Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Sufra food growing, fresh veg collection and cooking opportunities

Work starts ar St Raphael's Edible Garden

From Sufra NW London

Today Marks & Spencer launches a national campaign called Spark Something Good, which aims to encourage people to take action for social good. Over the next 24 hours, 24 projects across the capital will be transformed – and the derelict site on St. Raphael’s Estate is one of these projects.

Across the day, M&S employees will be joined by our own volunteers, as well as volunteers from Sudbury Town Resident’s Association and Brent Housing Partnership to clean up the site, build raised beds and plant the first seeds of what will become one of the largest communal food growing spaces in North-West London. We do aim high, don’t we!

It’s going to be a manic day, with volunteers working onsite till 10pm tonight. For regular updates on what’s happening on site, make sure you follow us on Twitter.

Fruit & Vegetable Collection Pilot

On the subject of food growing, tenants at Birchen Grove and Bridge Road allotments will notice that some unusually bright yellow bins have appeared on site. Across August and September we’re piloting a new initiative, encouraging allotment-holders to donate fresh produce to the food bank.

Every year, many tenants find that a successful harvest quickly turns miserable at the sight of wasted fruit and vegetables, which are surplus to their need. To reduce food wastage, and ensure that we can help vulnerable people maintain a healthy diet, we’re offering tenants the opportunity to share their harvest with Sufra.

Collections from both allotments will be on Tuesday mornings, so it’s best to pick your harvest as close as possible to the collection day. There are separate bins for soft and hard fruits/vegetables because there is nothing more depressing than an overgrown marrow landing head-first on a pile of tomatoes.

And Fahim will not be impressed, when he has to clean out the bins. Please don’t upset Fahim.

Summer Academy

Keeping with the food growing theme, we’ve had a lot of enquiries about our Summer Academy, an intergenerational project that celebrates food growing and experimental cooking. Each session includes a visit to Sudbury Court Drive Allotment where participants harvest fresh produce (courtesy of Michael and Patrick’s frantic efforts since early February) and return to Sufra to cook a delicious meal.

What’s more, there are no chefs and no recipes! It’s truly experimental and a chance for people to learn cooking skills from one another. Or watch, and be entertained. The Summer Academy is open to young people aged 11-19 years and older people aged 60+ years... but we’re happy to slip in a few eager beavers. You can attend as many or as few sessions as you like, so why not give it a try?

The sessions run from 10am to 4pm on: Tuesday 4 August, Thursday 6 August, Tuesday 11 August and Thursday 13 August. To take part, download a Registration Form here. There are no spaces remaining on the first session (sorry, but you should have registered early!).

Food Academy for Young Carers

Sometimes experimental cooking doesn’t quite hit the mark!

We know that many young people who care for a disabled or unwell parent or sibling, often face the challenge of having to cook for the family. In partnership with Brent Carers Centre, we’re organising a special week-long Food Academy for young carers from Monday 24 August to Friday 28 August.

Across the week, young carers will learn how to cook 10 different dishes, as part of an accredited certificate in cooking. We’ve also thrown in a visit to King’s Cross Skip Garden (we’re really getting into this food growing malarkey) and a workshop on healthy eating run by a nutritionist. Participants who complete the accredited outcomes will be treated to a night out at Jimmy’s Restaurant at Wembley Outlet Centre to sample a world buffet.

If you know a young carer who would benefit from the course, get in touch or download a Registration Form here.

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