October news: Juice on the Loose in a Fruitful Week

With Saturday’s Apple Day looming, the Wednesday work morning crew trooped to the orchard with one thing in mind: apples. And their expedition was a surprising success – in a year when most orchards have reported very poor harvests, we were pleased to return with over 600kg in tow, with a further load still on the trees to be picked on the Apple Juicing Day.

Saturday’s Apple Juicing Day was a huge success! The air was filled with gasps of awe from children and adults alike as endless waterfalls of juice oozed from piles of pulp; homemade mashers slammed down into buckets of apples, crushing them ready for the press and at the end of the line thirst was quenched with the sweet juice of our labours. Over 300L of juice was made in a very well attended event – much of this was shared amongst attendees but 50+ bottles have been pasteurised for future events and several barrels of cider are bubbling away as I write! Thanks to all who participated in a cracking day and hopefully we’ll do it all again next year.

Get on my land! New report shows thousands benefit from community farming

Please see the link below to the Soil Association’s website for details of a report (featuring Canalside as a case study) into the impact of CSA projects such as ours. You can also download the report from there.

http://www.soilassociation.org/news/newsstory/articleid/3080

Canalside features in CPRE report looking at local food webs in Kenilworth

As part of the Big Lottery funded ‘Making Local Food Work’ programme reports, mapping local food webs in 6 locations in England, have been produced by CPRE – the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Kenilworth was one of the locations studied and Canalside features in a case study, with quotes from our two Kenilworth veg members.

This is the summary of the report. To download it as a PDF, copy and paste the link below to go to the CPRE website.

Kenilworth, a small, relatively prosperous market town, demonstrates a promising, yet not too extensive, food web. Recently, redevelopment of the town centre introduced the first Waitrose in Warwickshire alongside other national chain shops and food outlets. These co-exist with a variety of small, traditional outlets including a butcher, greengrocer, baker, delicatessen, farm shops and a weekly retail market, which offers some local food. Over 30 outlets are servicing public demand for locally sourced food coming from over 75 producers. Many of the independent outlets selling local food were found to help raise awareness among customers of where their food comes from and how it is produced. Food outlets provide valuable local jobs with, we estimate over 175 jobs at outlets in the study area and a further 580 at local suppliers supported by sales into the town. Local food sales in Kenilworth amount to an estimated £3.2 to £7.5 million annually.

http://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-do/farming-and-food/local-foods/update/item/1660-our-new-research-shows-the-value-of-local-food-webs

US regulation HR875 and its impact on sustainable food systems

Canalside member and fellow blogger, Elizabeth, recently forwarded on the below link about the new ‘Food Safety & Modernization Act of 2009’ that was introduced in the USA in February this year. This new proposal (as it still is) seeks to set in place heavy bureaucratic hoops for small producers to jump through, leading to the very likely destruction of small-scale and truly sustainable food production systems such as farmer’s markets and CSAs. Cynics will certainly pick up on the point that the woman behind this Act, Rosa Delauro, is married to a political consultant who has worked with Monsanto in the past – need I say more?

We are not in America, so this may well not affect us now, but who’s to say this draconian proposal won’t find its way across the pond at some point…?

HR875 – The Death of Farmer’s Markets, CSAs and Local Food

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