The Food group are involved in a variety of initiatives:
- Grow it! Cook it! Eat it! Celebrate the harvest On Wed 1st October, instead of our regular Open Meeting we are having an evening to celebrate the Harvest as part of St Albans Food and Drink Festival – please come and join us 8pm onwards.
Celebrate this year’s harvest with Transition St Albans HomeGrown Food Group and FoodSmiles St Albans. Wednesday 1st October, 8.00 onwards in the Yurt at the Blacksmith’s Arms, St Peters Street, AL1 3HG. Admission free. Treat yourself to local beers; admire, taste, share growing experiences and seek advice. Seeds, seedlings and produce available’.
- Open Food Gardens 2014 To find out more information about the OpenFoodGardens programme 2014: go to: Open Food Gardens or read the article about one of the gardens here
- Skill Sharing 2014 - two members of the Home Grown Food Group are opening their gardens once a month from April to September to look at particular skills in growing vegetables. Heather and June are both amateur vegetable growers and want to take out some of the mystery about growing food. For more information and dates and times go to: Skill sharing Flyer 2014
- Grow it, Cook it, Eat it! Harvest Event as part of the St Albans Food and Drink Festival – Wed 1st October 7.30pm till late in the yurt in the garden of the Blacksmiths Arms, St Peters St. This is an evening where you have a chance to talk to all members of the Food Group, this year including FoodSmiles St Albans, and see some of the produce they have grown this year, including home made produce such as jams and chutneys.
- Seed Sowing Video please click to see the film we made
- Courtyard Cafe food garden - we maintain a food garden at the Courtyard Cafe on Hatfield Road – to show what can be done!
- Plant Extravaganza – in May the Food Group collect a wide variety of seedlings and plants for the Plant Extravaganza at the TSA AGM meeting. The plants are available for swopping, or donation. There is everything you will need to stock your own food garden at home.
Future events and projects
The Plant Extravaganza, OpenFoodGardens and Grow it, cook it, eat it projects will continue to be run in 2014. In order to make the existing projects happen we will need support:
- for gardens to be included in the OpenFoodGardens project for 2013
- for volunteers to help organise and administer the scheme
- for people to grow small vegetable plants for the Plant Extravaganza
- for people to help maintain and plant The Courtyard Café garden
We would like to move on to more ambitious projects such as:
- Fruit harvesting
- Land share
If you would like more information about any of these projects or would like to be involved in any of them please contact us at: info AT transitionstalbans DOT org.
What we did in 2013
The Home Grown Food Group had a successful season of activities in 2013. It was launched in style at Transition’s demonstration garden at The Courtyard Café in April, was followed by a Plant Extravaganza held at the Fleetville Community Centre in mid-May, before moving on to the Open Food Gardens themselves from late May until late September.
Open Food Gardens Project
This project is about organising a series of open days bringing together people willing to show how they are growing food in their front or back garden at home and people who are considering doing the same, to enable the latter to see what it involves and to ask questions.
The intention is to show gardens at different times in the year and to illustrate the many different ways in which people use their garden space, make compost etc.
The project is a variation on the Lewes model outlined on page 50 of the “Local Food” book recently published by the Transition Network.
Fruit Harvesting Initiative
Do you know of any fruit trees in your vicinity?
This project is about making the most of one’s local resources, reducing waste, eating fresh fruit and connecting with your community. We were particularly inspired by a fellow Transition initiative in North London. They produced an excellent video, ‘Shaking the tree’, that encapsulates the idea:
A presentation at a recent open meeting about the benefits of fruit harvesting and how it can work in St Albans can be found here: Fruit Harvesting Initiative
One of our Transition members has undertaken fruit harvesting training and will gladly explain further.
Square Foot Garden Project
In January 2010, Peter B. started a Square Foot Garden (SFG). Square Foot Gardening is all about growing things in a small space, which is also an excellent way to get started growing your own. Peter has been keeping a diary of his endeavor on his blog here.
If you would like to get involved or find out more about any of the aforementioned initiatives, contact: food@transition DOT org