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2020 – May news: Don’t Mind the Gap

May 29, 2020 by General Administrator

The spell from mid May to mid June is the dreaded ‘hungry gap’: the time when the growers are scratching around down the back of the sofa desperate for anything, anything at all vaguely veg-like to put in the share. Well, don’t know if you’ve noticed but that hasn’t really happened this year!

New projects (e.g. the strawberries) have come good, new varieties have thrived (e.g. overwintering broad beans and onions) and our usual staples are all here a bit earlier (e.g. tunnel carrots and potatoes).

The weather has been outstanding for early production (provided we can get enough water out there), but most of all it is down to our superb volunteers, toiling away – at a social distance – in the baking heat every Wednesday and Saturday. You have kept the crops weed free and got the seeds sown, and kept us well ahead of the game at a crucial time. Enjoy the bumper ‘hungry gap’ share!

Virtual blossom walk

April 19, 2020 by General Administrator

The orchard is looking amazing at the moment – the apple blossom is at its peak and the cherry trees that still have blossom have an abundance of it! Hopefully all the blossom foretells of a bountiful crop of fruit this summer, all being well through the growing season.

Click here to watch:

Credits: Filming, editing and music: Eleanor Brown

2020 – April news: Royal Variety Performance: Grafting Apples

April 17, 2020 by General Administrator

What do you do if you plant an apple tree and, after ten years of care, the variety you’ve gone for just isn’t performing? One of ours, ‘Tydeman’s Late Orange’, has given us this problem, with a decade of low yield, tiny scabby fruit and other misdemeanours.

All is not lost – this week Dom has been grafting a new, favoured variety (‘Edward VII’, hence royal) onto the old TLO trees. This involves cutting the tree right back to a few decent stumps (leaving one as a ‘sap drawer’) and in this case cleaving into the wood and wedging two tiny scions (twigs from the preferred variety, cut in winter and stored in the fridge) into the edges of the cleft.

The wounds are taped up and sealed with wax. The Edward VII scions will grow with the vigour of a ten-year old tree rather than a new sapling and will reach a good size in no time, so this is a much quicker way than replacing the tree entirely – those 10 years were not totally wasted.

Onion planting – still needs to happen despite COVID-19…

March 19, 2020 by General Administrator

This year’s onion planting will happen in a slightly different way to usual, to make sure this big annual task can be completed whilst at the same time enabling members to get out in the fresh air and still maintain the recommended social distancing measures.

Come and help plant the main onion crop – a task suitable for all ages! The work will continue for as many days as needed (Tuesday-Saturday) and any member who is well and symptom free, and has not been advised to self-isolate, is welcome to come and join in – the work will be arranged so that social distancing measures can be maintained.

Due to COVID-19 we will not be providing any refreshments or arranging shared food during onion planting work sessions. You are encouraged to bring a flask with your own hot drinks, and are welcome to bring a packed lunch if you want to work both sides of lunchtime.

We will be contacting members to let them know when the work can start (dependent on the ground being dry enough for the land to be prepared). Saturday 4th April or 11th April onwards – to be advised

2020 – February news: Wet and wild

February 21, 2020 by General Administrator

For two successive weekends we have had been battered by wet and windy weather, and many members have expressed concern about the consequences for our infrastructure and crops. Fortunately Canalside has emerged unscathed, with the tunnels and other structures all surviving the wind without a hitch (touch wood!), and most of our field-stored crops seem to be coping well with the repeated deluges. You might think farmers are helpless against the onslaught of brutal storms, but there are many farming practices that can really help mitigate the effect of extreme rainfall that we’ve seen over the last five months, most of which are integral to the organic approach and involve protecting and nourishing healthy soil as your most precious resource.

You may also be interested in this article which describes some of the factors from agricultural practices that contribute to flooding.

2019 – February’s news: We Own Our Land!

February 21, 2019 by General Administrator

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Canalside Community Food Limited now owns our land!

After a lengthy period of dotting i’s and crossing t’s, the solicitors have finally exchanged contracts, bringing an end to the process that began with our share offer launch and successful fundraising drive last year. This is really a beginning rather that an end, as the purchase safeguards our land in perpetuity and means it will be owned and stewarded by this community from hereon!

Half way there, to our target to buy the land!

June 12, 2018 by General Administrator

We are now in the final phase of our community investment opportunity and we want to say a HUGE MASSIVE THANKYOU to everyone who has come on board to be part of this amazing project that we’ve been working on for the last 2 years.

WE ARE NOW HALF WAY THERE!! We are thrilled that over 60 of you (households and individuals) have invested and become part of the community in this way and we have raised around £55,000 already! THANK YOU SO MUCH and WELCOME to being a share holder!

