Minutes of food group meeting on Wednesday, 11th May 2011

held at 8-10pm at 5 Ways meeting room


Present:         Marjory (chair), Heather (minutes), Tom, Nadia, Miko, Ali, Maggie, Archie,

Elaine, Jen, Julienne, Elaine

Apologies:     Michael, Ash, David, Paulette, Molly, Sanchia, George


Discussion items


1.         Food growing sites

TTKK has more food growing sites than gardeners, need to do a publicity push.   Maggie approached Brent Council re emailing their allotment waiting list re TTKK sites, but it is unable to do this.  Suggestion from Archie, an allotment holder, that Brent could reserve plots for community use – Archie aware of several plots that are not being cultivated.  Suggestion to put posters up at allotment sites, produce leaflets and/or put a piece in the Brent magazine which goes to every Brent household.


2.         Veg box scheme

Miko suggested we set up a veg box scheme, with salad leaves/veg grown in people’s gardens, window boxes, etc.  Stoke Newington has veg box scheme with most of the growing done by volunteers and scheme is also linked into local farmers’ market.  Miko agreed to do presentation with more information for next meeting, or to get someone to come along and talk.


3.         Cover for food growing groups

Request to have bank of competent gardeners to provide support/back-up for absence to leads for food growing sites, ie Maggie (Queen’s Park), Michael (5 Ways), Marjory (William Dunbar/Saville House). Miko offered to back up Saturday session and Julienne the Wednesday session at Queen’s Park. Maggie to put request out on website and set up emailing list of people who would be willing to do this.


4.         William Dunbar/Saville House

Three beds have been planted.  Marjory attended residents’ meeting and has met other residents on site.  People are interested, but need a residents’ group to take ownership with its own lead person.  Caretakers are keen and watering.  Tap available and shed unlocked.  Door knocking with sample herbs to take place to encourage people to get involved.  If unsuccessful, will open up to wider estate.


5.         Tin Tabernacle

No updates.  Noted that it is a big site with lots of concrete and Japanese Knotweed.  Query as to whether Wystan has been put in touch with Tamala – Jen to check with Wystan.


6.         Railway Embankment

No updates on progress with this. Still want to establish previous use of embankment as a food allotment.  Query has to whether Sanchia has met local resident (taxi driver) who has  knowledge of local history and may know about this.


7.         Granville New Homes

Marjory met Chair of TRA for Granville New Homes, who is very interested in having food growing project.  Request for someone to help with this in the future.  Query as to whether Ash has more information on this site as this was possibly one of the cycle ride visits.  Marjory to email Ash.


8.         Protocol for advertising 

Maggie queried whether members of TT are free to write posters or pieces for newsletters or whether content needs to be checked by the Initiating Group. Elaine (from Initiating Group) said no requirement to check unless there could be any local political implications.


9.         Unaccompanied children at gardening sessions

Maggie raised concern about parents leaving children with her when she is running food growing sessions at Queens Park.  It was agreed that parents should not be doing this and children can only be involved if they are accompanied by an adult.  Maggie happy to let parents know this is TTKK policy.


10.       Local produce for Queen’s Park cafe

Elaine has met with the business owner of QP cafe and suggested that he uses local produce from local people in return for payment or a free drink or token.  He was not receptive to the idea, but Elaine will pursue it.  However, Archie pointed out that allotment growers are not permitted to use their sites for commercial purposes, so this may not be straightforward.  May be scope to offer cafe surplus apples from fruit harvest in the autumn.


11.       Kilburn tube station planters 

Sanchia and Michael have been successful in getting permission from TFL for TTKK to plant up the neglected plants on the station platform.  Heather had noticed that the planting beds had been cleared of old plants and weeds.


12.       Seedling Swap

Reminder that Seedling Swap event is taking place this Sunday, 15th May from 10am-12pm in Queen’s Park.  Using table from cafe.  Suggestion to take left over seeds from Seed Swap event.  Will have a signing up sheet for anyone interested in gardening in local food sites, to be followed up by email with further information about each site.  Hoping TTKK sign will be ready to install at food growing bed in Queen’s Park.


13.       River of Flowers

Heather circulated details of two hour workshop (which can be viewed at

www.riverofflowers.org/book-workshop).  Agreed it may be too basic for some, but could be of interest to others.   Heather suggested specifically inviting residents from South Kilburn housing estate, who recently received a fruit tree planted by TTKK.  Workshop will cost £5 per person and participants will receive five plug plants and annual seed to take away.  Elaine has been in contact with Groundwork, which has funding to spend.  She suggested that workshop takes place on estate in South Kilburn and to see if Groundwork could provide funds to provide pots, compost and maybe raised bed. Could also specifically invite residents from Willliam Dunbar/Saville House and members of TTKK beekeeping group, as well as putting up general advert on TTKK website.  Elaine to contact Groundwork and then put Heather in touch.  Heather to check what space/facilities trainer will need and minimum and maximum numbers.  Suggestion for this to take place early June. 


14.       Harvest Festival

Need to think about how the food group can be involved.  Event was great success last year. Will take place around October.


15.       Events

All on Sunday, 5th June: TT West Hampstead launch (Monday 6th June); Big Lunch – Elaine will find out if The Lexi holding event, as last year.  Jen to see if event taking place in Charteris area.  Otherwise suggestion to have group picnic in park; Kilburn Festival – agreed no stall, but could attend as group.


16.       Feedback from Michael

  • Nettle pesto at QP Farmers’ Market: great success, 200 people tried it.  Pictures on website.
  • John and Shira (food foragers who gave presentation at previous food group meeting) are requesting help on elderflower based stall at QP Farmers’ Market in June.
  • Falafel making workshop with the Spice Caravan taking place this Saturday, 14th May at 2pm at Salusbury School, organised by Nadia.


17.       Date of next meeting

Wednesday, 15th June at 7.30pm for pot luck supper, 8pm start

Chair:  Heather                       Minute- taker:  to be confirmed

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