HOME GROWN AND LOCAL FOOD
 

Veg boxes and Community Supported Agriculture: Bridgemere, S Cheshire
They’re growing for quality rather than quantity – superior favourites and exotic tastes. Their veg box offering starts around April/May 2017, and you’re welcome to join in the growing. Northwich is outside their area, but Nantwich is fine. See http://www.flavourfarm.co.uk, also on facebook.

Transition Northwich aims to encourage more local food; they're currently tending mobile planters at Waitrose Northwich, having planted a range of herb and food plants. Photos on their website: http://transitionnorthwich.weebly.com/growing-talk.html

Frodsham's Vegmen supply veg boxes to the Chester area and between Tarporley and Frodsham. They have rented land near Frodsham and Ashton Hayes; those living outside this area can collect from the village shop in Ashton Hayes. See http://www.vegmen.co.uk

Home Grown in Holmes Chapel have productive beds around their town centre. See http://hghc.weebly.com/, and on facebook.  

Mid Cheshire Community Fruit and Veg Sharing is a facebook group, with lots of people posting about fruit and veg surplusses. See https://www.facebook.com/groups/122402831739853/.


 

Local Food Film
This Local Food Consortium film demonstrates how local food projects support communities.



This was great - in 2011 we found 17 apple trees, sampled from most of them, and learnt of others. We spent more time scrumping than walking! Some of the trees may have been left from former gardens and orchards, others arisen from discarded pips. 2012 was also fruitful, although there was a smaller crop due to the poor pollinating season. Some apples were taken to a local school; one child said they were the best apples he'd ever tasted. They'd come from Baron's Quay in Northwich; I hope the developers don't touch that tree! (They did, but I hope to have a graft from it.)

Some of the apples had superb flavours, but each had their own character. There were nutty ones better than russets, sweet ones like Worcesters, large sweet bakers, but some a bit more commercial in quality. We noted the best – we’ve got plans on doing some grafting early next year.

Between us, we reckoned we knew of many more apple trees, and other fruits and nuts too, available for picking. Almonds, sweet chestnuts, hazels, cherry-plums, pears, and many more apples. If you add on the trees in people’s gardens that produce more fruit than their owners can deal with, there is a vast bounty available to anyone who can divert it to drinks, pickles and preserves, drying or plain cold storing, or to schools, the poor or old folks’ homes.

But meanwhile, we need to make sure that the trees we saw aren’t wrecked by schemes like the Baron’s Quay development, as some are close or within the apparent boundaries. It will be a while before any propagated trees are fruiting, so their parents need protecting for the public benefit.

Here’s to foraging!
(There's a map of these trees and more, here; and feel free to add your own findings.)

(See also the Rudheath and Witton page, for Apple Day report)


There's an established community orchard in Old Trafford, with heritage varieties and an excellent annual apple day. See http://otagsorchard.blogspot.co.uk/.








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