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city food Issue 28 | Autumn 2013

Celebrating ten years! The Big Dig Week

w w w . b hnear f o o dyou See inside for more news, issues and events


Seasonal menu Food Partnership news and reviews p4-8 Best cookability recipes p.10-11

A short history of community cookery p.12-13 Ten years of the Food Partnership 14-15 A growing community p. 16-17 An ode to the orchard p.18 Big Dig Week p.20 Out and about with FareShare p.22-23 Community nutrition p24-27

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Food Partnership News

Welcome Welcome to this special tenth birthday edition of City Food News which looks back at the journey we have been on since we started work back in 2003. Birthdays are an opportunity to stop and reflect before moving forward. The evaluation of the Harvest project shows that 51 new community gardens started during the four years it has run. Since 2010, First Time Cook has given over 100 people the skills and confidence to cook nutritious meals for themselves. Adults partaking in our weight management programmes have lost weight and made lasting changes to the food they eat. Last year more than 4,000 people volunteered on a growing project and 650 households are part of a community composting scheme. It’s not just numbers but real changes to communities and people’s lives. Food is fun and celebratory but can also be a great divider. It can mean very different things for different people. For some it is a constant worry confirmed by the news that the number of food banks in the city has trebled this year, with more to come. Now as the city faces further financial problems we want to ensure that food does not widen inequalities but brings people together. From the start our ethos has always been that prevention and whole life changes, promoting a healthy relationship with food from an early

age, is better than dealing with the consequences later. We know that food work is a great way to engage people with a range of behaviour changes – people starting to grow some food tell us they waste less, people learning to cook start eating more healthily, people who join weight management groups go on to volunteer on a community project. Looking ahead we will continue to use food as a tool to help the most vulnerable to be healthier and to prevent further social and environmental problems. Our ability to do this relies on others and we are grateful for the funding that has supported our valuable work, particularly from the Public Health team and The Big Lottery Local Food Fund. To celebrate our work with us please come along to our tenth birthday event on Hove Lawns on 14th and 15th September. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend packed with activities helping you eat, cook and grow. Thank you to all our members who have supported us over the last decade.

Enjoy this Food News By Vic Borrill Food Partnership Director w w w. b h fo o d . o rg . u k 3

Sharp increase in number of food banks Get active this autumn Primary school students will ‘run the world’ in October as part of an initiative to get children running. The project aims to get thousands of 7 to 11 year olds covering a 1km distance and together amass a total distance equivalent to running from Brighton to Africa. But don’t stop there. Free swimming for children is being continued for another year so under-11s can swim for free all week and 12-16 year olds can swim for free at the weekend. Freedom Leisure are also introducing a new leisure card for people on benefits to get discounts on using their facilities.

The number of food banks operating in Brighton & Hove has increased from two to six over the last year, with four more planning to open soon. The Food Partnership held a meeting for emergency food distributors in the city in July. You can see the report on our website. The capacity of Fareshare, who distribute surplus food to all the city’s food banks, is stretched and they need further support to run their depot and delivery vans. If you would like to support our local food banks, then we suggest that you donate to Fareshare: www.faresharebrightonandhove.

Food Waste Collective launches On 6th July, staff and members of the Food Partnership joined many others in a Food Waste Action event, where the city’s food waste and food poverty issues were discussed, and projects were developed to address them. Two projects launched locally, including a surplus produce harvesting network and a business to charity food 4 city food news

redistribution group (which has already shared out 2 pallets’ worth of surplus dry goods). If you’re interested in joining these and other projects, sharing ideas or simply spreading the word, join the Food Waste Collective at or by emailing

Food Partnership News

City in Bloom Brighton & Hove City in Bloom 2013 was a huge success. After being managed by the council for almost two decades, last year it become an independent organisation and is now entirely run on a voluntary basis. For the second year running the Food Partnership sponsored the Community Gardening category and 16 gardens entered the competition. The projects that made it through to the final are

London Road Station Partnership, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wayfield Avenue Martlet Hospice and the ranking will be unveiled at the prize giving ceremony on 23rd September. Hopefully so much passion and enthusiasm will motivate even more people to enter the competitions and contribute to making our city a more edible place to be.

Sustainable food cities Brighton & Hove has become a founding member of the UK-wide Sustainable Food Cities Network along with 24 other cities including Edinburgh, Newcastle and Liverpool. The network brings together cities that are working to promote healthy and sustainable food as a way of addressing some of the country’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems including obesity, food poverty and climate change. The pioneering work of the

Brighton & Hove Food Partnership will be used as a model for other cities in the network to follow. At the end of the three year programme, more than 100 urban areas are expected to have joined up allowing people to share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice in all aspects of sustainable food. Members will also work towards achieving Sustainable Food City status.

