Posts Tagged ‘Food and Agriculture’

Damson Harvesting

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

SLACC’s Abundance group is organising another damson harvest this year. Come along and join our harvest in the Lyth Valley, in conjunction with the Westmorland Damson Association –


Help us, and the Damson Association, to pick the fruit from their old orchards, and take some home at the end of the day.

Its a fun community activity, the fruit is delicious fresh off the tree, and there’s plenty you can do with the damsons – eat them, bake them, make a pie, preserve them, make wine, flavour gin or vodka, use them as a natural dye for clothing or wool, or freeze them and bring them along to our traditional fruit preserve workshop on 12th October!

Harvest dates depend on when the fruit has ripened, usually at the start of September. Register your interest and we’ll contact you with dates closer to the time. Please also let us know if you have a car and are willing to give others a lift. Email tsl.abundance[at] or phone Ruth on 07851  719 444

Super Sprint Mill!

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

15 members of the Food & Agriculture group had a grand trip out to Sprint Mill last Saturday. We learnt all about Edward and Romola’s philosophy on sustainable, low impact living. To start the day we were given a greenwood demonstration – Edward coppices all the mill’s wood for heat and cooking, makes gates and hurdles for the smallholding, and makes greenwood crafts, beanpoles, pea sticks etc… the goats even join in on the fun by eating the bark.

Group photo in the veg patch

Edward walked us around some of his smallholding, showing us the vegetable plot they have in the garden and the field they own a short distance away. The field  is divided into 10 compartments including an orchard, a few ‘coppicettes’ (small areas of coppiced hazel), a section of biomass willow, some basketry willow, and their traditional hay meadows full of lovely meadowsweet, hay rattle and other traditional hay plants … all loved by the mill’s bees!

in amongst the ash trees

in the field

Before lunch we all had the chance to use Edward’s scythes along the lane – great fun, quick and much more sociable than a noisy strimmer!


If you would like to know about the group’s projects or would like to host a meeting please contact[at]gmail[dot]com.

Conservation Cows on Whitbarrow Scar – Sun 23rd May

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

The SLACC Food and Agriculture Group  organsied a walk and talk last Sunday looking at conservation grazing, led by organic farmer Bill Grayson. Visitors met his Blue-grey, Red Poll and Shorthorn cattle that are grazing the beautiful Whitbarrow grasslands. A picnic was shared after the walk.

shorthorn cattle

Apple blossom

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Our Staveley Apples for All trees are starting to come into blossom and we’re very excited! Some of the trees are between 1 & 3 years old and these are blossoming a lot quicker than the newly grafted trees, but its very rewarding to see the grafted trees sprouting – like magic!

'Tower of Glamis' blossom

For more info or to get involved contact Lorna or Ruth on tsl.abundance[at] or 01539 822165

Seedling Swap next Saturday (8th May)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Come along to Underley Road allotments on Saturday 8th May for a seedling swap organised by the Grow-Your-Own helpline group. A great way to get more plants for your garden or allotment, bring along your spare seedlings and swap them or give a donation and have a look around the community orchard while you’re there. The swap will take place from 10-3 and there will be tea and cakes available.

Directions: Heading north out of Kendal on Windermere Road, turn right onto Garth Brow, 1st right onto Hallgarth Circle then 1st right onto a little crescent road by a green. Halfway around the crescent there is a lane between houses, the allotments will be signposted from here.

Food & Agri meeting

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Food and Agriculture sub-group had its quarterly meeting last Saturday in Rydal. 20 people turned out for a lovely, lively afternoon which started with a tour around Rydal Hall’s Community Garden – thanks to Ian for showing us around!

We headed down the hill to the Badger Bar for the meeting itself that included updates from The Red Shed growing project at QKS in Kendal, the Cumbria Forest Foods network, Kendal Grow-Your-Own group, Staveley’s Apples for All, and an allotments update, plus feedback from the March 3rd SLACC TT launch. There’s lots of exciting projects on the go with this sub-group!

