Fruit and Nut Tree Guardianship Scheme (FNTGS)
Last year we piloted this project with households that had surplus or unwanted fruit and nuts. We made dried fruit products including apples, pears and plums, fruits leathers and apple and black grape concentrate as well as some red wine vinegar! All products were taste trialled with householder and members of the public at events. The feedback was great and we’ve had orders placed for this years harvest. Some retailers have contacted us about selling the products.
We were delighted to be able to announce that Cotswold Conservation Board have just awarded us 13,000 pounds towards the project for this year. Down to Earth’s task is to now secure additional funding 10,000 pounds to ensure the project has enough equiptment and resources to keep it going. Once this is achieved we envisage that the project will fund itself for years to come.
If you know anyone who has surplus fruit and nuts please let us know or ask them to contact us. At present Gooseberries are in fruit with currants soon to be. We are also looking for a group of friendly individuals to come and help us with some of the harvesting. if you like days out in the countryside in the prescence of good company please get in touch 01453 700 011
Selsley Community Garden
Our plot is one of six on a small parcel of land called the Allotment gardens. None of the plots have been used for many years and they’ve become very overgrown. Our volunteers have spent time clearing the land, digging, drinking tea and putting the world to rights! It’s at last taking shape and will be ready to use for growing towards the end of May
We’re currently looking for funding to take this project forwards but if you know of anyone (or group) that would like to learn how to grow and share the harvest, please get them to contact us. We’ve had discussions with owners of the other plots on the site and it’s possible tat we’ll also be able to bring them back to cultivation in the future.
Training and Workshops
We’d like to develop the range of workshops and training courses that we have available. With the Guidepost Trust and Gloucestershire County Council Adult Education Department we are co-ordinating a course for people with learning disabilities in early May. Participants will learn how to create a plot, sow seeds, transplant and care for food that they can then harvest and eat.
From May through to July we have a series of workshops that include: Successful seed sowing, raising roost crops, herbs to eat and drink, composting and green manures, having salads all year round, companion planting, diseases and organic controls, planning for food from your garden in Spring, edible flowers and so on. Contact us for more information 01453 700 011
Garden Share and Community Allotments
Stroud District Council contacted us to discuss co-ordinating a ‘garden share scheme’ for their council tenants, many of whom have large gardens. It will provide additional space for other tenants to grow their own. For tenants with communal gardens we can install a community allotment with some support if needed. These schemes are being trialled for six months initially, but can be extended if there is sufficient interest.
Community Composting for Local Food Projects
Down to Earth applied to become a ‘training hub’ for a new project run by the Community Composting Network (CNN). We got it!!!! We will be funded by the Local food (Big Lottery) to help local groups and Communities make and use their own high quality compost to grow their own food. CNN’s aim is to create a training and support network with 12-15 training hubs across England. Their trainers will betrained to deliver an accredited training course to loacl food growers so they too can start community composting. They want to improve the skills of growers and show that it is not hard to produce great quality compost at a fraction of the cost, with the crops reaping the ebenfits. Its great that Down to Earth is to be a part of this scheme. We’re very excited about it. Amanda is already a real expert in composting which is possibly why we got it, well that and a brilliant application. Much thanks to Fran and all others who were involved in that application.
Spring Gardening Event
In partnership with Transition Stroud and Glos Coppice Group we held our first event on April 15th in Victory Park, Ebley. A lot of raised beds were ordered, plants taken and members of the public showed a great interest in our activities. Many thanks to the other Organisations that took part and came along on the day. We’ve started planning for next year already.
AGM 27th June 6.30pm
An annual event to celebrate our achievements and to say thank you to all our volunteers, members and associates!
This year we are combining it with a garden party at our plot in Selsley. if you would like to join us, please let us know.
Sustainable Local Food Action Plan
through discussions with Transition Stroud about climate change, peak oil, peak phosphates and food security issues in general, a new group has been formed to look at a sustainable local food in the Stroud district. This group includes farmers and local food groups as well as strategic partners involved in food production, policy making and procurement. the overall aim of thsi group is to increase access to and availibility of local food for local people , making our community stronger and more resilient to the effects of climate change and world events. This is a very exciting development for all those interested in local food. If you would like to keep up to date on developments send us an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org