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Celebrating ten years Come and celebrate ten years of working for a citywide healthy, sustainable and affordable food system with us. On the 14th and 15th September, we’re hosting ‘Eat-Cook-Grow’, a foodie extravaganza at the Food Festival market on Hove Lawns. For the event we’ve organised a series of engaging, interactive “plot to plate” foodie experiences. You can sample one of our cookery demos and pick up some new tips and techniques including how to make your leftovers in to delicious meals. Or admire our wonderful harvest display of local seasonal fruits and vegetables, and learn how to grown your own food, even if you are short on space. Our nutrition team will also be on hand to dispel some common food myths and offer advice on healthy eating, whatever your budget. You won’t miss our marquee: it’s the one with an urban farm outside it. Yes, a real urban farm featuring a heavy horse for children to ride on, fruiting trees, apple juicing and even some sheep. Then on the 26th October, we’re hosting a party and fundraiser at the Old Market in Hove featuring the Afro-Colombian rhythms of Pollito 6 city food news

Boogaloo plus the dance-floor stomp of Brighton’s Carnivalesque DJs. This gig is a fund raiser for our Harvest schools project – helping schools throughout the city to set up vegetable and fruit gardens for their children to enjoy (and learn from) growing their own food. If you would like to support this project please buy the £20 ticket – the extra £10 is a donation that will go direct to the project.

Food Partnership News

Buy yourself a share of a sheep Sheep Share, a local scheme that aims to get more city residents eating local lamb, is open for orders for this season. A lot of people are worried about where their meat comes from, how it has been treated and its impact on the environment. With this scheme you can buy local and sustainable meat direct from the farmer.

What do you get? The sheep that are purchased through the Sheep Share are about two years old (Shearlings). The flavour of the meat is high quality, and many of the top restaurants buy off the local farmer as well. A share of the sheep is one-quarter of a whole animal, butchered down into individually vacuum packed cuts. Customers can order one or more shares (or you can arrange to split a share with a friend). Each share costs ÂŁ40. Each quarter-share will include a range of cuts from the back legs to the neck, plus mince. You can opt to have offal if you like. A Âź sheep fits easily into a freezer tray.

How does it work? Email your order to before the deadline. The group will then put an

order in with the farmer and he will take the sheep to slaughter and get them butchered locally and drop them off to a central distribution point where you can pick up your meat. Sheepshare is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme run by a group called Brighton Community Agriculture. This CSA is run by a group of volunteers, therefore when you join the scheme you could think about getting further involved which helps share the responsibility of the project. For instance you could help with publicity, taking orders or attending meetings.

Deadlines September Sheepshare Deadline: Friday 20th Sept 13 5pm Collection: Friday 27th Sept 13 Winter Sheepshare Deadline: Friday 29th Nov 13 5pm Collection: Friday 13th Dec 13 Twitter: w w w. b h fo o d . o rg . u k 7

Reviews Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation Michael Pollan’s new book is a sizable, if overwhelming, feast of stories about age old culinary traditions such as roasting a whole pig, baking a sourdough, and perfecting a pickle, and the people who champion these activities in the modern day. Each story gives way to Pollan’s own musings on what it means to be human, a philosophical exploration of how the making of food defines us, and the implications for a society that spends less than 30 minutes a day immersed in it. If this sounds too academic, fear not, as between the ritual sacrifice of barbeques, the zen of braising, the mysticism of leavening and the sinister pleasures of fermentation, you will actually find practical knowledge that you can apply in your own kitchen, and certainly a large dose of inspiration. Just try not to consume too much in one sitting.

By Vera Zakharov 8 city food news

The Moo Man A slow, meandering film about cows may not seem like the perfect cinema treat but Andy Heathcote’s Moo Man is a delightfully subtle take on the very real struggles of the modern day dairy farmer. We follow East Sussex farmer Stephen Hook, who turned his back on the costcutting dairy and supermarket system to set up on his own and sell raw milk direct from his farm. The cows rule around these parts and staying small and local allows Stephen to cultivate a close bond with all his animals. But from worrying about TB wiping out his whole herd to the yearly birthing cycle where heifers are worth so much more than bulls, the trials and tribulations of dairy farming are never far away. Without labouring the point, the Moo Man shows the need to support our small local farmers before they disappear for good. The film is currently touring the country. Look out for a screening near you or preorder the DVD now.