If you’d like to join the Food mailing list or find out more about any of the above projects please email or watch this space for details of the next meeting.

Thanks to everyone who car-shared and cycled (we squeezed 6 bicycles on the train to Windermere)!

May Transition Living – build a bike trailer

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The plan for the Transition Living workshop in May is to build a bike trailer for the Abundance group.

We’ve got some plans from a chap who’s designed trailers to be made out of bamboo for developing countries, check out this webpage for his full story, its a nice story! He gives the plans to anyone who asks as long as they send him photos of the finished product being used for his website, so bring your bike along, take the trailer for a spin and we’ll get some good pics.

Bamboo is all well and good in some parts of the world, but we’re not keen on it growing in Cumbria, especially when historically this area has had huge amounts of native coppice woodland. So we’re gonna make our bike trailer out of locally coppiced wood and recycled materials.

Everyone is welcome to come along to the URC hall on Tuesday 11th May, 7pm-9pm, £3. Please book your place by emailing tsl.abundance[at] or call 01539 822165.

Abundance ‘Apples for All’

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

‘Apples for All’ is a new Abundance project based in Staveley. This summer we want to get Staveley residents and visitors hooked on the idea of growing their own fruit by planting 50 apple trees around the village. The trees will be of local varieties, evolved to thrive in our local conditions, and will be on a variety of different rootstocks – so you can choose a tree that will grow to 15ft, a dwarf tree suitable for containers, or something in-between.

Today we got news that the project will receive some money from Windermere and Staveley’s Neighbourhood Forum to help us pay for the trees and produce some information leaflets. But we still to raise a bit more money, so now its full steam ahead!

If you would like an apple tree for your garden, have space at your place of work, or can think of any public spaces that would benefit from some fruit trees then please get in touch.

We would also like to get some new volunteers on board to help graft the trees, plant them out later in the summer, promote the project, produce a map of the local fruit and help us at a few events we hope to hold – possibly to include a community apple pressing day and workshops on making jam and cooking with wild food. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about fruit trees, if you have any skills you think we can’t live without!

Contact Lorna on 01539 822165 or email tsl.abundance[at]

Apples for All is supported by:


SENS (Sustainability and Energy Network Staveley)

SLOG (South Lakeland Orchard Group)

Transition coppicing day

Saturday, March 27th, 2010
On Sunday 14th March, Edward Acland hosted a coppicing day at Oaks Wood, near Burneside. It was a beautiful sunny day so lots of people turned out, what better way to spend the day than learning new skills and meeting new friends in the wood.
Everyone had the ch ance to learn about Edward’s traditional approach to coppicing and woodland management, using only hand tools such as the bill hook, crosscut saw, drawknife and froe.
Edward demonstrated how to use a shavehorse, drawknife and rounder to make joints for chairs, gates and hurdles while Romola gave a tour of the woodland with a bit of its history and ecology thrown in.

Kendal Grow Your Own group launch

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

On Wednesday March 24th enthusiastic would-be grow-your-owners teamed up with a team of garden gurus to launch a new local support scheme offering free advice to food growers. With more and more people  planning to have a go at growing fruit and vegetables, the Grow Your Own scheme offers advice and northern know-how by telephone or email (07980 325804 ).

The scheme is the brainchild of Food and Agriculture group member Ros Taylor, who says ‘ We are often told by the media how easy it is to grow your own fruit and vegetables, and I know how much fun it is. But we do have our own challenges here in Cumbria, not least the higher rainfall and shorter growing season than down south. We want to give new growers a good start’. Ros also had an interview with Mike Parr on Radio Cumbria telling him about the group and giving him some advice on growing tomatoes.

Growing your own food helps to cut food miles, reduce carbon emissions and it’s good for the soul!

Huge thanks to Ros for all her hard work gettting the group going.

The next Food and Agriculture event is a Seedling Swap on May 8th, from 10am-3pm at the community orchard and shed at Underley Road Allotments in Kendal.