if there is no family farm to inherit. It’s hard to see how we can find our own farms and land.”

Herefordshire Green Network is proud to be promoting this film, and looking forward to bringing local farmers together alongside the people that eat their food every day.  Despite recent changes, this county still has a high percentage of small to medium size farms, plus many people who would like to be farming on a smaller scale.

We hope this film will feed into conversations about food production for farmers and small-holders alike.  Please spread the word on Facebook Instagram and Twitter – thanks!

Tickets are completely free for the film, book a place at this link

This is being shown as part of two HGN events celebrating land and farming in May: the other is Three Acres and A Cow, a show touring the country connecting the Norman Conquest with fracking, Brexit and everything in between.  It’s been getting rave reviews and we’re proud to have it here in Herefordshire at Canon Frome Court on 13th May.

3 Acres & A Cow

… a history of land rights and protest in folk song & story – its FIRST OUTING in Herefordshire…

Come to a right romp through history next weekend!

‘Three Acres And A Cow’ connects the Norman Conquest with current issues like fracking and Brexit via the English Civil War, Industrial Revolution and plenty more besides – through songs, stories and poems.

 

“Totally knocked sideways by this show – for goodness sake, go see it while you can!” Lydia – more reviews here

Part TED talk, part history lecture, part folk club sing-a-long, part poetry slam, part storytelling session… Come and share in these tales as they have been shared for generations.

 

The family-friendly, afternoon will have tea, cake, and a bar available and there will be a farm tour afterwards. The setting is the picturesque community of Canon Frome Court.  Get your ticket here

Hosted by Herefordshire Green Network to run alongside our HGN Gathering on the 19th May: In Our Hands

Food Rescue – what next..

This is a call out to those of you who came along to our HGN Gathering on Food Rescue in January…

Along with the Herefordshire Food Poverty Alliance we are starting an exciting conversation about developing some funded local projects. Many of you had projects that you were beginning to set up or talked about that evening: a local community fridge, a local food hub, food social clubs, school holiday food clubs, local gleaning projects and also of course a local Food Rescue inspired by the work of Worcester Food Rescue.

If you have bright ideas and local connections or would just like to be part of taking these conversions further please could you get in touch asap (email kate@hgnetwork.org), so that we can make sure that your project idea is firmly in the pot as funding bids are developed.

Please pass this message on to others who you think might otherwise miss it…

Fairtrade Fortnight!

Millions of farmers and workers are still being unfairly treated despite working hard to provide the products we love. Unfairness in global trade is rooted in centuries of exploitation. Producers are fighting for a fair deal, supported by Fair-trade, earning their way out of poverty and transforming their communities.

For those of you in the north of the county, you might want to join in with Ludlow’s celebrations of Fairtrade Fortnight:

This year Ludlow Fair Trade Town Group is celebrating 15 years since being awarded Fairtrade status at the end of 2002. We’ll have events and activities throughout the year as well as in Fairtrade Fortnight.

Events and Activities in Ludlow:

Look out for Fairtrade displays in shops and cafes in Ludlow and choose Fairtrade products they supply.

Throughout the fortnight and beyond, St Laurence’s Church will host a Traidcraft stall of food and crafts

Saturday 3 March: 10 – 2 Traidcraft Big Brew, supporting Hidden Entrepreneurs’ Appeal, Wesley’s Café, Ludlow Methodist Church Broad Street. Also special fair trade food in Café.

Thursday 8 March: 10 – 2 Fairtrade Stall at Local Produce Market Castle Square

Thursday 8 March: 10 – 12 Schools day Methodist church

Saturday 10 March: 10 – 4 Traidcraft Spring Mini Fair Ludlow Mascall Centre – browse the new spring collection of handmade, original crafts and buy chocolate and Easter eggs ready for 1st April.  Download a poster here.

Sunday 11 March: Big Brew refreshments after the morning service in St Laurence’s Church, supporting Traidcraft Exchange Hidden Entrepreneurs’ Appeal.

 

And Ludlow Fair Trade Town Group will be supplying a Fairtrade football to a number of schools to help promote Fairtrade in schools.

The Polish Feast!

Banish the Winter Blues at Hereford’s First Fabulous Polish Dining Experience – a fundraising event for Hereford River Carnival organised by their brilliant friends at Old Granary Pierogi and Left Bank Village.  It promises to be a great night so tell all your friends!

  • Six-course tasting menu
  • The finest, freshest Polish food from the team behind the award-winning Old Granary Pierog i Bring your friends and join the riverside party (flexible seating to accommodate parties of up to 10)
  • £40 per head to raise funds for Hereford River Carnival 2018

Places are strictly limited to 50 so spread the word and encourage people to sign up fast.

HGN are currently planning an h.Energy Village as usual for this year’s Hereford River Carnival on Saturday 5th May. We are also devising some fun awareness raising activities around single-use plastic and local food issues. Hereford River Carnival have been great friends to us over the years supporting the h.Energy message – this is a fun way to give back to their fundraising efforts for this fabulous community event.

Book tickets direct from Left Bank Village, and look at the gorgeous full menu here:  www.herefordleftbank.com Or contact stuart@rivercarnival.org

Dean Organic Fund …

… for small-scale organic/ecological growers and food businesses:

The Organic Research Centre, a leading independent research charity, has launched the new Dean Organic Fund at the Oxford Real Farming Conference. The fund offers interest-free loans, typically ranging from £5,000 to £25,000, to small-scale organic/ecological growers and food businesses.

The Dean Organic Trust was established in 1993 by Jennie Bone and following her death in 2016, the Dean Organic Trust’s assets and a legacy from Jennie Bone’s estate were transferred to the Organic Research Centre to create a significantly larger Dean Organic Fund.

Professor Nic Lampkin, from the Organic Research Centre, said, “The Dean Organic Fund is a rare opportunity for small-scale organic and similar operations to access interest-free loans. Jennie Bone was passionate about conserving wildlife in the farmed environment and she widely encouraged and promoted the environmental benefits of organic farming and growing. We are delighted to continue Jennie’s fantastic legacy and will look forward to receiving applications from eligible businesses.”

The Organic Research Centre is inviting applications for interest-free, unsecured loans from organic farmers and food producers who wish to expand their enterprises by investing in equipment or stock or would benefit from other working capital. The fund is also open to those producers that are not certified organic but whose operations are closely aligned with organic principles. The loans are repayable over periods of up to five years and applications are welcome from companies, sole traders, community or social enterprises and charity-owned businesses.

Further details and application packs are available through the Organic Research Centre’s website: www.organicresearchcentre.com or by email to Nic Lampkin on nic.l@organicresearchcentre.com.

Gleaning…

One of the outcomes of our HGN Food Rescue discussions on Wednesday last week at the HGN Gathering was an interest in Gleaning.

There is a national Gleaning Network – supported by the organisation Global Feed Back. For more information or to join, click here: https://feedbackglobal.org/campaigns/gleaning-network/

… and keep HGN in touch if you have any ideas for starting Gleaning Days in Herefordshire. We can plan ahead for autumn pickings pretty nicely from here, and I’m sure lots of us would want to join you…

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