Community Cookery

Not just a cookery course Cookery is a great way to learn about food; where it comes from, how to eat healthy and how to buy responsibly. This may seem a bit much when you are just interested in joining a cookery course, but in today's ever expanding world we can't afford to take food for granted, which is why our cookery courses offer a little more. When you come onto one of our cookery courses, whether it be as a beginner or competent cook you will find that the course is peppered with additional spice. Topics such as ‘love you leftovers’ and ‘shop smart’, adorn our menu to help people save those pennies and reduce food waste. We always start by introducing our friend ‘The Eatwell Plate’ which helps people understand the proportions of different types of food we need to eat every day that helps with a healthy lifestyle. We are all pretty familiar with the ‘Five a Day’ idea but what does this mean when we are planning to cook a meal? Our community nutrition team are always on hand to support and advise you. Understanding where food comes from can be just as enlightening as learning to

cook, and we often take the cooking out of the kitchen and into the open, when we visit growing projects around the city and see how they nurture their locally grown produce. Of course the opportunity to cook there and then with some of this fresh picked produce is incredibly enticing, so we always make sure that this is included as part of the ‘Pick and Cook’ session. Where our food comes from, is increasingly becoming a concern for people who demand to know more about what goes into their bodies. Cooking your own meals is the quickest and best solution to resolve this issue. The food cycle is large and very complex, but if we all take time to understand it a little more, we can begin to make small changes to our daily lives that will have a big impact to our world. Whether you’re interested in learning to cook, growing food or healthy eating; make a start today by finding out something new you can do to make a change. By Alan Lugton Community Cookery Manager w w w. b h fo o d . o rg . u k 9

On the last week of our Cookability cookery leaders course students often choose to cook one of their own recipes for the rest of the group to try. Here are some of our favourites from over the last 8 years

Aiko Yamakawa, Cookability 2013 Stir Fry Tofu, Serves 4 people Mushrooms and Spinach

Ingredients l 200 grams Tofu l 200 grams Spinach l 200 grams Shitake Mushrooms l 50 ml sunflower oil l 4 drops Sesame oil l 50 grams Seasoned Flour l 10 ml Soy Sauce

Method 1 Wrap tofu with kitchen towel and put a plate on it with a light weight (e.g. a tin of tomatoes) and leave them for 2030 minutes. This will draw out some of the excess water from the tofu. 10 city food news

2 Cut tofu into large chunks and coat in the seasoned flour, then set aside. 3 Cut the mushrooms into quarters. 4 Heat a frying pan with some sunflower oil and add the tofu. Fry at a low-medium heat until the outside gets golden and crispy. Place on a warm plate. 5 Add some more oil to the pan and fry mushrooms for 2-3 minutes. Then add the spinach and stir in until it is wilted and vibrant green. 6 Place the mixture over the tofu. 7 Serve immediately with a light sprinkle of soy sauce.

Community Cookery

Nina Moldes Cookability 2009. Patatas bravas Serves 4 as a tapa or side dish (potatoes in spicy tomato sauce)

Ingredients l 750g / 1 ½ lb potatoes l 1 onion finely chopped l 1 clove garlic chopped l 3 dried chillies or 1-2 fresh (vary according to taste) l 2 tablespoons olive oil l 1-2 teaspoon of paprika (hot or sweet depending on how hot you like it) l 1 tin of tomatoes or 4 ripe fresh tomatoes l 1 teaspoon sugar l 1 tablespoon of plain flour l 150 ml / Ÿ pint of cold water l Salt and pepper to taste l Oil for frying

4 Add the tomatoes and sugar to the pan and return to the heat. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes. 5 Mix the flour with a little COLD water to form a runny paste (cream consistency) making sure there are no lumps. Add this to the sauce and stir. Add the rest of the water and stir. 6 Add seasoning and simmer for 15 min. 7 Let the sauce cool down for a bit and puree with a hand blender or food processor. 8 Heat then oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the potatoes, turning over occasionally, until golden. 9 Place in a serving dish and top with the tomato sauce.

Method 1 Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks. Place in a pan with salted water and part-boil for 5-10 minutes (depending on the type of potato) taking care the chunks remain whole. Drain and leave to cool. 2 Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onions, garlic and chilli. Fry until the onion becomes transparent but not brown (5-10 min). 3 Remove the pan from the heat and add the paprika mixing well. (This is to avoid the paprika burning).

Tips l For a smother sauce, pass the tomato mix through a sieve. l The sauce is better hot but it may also be served cold.