**The offer period runs from 19th MAY – 29th JUNE and so with 17 days to go we are ramping up the energy so we can meet our goal. We can only make this happen if we make our total of £105,000.

We invite you to invest and become part of our successful, inspiring and sustainable CSA as we enter our second decade and be part of this unique and exciting opportunity for us to share the ownership of the land co-operatively (that we currently rent) and secure and preserve it for the use of community farming for the future.

Visit: https://www.canalsidecommunityfood.org.uk/share-offer/ for all the information on what being a share holder means.

You can invest anything from £50 for one share up to £10,000. You can also simply donate if £50 is too much of a stretch at this time. You do not even have to be a member – this offer is open to anyone who would like to make an ethical investment in this way, so please tell your friends, families and networks who would be interested.

Why should I invest?

– to safe guard the land for local organic food production until the end of time!
– to be a steward of the land and care for the natural environment, to offset your carbon footprint!
– to support a space that provides local, seasonal and organic food production
– to support a space that provides community education and access to local green space

Here’s a video from our four fab Canalside founders, Caz and Tom Ingall, Gareth Davies and Judy Steele, telling us about why they think this kind of ethical investment is the way forward.

How can I help?

We need to raise another £50 K! It’s a 2 step process –
1) Visit this link https://www.canalsidecommunityfood.org.uk/share-offer/ read the document and click on the relevant application form
2) You will be contacted by us to then make your payment into the bank account. SIMPLES!

– DONATE – if you don’t wish to buy a share, or the stretch is too much at this time then any amount is very gratefully received.

– SPREAD THE WORD – you don’t have to be a member or even live locally to become a share holder. Anyone interested in ethical investment can partake – we have flyers, leaflets and all the information is on our website.

– Help us create SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENTUM – like/comment/share the posts from us – it really helps! We will be posting mightily over the coming days and the more momentum we can build up online the better. Please share our posts, and tell your networks about why you love Canalside/CSA’s and why you are investing.

Thank you so much for reading and for all your support!

Share collections going ahead despite snow

December 12, 2017 by General Administrator
The current snowy weather and freezing temperatures have caused significant interruption to normal activities this week, but here at Canalside the field team have worked extremely hard to maintain business as usual.

If you are a share member expecting to collect today or  tomorrow (12th & 13th December) please read on.

Collecting shares

Tuesday 12th: Collection will go ahead at the farm between 3 and 6.30pm as usual. However, there will be no access down the drive to the car park or pole barn. Your share will be bagged for you (and labelled S, M or L) and will be on the trailer at the top of the drive. There is turning space there, but please turn with care and to ensure space for others to turn in safely, please do not linger. As space is so limited at the top of the drive, please do not park there and walk down to the social area.

If you do get stuck, or feel some assistance is needed to help people turn, get out of the drive etc, please call the site phone (07758340491).

Sadly we may not be able to put any leaves in today’s share as everything is frozen solid, but we will try. If not, you will get extra squash and root veg to see you through until next week.

If you are unable to collect your Tuesday share as planned, please come any time up until 2pm Wednesday if you can. After that the normal arrangements will apply and you will be welcome to try to make up a share from the ‘extras’ during the Saturday collection (10am-1pm) or from the leftover produce between 1 and 2pm after Saturday’s collection has finished.

Wednesday 13th: If it is safe to do so, we will reopen the drive for the collection. If this isn’t possible, your share will be bagged for collection at the top of the drive. Information above will then apply!

Workshares and the work morning

The Wednesday work morning will go ahead as usual, but if you’re driving here, workshares and volunteers are advised to call the site phone on 07758340491 before setting off.

We hope collections will be back to normal for Saturday 16th.

We hope you’re keeping warm. Go well, Ali

Feeding the 5000

November 21, 2011 by General Administrator

Friday saw the ‘Feeding the 5000’ event, at which 5000 members of the public in Trafalgar Square ate curry made from surplus food that would otherwise have been wasted. Its aim was to highlight how easy it is to reduce the unimaginable levels of food waste in the UK and internatonally, and in doing so benefit those who don’t have enough to eat.

The event urged the public to sign the Feeding the 5000 pledge calling for acton from governments, retailers and food businesses: ‘I pledge to reduce my food waste and I want businesses to do the same’. Fear not! Although the event is over, those unable to attend the event will be able to pledge through the Feeding the 5000 website (www.feeding5k.org). Around 80 percent of consumers want businesses to tackle food waste: this offers an opportunity for businesses to respond to the challenge in proactive, positive ways.

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