MINUTES OF FOOD GROUP MEETING WEDNESDAY 5 APRIL
Attended: Nadia, Ali, Michael, George, Molly, Sanchia, Tom, Jen, Heather, Marjory
The group enjoyed a wonderful pot luck supper!
1. Food Growing Sites
William Dunbar/Saville House
Michael reported that the pop up Shop 24 at Peel Precinct had been in contact with local people who are interested in resurrecting the garden. Everyone was very pleased to meet Ali Awes who is involved in the resident's association and attended the meeting. Ali said that the resident's association has not been functioning and that a new one is being formed. Ali is vice chair and he is hopeful that through the new association the garden can resurrected. Ali is aware of several residents who are interested in being involved. We agreed to set Monday 25 April at 2.00 for an initial clean up followed by a picnic tea. Ali will talk to residents about what sort of plants/vegetables/fruit they would like to see in the garden. Ali will also check that there is somewhere that tools can be securely stored. Marjory will liaise with Ali on this project.
No recent update on this site. There are people at the Tabernacle every Saturday clearing tree roots etc. George said that he has been in contact with an architect, Tamala, who is interested in a wood recycling depo. Tin Tabernacle may possibly may be a suitable site. George will put Wisden in contact with Tamala.
Sanchia has liaised with Maureen at 5 Ways Residents Association around the history of the site. Maureen confirmed that the site was used as a food garden in the early 1970s. Sanchia has been in contact with Network Rail and they have stated that the site cannot be used for growing food. Sanchia suggested that as an alternative a wildlife corridor, which would include fruit trees, could be developed. Jen agreed to make contact with the allotment site further east towards Gospel Oak for advice. We agreed that given the difficulties around Network Rail's position that any movement on this entire project will be long term.
Queens Park Allotment Site
This is going very well. Two groups are involved in the raised beds with meetings held at the site on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Seedlings and crops have been planted. Maggie who is leading on this project is currently on holiday but Archie will be on site 6 and 13 April. A notice will be placed on site with information about the project.
This is going very well. The new beds have been installed. A planting event took place last Friday.
Granville New Homes
Michael will put residents in contact with Ground Work
2. Land Share
Jen has done a lot of research via other Transition Towns. Systems in place are quite formal with applicants completing forms, potential sites and owners visited and contacts regularly reviewed. Kingston TT have a link to the Channel 4 land share website. Michael said that he has spent a lot of time trying to develop a land share scheme but has not received much interest from those who want to garden. Other difficulties identified were when the garden can only be accessed via the house. George said that he has been involved in the successful introduction of a neighbour to a potential gardener. The arrangement works best when the chemistry is right! Jen said that she will try and revisit this via local residents associations.
3. Kilburn Station Planters
Sanchi has been in contact with station staff about using the two planters for growing food. There is a resistance to the planters being used for this purpose. Staff have been more open about growing non edible plants. We discussed the possibility of planting drought resistant and bee friendly plants.
4. River of Flowers
Heather has been in contact with the River of Flowers who have offered to arrange a workshop or a talk for us. There would be a cost for a workshop. We agreed that both would be worth pursuing and that a workshop would attract a lot of interest. Heather will liaise with River of Flowers as to what a workshop would involve. River of Flowers are available to give talks after 17 April. The best time to plant up a meadow is in July.
5. Seedling Swap
Marjory is organising a Seedling Swap on Saturday 14 May 10-12 outside the cafe in Queens Park. The park have given permission for this to take place with the condition that no money is exchanged. Marjory will liaise with George and Chris around a publicity poster. George said that the the publicity should go out to schools in the area ie Salusbury, Malorees and Princess Fredericas. They have gardening clubs and may be interested in donating seedlings etc. Maggie has expressed an interest in helping. Marjory will liaise with Maggie when she gets back from holiday.
6. Permaculture Course
Nothing to report at present
7. Tool Sharpening Skills Sharing Workshop
Michael is waiting for a reply from Jaye the gardener.
Michael has been investigating times of surplus food collection from supermarkets.
9. Guerilla Gardening
Michael sought advice from Richard Reynolds, guerilla gardener, around planting rockett or edible plants. Richard advised that sites of planting such as roundabouts are a source of pollution and that planting is often for promotional purposes only. Michael said that his patch of Guerilla Gardening has been included in the publicity for the Mapesbury Open Gardens Day on 12 June.
George is hopeful that a Harvest Festival will be held this year and that we can build on the success of last year. He feels that the Harvest Supper and day time workshops etc should be held on separate days. We agreed that the food group should be involved in the festival and will think about how we want to do this.
11. Birch Tapping
Michael has successfully tapped the birch from a tree. There is a small window of opportunity to do this before the sap rises!
12. Future Festivals/Events
Bee Dance Talk at the Multi Faith Centre Salusbury Rd at 7.45
The farmers market have invited us to do a stall. Agreed that Michael will do a Nettle Pesto Stall with the help of volunteers on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May.
21 May - Willesden Green, Green Fair organised by Brent FOE.
George and David are organising a stall and hope to attract those interested in setting up a Transition Group in Willesden Green.
4 June - London Green Fair at Regents Park
George has attended a planning meeting and will be involved in this.
5 June - Launch Party for Transition Town West Hampstead. There will be a film followed by drinks
5 June - Big Lunch
5 June - Kilburn Festival
We could consider doing a stall
Next Meeting 11 May at 5 Ways. Marjory to chair and Michael to minute.
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