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A short history of cooking in the community By Anna Schwarz The much smaller community cookery team joined the much smaller Food Partnership in 2007. At this point the Community Cookery project – consisting of community cookery tutor, Erika Adler – was well established in East Brighton with various cookery classes and a cookery leaders training course, Cookability. Since joining the Food Partnership we have grown both in terms of how many staff we have and how much of the city our work covers. We are now a team of 4 who work alongside 12 sessional workers to run a Cookability course each term and First Time Cook, our regular beginner’s cookery course. We also run courses and sessions in partnership with other organisations and the other Food Partnership teams for example cookery demonstrations with Love Food Hate Waste, seasonal 12 city food news

cookery courses with Harvest and Eatwell workshops with the healthy nutrition team. Here are just a few of the things we’ve done:

Trained Community Cookery Leaders 233 people have come on Cookability since it began in 2005. Amongst other things people have gone on to run: l Cookery groups within youth clubs and children’s centres l Catering and cookery training projects with teenagers l Cookery sessions with refugees and asylum seekers l Primary school cookery clubs for both parents and children l Pick and cook sessions at community gardens and allotments

Community Cookery

Taught basic cookery and beginner cooks

“I had a great sense of shared learning”

107 people have come on First Time Cook since it began in 2010, Some of the reasons people come on the course are to ‘learn to cook healthy food on a budget’, ‘to use fresh ingredients and get my 5 a day’, ‘fed up with the expense of ready meals’ and to get inspired.

Run joint courses and sessions including… l Old Spice cookery for men aged 50+ with lifelines l Baby weaning sessions with childrens centres l Harvest festivals and lunchbox workshops for parents and children with a wide variety of schools l Lunch Club cooking and eating sessions for people with learning disabilities with Speak Out advocacy project l Cookery for people learning English as a second language with the Friends Centre and the Migrant English Project

“Cookability has given me the boost to plan various cookery projects that have been sitting around waiting to be activated”

View from a First Time Cook “The course has exceeded my expectations – more than this. It has been a delightful experience. I wanted to gain confidence in my cooking skills, learn new recipes, meet new people and have fun! All of this has happened. I enjoyed every moment. It was a fantastic, fun, learning experience and I now love cooking and have much more confidence” w w w . b h f o o d . o r g . u k 13

Ten years of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

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how to cook and how to start up their own cookery ventures. We encourage people to grow food, wherever they can, and to start gardens in disused spaces as a community. And we provide nutritional advice and weight management services that keep city residents happy and healthy. We have over 3,250 members who support our campaigns and share their ideas and food tips with us. If you know anyone who supports our work but isn’t a member, please encourage them to join us and help us shout louder about food in our city.

sh ap Sp 0 e 4 a Co de nf to er S e p 20 nce oon Fi 0 rs 5 fe t lo st ca iva l l pro du 20 ce La 0 u 6 to nc Sp h o oo f S p 20 n ade FP 0 7 de sta r l t m iver s to an w se ag ei rv e gh ice m t s e nt

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The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership started life in 2003 when various people in the city came together to discuss improving the local food system. The idea was to combine the diverse food work going on in the health, environmental and economic sectors and use food as a catalyst to drive forward social and environmental change. Ten years on and the Food Partnership has evolved beyond all recognition. We now have over twenty members of staff working on a large number of projects. We run cookery courses teaching people

Special feature

“Just looking at the Food Partnership website and seeing how much is going on is testament to how much this fantastic organisation has grown: 22 members of staff working on 12 different program areas! I started as a volunteer with the FP back in 2004 when the Food Partnership was just one year old and by the time I left in 2012 I was working full time on the Harvest Project. It was a great experience to work with such inspiring, knowledgeable and dedicated people both within the FP and the many excellent community projects and partners. I feel proud to have been a part of the BHFP team for so long and to have seen the organisation grow, develop and really make a difference in bringing about a healthy, sustainable and fair food system in Brighton & Hove. Best job ever!” Ann Baldridge was the first ever paid member of staff at the Food Partnership

“I have two special memories from the early years of the Food Partnership: the launch of Spade to Spoon in the packed Old Market Theatre, not just as list of ‘to dos’ but with a fair few already marked ‘done’; then, a few years later, the crunch meeting when the board took the chance to provide community cooking support for the Primary Care Trust, paving the way for the hands-on work done today. The partnership has achieved a huge amount both before then and since, especially with Harvest, serving the city well and inspiring others around the country. Long may it flourish!” Tom MacMillan was a board member at the Food Partnership


De 10 ve mon g Pr eta stra es bl tio to e g n n a 20 Park rden sta in Pl 11 rts an No ni n gr te f g A o o d an win r fo vis o o d co co g ad d ry m m op po m te s u d 20 tingnity st Sp 12 ar ts a re de fre to sh sp oo 20 n Te 13 n an t h ni ve rs ar y


He 0 8 Awalth ar y C d ho d 20 evelioce pe Ha 0 d 9 r v la es un t ch pro e j 2 s ect

