Food group meeting
20th October 2011
Present: Marjory, Michael (part), Miko, Sanchia
While eating some very nice food….
Queens Park day apple pressing
Agreed we need more ‘talkers’ explaining what it’s about (and this applies to Transition events generally). Other suggestions are to have a map of local fruit trees; have a banner / sign / poster explaining harvesting; having more leaflets out for people to take; charging £1 a glass.
Harvest festival and supper
Allotment display looked good! Marjory needed 2 more people for jam making etc. Produce went too well – limit number of jars per person and charge £2 next time. Music great. Whole event went really well. Was it seen as a (much cheaper) extension of the farmers market? People didn’t stop at a stand if there was nothing to buy.
It felt like the supper crowd was there simply for a nice evening out. Not many sign-ups. We agreed its good to raise awareness for the future and that there isn’t a conflict between people having an enjoyable time and learning about Transition, they work together.
Veg box scheme
Lots of good questionnaire responses – 97 so far from our website alone! Questionnaire still to go to Salusbury School.
Use of defunct green recycling boxes
We didn’t hear back about the press release encouraging re-use and it didn’t happen. Some of us are collecting quite large numbers privately and want more if anyone else has spares.
WSD Allotment (William Saville/Dunbar)
Michael and Marjory have arranged additional funding for this site and agreed with Brent that through their tenant provision money (?) they will undertake repairs to the allotment over the winter. Brent have asked Marjory to write a short "user guide", which will have some information for people attending sessions.
Sanchia struggling to follow up on this and was hoping pass on responsibility to someone else. (but nothing discussed or agreed since we were only three...., and this led to discussion about needing more people involved)
Relationship with residents and the public on food growing sites (Marjory) - It's hard managing the activity on the allotment sites while also managing people's behaviour and expectations. People regularly want to turn up and just clear the whole space and make it "pretty". How do we explain to them what our plans and vision is? Can our (TT?) vision ever match with residents' visions of the space. Regular volunteers put in a lot of effort, sometimes with little support (except Michael, who provides great, regular support) and it feels like the effort is not really helping us engage with anyone. Not enough to get them to the point where they can begin to help take responsibility.
More on allotments:
Miko has been in touch with the Brent allotments officer (Michael Johnson?) with regards to getting people on allotment waiting lists involved in our growing groups - again had no luck getting him to agree to sending out information to allotment holders, but he has agreed to put up A4 posters in all Brent parks if we provide the poster.
Miko will get some info together, and Sanchia will help put leaflet together if Chris doesn't have time.
Miko's also been in touch with Sharon at Brent magazine to advertise for gardeners/help on sites. They're keen for articles with photo's and Miko wanted to send an article about the allotment sites. We agreed it would be better left till Spring when there is more activity on the sites. In the meantime we could always interest them in an article about the Harvest Festival perhaps?
Miko to follow up - when is the Spring magazine deadline? Are they interested in another article now?
Having a meal and fun together - Thursday 1 December.
We all agreed that it would be a good idea to banish the agenda for the next meeting, and have a meal together, and then do something fun. Marjory and Sanchia have agreed to sort it out.
Marjory will co-ordinate some ingredients to make a soup, Sanchia has agreed to make a loaf of bread. And we'll both talk and decide on what quiz or game we can organise.
Sanchia has booked the room for Thursday 1st Dec, and paid £10 for this week's meeting room hire.
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