“Back in 2002 I was employed to run a Cookery in the Community project as part of the East Brighton regeneration programme (EB4u). A year later I took part in the Spade to Spoon conference, which led to the city’s Food Strategy and the creation

of the Food Partnership, and I look back with amazement at how much has been achieved in the past 10 years. I developed the Cookability training in 2004 as a way of building on the skills and enthusiasm of local people, so that they felt confident to pass on their love of cooking, good food and healthy eating to others in the community. I feel very lucky to have worked with so many fantastic individuals and partner organisations, and it’s great to know that the project continues its important work in the city. Here’s to the next ten years!” Erika Adler founded the Cookability programme

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A growing community The Food Partnership’s Harvest project Food growing has increased has come to the end of its initial Big throughout the city during Harvest, this Lottery funding. An evaluation report was largely due to a rise in small-scale has been produced to look at the projects, rather than larger initiatives. impact of the project and what learning Given limited resources and land can be shared with other cities. Below space, there were inevitable trade-offs we provide some highlights from the but these projects have clear social report. Thank you to all Food benefits alongside the food production. Partnership members and supporters Projects reported that Harvest made who contributed to the evaluation them feel part of a larger food-growing process.* community in Brighton & Hove and that Harvest helped this increased people to start up “Volunteering with their confidence, community Harvest not only gave me developed their gardens in parks, the chance to indulge my common identity, allotments and passion for growing food provided disused spaces but also gave me inspiration and across the city. something to focus on helped new people Some of these while being unemployed. Also, being access their were the first of around other volunteers and by talking to projects. Potential their kind and members of the public gave me back a lot larger projects pioneered growing of my self-confidence and self-esteem.” have only just on new types of Gary Johnson, volunteer at the Harvest started to come land. The demo garden forward, and processes and Harvest staff feel procedures that Harvest helped agree confident to support them with the will make it easier for anyone to start existing momentum, awareness and up similar projects in the future. Many key strategic relationships in place. evaluation interviews suggested that One of the rationales behind Harvest Harvest’s ability to bring key decisionwas that promoting food growing could makers and stakeholders together was encourage other sustainable food a major factor in developing the trickier behaviours. Many evaluation survey of these ‘exemplar’ projects, and that it respondents reported behaviour is unlikely that such projects could changes as a result of engagement have been developed as quickly (if at with Harvest, such as wasting less food all) without that contribution. (44%), composting (41%), and buying 16 city food news


Harvest in numbers: 51 new community gardens in Brighton & Hove (increased from 25 to 76) 7,201 m2 of new growing space in the city more local food (36%). Food Matters drafted a Planning Advisory Note (PAN) with the Council as part of Harvest, encouraging developers to incorporate food growing into new housing developments in the city. The PAN was a finalist in the 2013 Royal Institute of Town Planners Awards and was highly commended in the South East Constructing Excellence Awards 2013. Harvest representatives were invited to give oral evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Sustainable Food and shared learning in places including Swansea, Middlesbrough, Berlin, Paris, London and Manchester.

What next Priorities for the next phase of this work include increasing access to the benefits of food growing, continuing to support food growing projects, particularly those working in communities of greater need, and supporting larger-scale growing projects to start and succeed. *The full evaluation report was researched by Rebecca White (Research Fellow, University of Sussex) and James Thomas (independent researcher). The University of Brighton was Harvest’s overall evaluation partner. All of the work would not have been possible without the funding provided by the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund, other organisations that provided match funding and the in-kind support offered to the project.

4,000 volunteers per year involved in community gardening in Brighton & Hove (15,000 hours per year)

£45,000 given out in 70 small grants to community growing projects £103,268 of additional (match) funding secured for Harvest 24 community composting sites setup, involving over 500 households 10 tonnes of unused fruit processed by the Scrumping project, generating over £12,000 in sales

700 people attended 70 training courses and talks on growing and cooking 70,000 unique visitors to the Harvest website 3,000 followers on Twitter and 2,500 email newsletter subscribers Harvest staff attended 180 community events and spoke to more than 6,000 people w w w . b h f o o d . o r g . u k 17

Ode to the Orchard The humble apple originated in Kazakhstan, but has a rich and varied history in England and the rest of the world. From packed lunches to cider, the apple has a place in our diet that no other fruit can hope to attain and a major part of its appeal is the fact it can be grown locally. There are at least 30 varieties of apple which come from Sussex. Not so long ago, orchards were a common sight. Many have been lost, but now people are provide a habitat for many different once again planting their own orchards. types of wildlife. They are appearing around housing, in Over the last 10 years, Brighton parks, school grounds, fields on the Permaculture Trust has harvested well edge of towns and on village greens. in excess of 10 tonnes of fruit from Brighton & Hove is at the forefront of their orchards at Stanmer and through this. Brighton Permaculture Trust, a the Scrumping Project. All being well partner of the Brighton & Hove Food this figure should increase greatly once Partnership, have in the last 10 years some of the 400 fruit trees planted planted at least 400 grafted fruit trees have matured and start bearing fruit. A within the city and further 170 trees at least 1,000 other Interested in planting an Orchard? See are planned for the trees (of which large orchard site many are fruiting). community-orchards up at Racehill and In addition to this at many other sites least 50 trees have been planted in across Brighton & Hove. schools by other groups over Find out more about apples and their this time. origins at Apple day in Stanmer Park Orchards have many benefits; they on the 22nd September or at the are a beautiful haven for people to sit screening of The Origins of the Apple and enjoy, they are a source of food on 4th October at the Linklater which can last for 50 – 100 years and Pavillion, Lewes. 18 city food news


Community Composting The enthusiasm for community composting across the city continues and we now have new schemes in Preston Park and at the Secret Garden behind St Leonards Church in Hove. This brings the total number of community compost schemes to 21. That equates to over 650 households involved, and if that statistic

isn’t enough for you, try imagining a whopping 4 double decker’s worth of food waste diverted from incineration. This month we celebrated our second harvest from the North Laine scheme which is currently nourishing the corn and courgettes growing in the new Brighthelm garden.

The Start of Community Composting in North Laine Written by Paley OConner Volunteer Compost Monitor In 2011 I picked up a Food Partnership leaflet about composting in the community. I thought it was a good idea, although I have a garden it’s very small and I hated throwing away good stuff. As a member of the North Laine Community Association (NCLA) I went to a meeting and raised the possibility. There were a mix of reactions but generally people were in favour. I then wrote an article about it for the NLCA newsletter, asking anyone who was interested to contact me and for suggestions for possible sites. With residents on board I went to the Council’s Community Waste Forum meeting. Having identified Brighthelm and St Peters as suitable sites, Adam Batchelor of City Clean worked on the legal issues,

and providing the compost bins, while I wrote more articles to drum up support and explain how the scheme could work if it got off the ground. It was finally launched in the summer of 2011 at which point over 30 households signed up. I’m really proud to have been part of getting this scheme off the ground which has led the way to over 20 other schemes across the city. It really is amazing what can be achieved if you get together with other people and persevere in finding solutions to problems. To find out how to join an existing scheme or to get composting in your area contact or have a look at the map of compost sites w w w . b h f o o d . o r g . u k 19


g i D g i B Week 16th – 22nd September 2013 an bration of urb Join our celeg as community food growin righton and gardens in B eir gates for Hove open thDig event. the third Big iscover what lies Come and d arden walls in behind the g urhood and your neighbo involved and beyond. Get et growing too. inspired to g

25 gardens are open the week, showcasin throughout range of community g a diverse parks, orchards and projects in Check out three ab forests. across the city withundant trails workdays, activity evvolunteer days and a pop-up ents, fun surprise in the city centre! 01273 431700


New projects Stanford Avenue Community Garden Stanford Avenue Community Garden was officially opened on 21 June, and already the fruits of the community’s work are being reaped, with the garden’s first healthy marrow harvested recently. Strawberries, tomatoes, chilies, herbs and flowers are also blossoming. The 600 sq ft garden came about as a result of a request by local residents to the City Council after a road safety scheme narrowing the junction of Stanford Avenue and Cleveland Road was built. Anyone who can offer time, hardware and expertise is welcome to join in. For more information, please email

Harvest Pop Up Garden We’re creating a pop up garden made up of edible plants borrowed from community gardens and projects across the city. You can find it on the South lawn by St Peters Church near the Old Steine from the 16th-29th September. The garden is part of wider project which will test what

people want to see in this space over the longer-term, including art and sound installations and a pop-up cafe. We need volunteers to help us build and set up the site on Monday 16th September (10am-5pm). If you'd like to help out, email us at w w w . b h f o o d . o r g . u k 21

A Day with FareShare By Vera Zakharov Tucked away in an industrial estate on the edge of the city is a little warehouse with a lot of impact. FareShare Brighton & Hove has operated since 2002, redistributing quality surplus food from the food industry to organisations that support vulnerable communities in the city. FareShare also provides training to their volunteers, many of whom have benefitted from the work of the above organisations. It is one of 17 FareShare hubs operating in the UK and Northern Ireland. But how does this project, run mostly by volunteers, manage to distribute hundreds of tonnes of food every year? I accompanied the team over a working day to find out. At 9:30am the warehouse is already abuzz with activity. Volunteers wearing hi-viz are busy packing various food items, checking lists, and marking crates for delivery, all in a hectic but wellchoreographed dance. “We’re short one volunteer, so all hands on deck 22 city food news

this morning,” Seb, the Assistant Operations Manager, tells me. Seb has worked with FareShare since 2007, drawn in by FareShare’s positive social impact and focus on supporting volunteers. He works alongside Lyndsey, the Fundraising & Communications Officer, and Nathan, the Operations Manager. Nathan joined the FareShare team in 2003. Back then, FareShare had one van and delivered less than 50 tonnes of food a year. Now they work with 52 projects in Brighton & Hove and Sussex, and have distributed 220 tonnes in the first half of 2013 alone. The warehouse is carefully organised by food – tinned fruit and veg, dry goods, spring greens from a farm in Kent. I’m shown the cool room, with sandwiches, ready meals and massive chorizo logs. It’s astounding. I’m offered a crayfish stirfry for lunch. “We can’t donate certain items, like seafood. It’s perfectly safe as is, but someone might

Food poverty

get the sandwich, carry it around all day, and it becomes a health risk.” FareShare calls projects to tell them what they have and plan out what they’ll receive the next day. “One children’s centre requested tinned veg, and all we have is ackee,” says Seb. “Wow they’re £4 a tin!” I exclaim, savouring the thoughts of saltfish and ackee with rice. the sheer diversity in the projects we “Yeah, it’s nice but very unusual. visit, such as an organisation working Luckily we know that the centre is with teens not in education or visited by many Afro-Caribbean employment, an unemployed workers families, so I’m confident it will project, and a centre that supports be enjoyed.” women experiencing substance abuse. Dave has been volunteering for 8 Seb tells me that demand for support years. “I was in treatment for a while, is rising dramatically in the current at a project receiving FareShare food. economic climate. Thankfully, They encouraged me to volunteer, and donations are also increasing. “With I’ve been coming here since. I’m retired Tesco and Asda coming on board, we now, but I just can’t put my feet up!” he are reaching capacity,” Seb tells me. chuckles. “But we can use more, as our projects What about waste? “We waste less than always need more food. 1%,” says Seb. “When we receive too “We need more space, we need more much packaged prepared veg, we deliver operational it to a local To learn more about FareShare Brighton & capacity. We community Hove, and how you can help them to raise need more growing project funds, please visit money.” who cook it up for The story of their volunteers.” FareShare is Seb, volunteer itself a story of recovery, in more ways Jack and I head off in the massive than one. Not least the recovery from refrigerated van on our day’s deliveries. our society’s addiction to waste. As we The first stop is the Forfars Bakery work to address the root issues of both warehouse, where we pick up boxes of colourful pastries. We discuss the poverty and food waste, FareShare and lasting power of apple turnovers. the many projects it supports are vital The route takes us in a zig-zag of lifelines. And they could use a stops across the city. I am astounded by helping hand. w w w . b h f o o d . o r g . u k 23

Healthy communities The Community Nutrition team joined the Food Partnership in 2007. We took the opportunity to catch up with members of the team and asked them to tell us how it all began, share some of their biggest achievements and let us know what might be next...

Jannette, Community Nutrition Manager: “The Community Nutrition team provides an integrated service aimed at improving the health of residents in Brighton & Hove. Our services include weight management clinics and group programmes and we are increasingly linking to other food-related activities such as cookery classes, food growing projects and reducing food waste.”

Susan, Health Promotion Dietitian: “We also keep members up to date with blogs, newsletters and marketing materials. The Food Partnership is really living up to its name and we are very proud of our role in showing local people a holistic approach to food, starting with planting seeds right through to the food on your plate. To be part of the Food Partnership is a unique experience for a dietitian working in such a dynamic organisation broadens the way you approach your own area of work and there are lots of opportunities to work across teams.”

Vicky D, Healthy Weight Co-ordinator: The unique Healthy Weight Referral Service was set up in response to local

24 city food news

Community Nutrition

needs. Since 2009 through to this summer it has received over 4000 referrals and is one of our biggest achievements so far. We have built up a well-regarded reputation and service that works and we are celebrating its success. I feel privileged to work with such an enthusiastic team.

Vicky V, Community Nutritionist: Our integrated approach reflects Brighton & Hove’s progressive attitudes and views towards food and health. We remain up to date and try to respond to current needs in the community. For example, we are focusing on healthy eating on a budget in light of the current situation and challenges around food poverty. We recognise the need to find lasting solutions that go beyond food banks. Our Eat Well workshops are also very successful in introducing nutrition to vulnerable groups. Helping local people realise their personal health goals makes me feel good.

Family Shape Up The Community nutrition team are launching a new healthy lifestyle programme designed for children above their ideal weight and their families. Family Shape Up focuses on improving a families’ knowledge about healthy eating through fun activities. Each session contains lots of practical tips and games for the children to encourage physical activity in a fun and safe environment. The first course is already fully booked but if you are interested in joining the next one which starts in January, come along to a taster session on Tuesday 1st October at the Brighthelm Centre from 5.307.30pm to find out what to expect from the programme. To register for your free place at this taster session please call the Healthy Weight Referral Service on 01273 431703 or email

Jannette: Now each of our teams here has grown we hope to join up our approach to build capacity and impact. We are continually improving and expanding our range of services and remain excited about the years ahead! 25

Health bite: l Over the past 5 years almost 3000 adults and children have signed up to our individual, group and family weight management programmes. l The adults alone have together lost a staggering 2311kg – the same as 9244 packets of butter! l They have also reduced 1940cm from their waists – that’s more

than the length of a bus! l We have helped 168 establishments achieve a Healthy Choice Award for their healthier catering practices. l We are proud to be able to continue to provide all these services and more to the local community.

Celebrating Shape Up Success Shape Up is a free healthy lifestyle programme combining healthy eating advice and physical activity over a nine week period. A locally developed programme, it is one of the Community Nutrition Team’s major achievements. Once a participant completes the programme, they are entitled to attend weekly activity sessions and access support services to continue sharing ideas, check their weight and enjoy socialising with peers. Lucy Breaks joined Shape Up in 2010 after she was advised by her GP that she needed to lose weight. We catch up with her again as she shares her continued experiences of Shape Up: 26 city food news

Have you made any new changes to your diet and lifestyle? Since I reached my target weight last year I decided to watch what I eat during the week and then I can be less strict at the weekends. This works for me because I’m someone who really ‘lives to eat’ and this regime allows me to satisfy my cravings often enough so that I don’t feel like I’m going without. I have everything I want in moderation. So far, I seem to be maintaining a fairly stable weight and managed to shed the few pounds that crept back on when I was on holiday.

Community Nutrition

Have you noticed any continued or new benefits to your health or confidence since attending Shape Up and Shape Up Support? My energy levels have increased and I’m definitely stronger and more flexible overall. My moods have lifted and I’m more confident meeting new people. I think I’m enjoying my life more in general and am kinder to myself – not thinking of myself as a fat person. I feel such a massive sense of achievement and pride in reaching my goals. Now I enjoy buying clothes instead of dreading it and am considering putting up a full-length mirror in the house (I’ve never been able to face having one before).

Would you recommend Shape Up to others across Brighton & Hove? Why? Definitely. It helps educate, inform and support anyone to change their own life for the better. Plus it’s FREE!

What words would you use to summarise your experience of Shape Up? Positive, supportive, informative, fun, sociable and committed. w w w . b h f o o d . o r g . u k 27

Events Autumn 2013 Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival, Various Venues, Brighton & Hove Thu 5th – Sun 15th September

Cookability Tue 17th September – Tue 26th November, 9:30am – 2pm

Eat-Cook-Grow, Food Partnership 10th Birthday Celebration Event, Hove Lawns Sat 14th – Sun 15th September, 10am – 5pm

An Introduction to Herbs & Their Medicinal Uses Wed 18th September, 10:30am – 1pm

Seed Collecting & Storing, Weald Allotments, Hove Sun 13th October 11am – 1pm

Shape Up After Baby Tue 24th September, 10am – 12pm

Food Partnership 10th Birthday Bash feat. Pollito Boogaloo, The Old Market, Hove Sat 26th October, 8pm – 12am

First Time Cook Thu 26th September, 11am – 1pm


Core Growing Skills Sat 5th October, 10am – 2pm

Seasonal Preserve Making Thu 12th September, 5:30pm – 8:30pm Thu 3rd October, 5:30pm – 8:30pm Thu 24th October, 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Family Shape Up Tue 8th October – Tue 17th December, 5:30pm – 7pm

Grow & Tell Sun 15th September, 11:00am – 1:30pm Sun 20th October, 11:00am – 1:30pm

Shape Up (Central) Wed 23rd October, 10am – 12pm Wed 23rd October, 6pm – 8pm

Markets George Street Farmers Market, every Saturday of every month, 10am-3pm Brighton Farmers Market, Old Steine, third Saturday of every month, 10am-4pm

Churchill Square Farmers Market, every Wednesday, 10am-4pm Upper Gardner Street Market, every Saturday, 8am-5pm Farm Market, 73 North Road, every Saturday, 9:30am-3:30pm

City Food News Autumn 2013  

The quarterly magazine of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. Live in Brighton & Hove? Sign up to become a member and receive a free har...

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