Food Inc. is an enlightening expose of the corporate mechanisation of the food industry. The film will be shown at BedZED Pavilion, 24A Sandmartin Way, Wallington SM6 7DF and is free of charge (donations welcome). Refreshments and home made cakes will be available. This event is organised by Sutton in Transition, part of the global transition network dedicated to building local solutions to climate change and peak oil. The Sutton group meets on the 13th of every month. Contact George for more information.
The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. This year it’s happening on Sunday 5th June and a record number of people are expected to take part.
A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.
It's still not too late to organise your own Big Lunch, or better still, go along to someone elses. Visit the Big Lunch website to find one near you.
The Big Lunch @ Sutton Community Farm
One Big Lunch we recommended going to is at Sutton Community Farm on Sunday 5th June from 11-2pm. You are all very welcome and can bring friends and family, there'll also be a bbq and we'll fire up the earth oven for delicious stone baked pizzas too. To find out more, click here.
The Big Society is blooming in Hackbridge – a new way for residents to buy good value fruit and vegetables has been set up by enterprising local students working in partnership with the Veg Van. Pupils at Hackbridge Primary School have set up a market stall and are using the opportunity to learn more about healthy eating and the world of business.
Pupils aged 10–11 years will be running the market. One of the keen pupils, Amy Cooper, said: “I think it is a really good idea to help people eat healthily at least once a week. I am really enjoying taking part.”
Seeta Rajani of local charity BioRegional who set up The Veg Van said: “Being a not-for-profit social enterprise we are always looking for new ways to get the local community excited about and involved in locally produced food. The students are our new franchisees! – it’s a great opportunity for them. As the produce is grown down the road at Sutton Community Farm it’s also a great way for families to get fresh veg and cut transport emissions”.
The market times for the Veg Van are currently:
- Hackbridge Primary School: Tuesdays 3pm – 3.45pm
- St. Helier hospital Re:treat restaurant: Wednesdays 12noon – 3pm
- Hackbridge Station: Wednesdays 4.30pm – 8pm
- Carshalton Station: Thursdays 4.30pm – 8pm
The Veg Van is part of the three-year One Planet Food project funded by the Big Lottery Local Food Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, NHS Sutton and Merton, Sutton Council and with in-kind support from Southern Railway. It is part of One Planet Sutton – promoting sustainable council services, sustainable lifestyles and workplaces within the London Borough of Sutton.
Visit www.vegvan.org.uk for more information.
We've just added a bunch of food events to our calendar from EcoLocal. There are courses and activity days where you can learn essential skills from herb gardening and composting, to fruit growing and bee keeping. Click on the image below to download the One Planet Food diary of events organised by EcoLocal.
If you know of any green events going on in Sutton, do get touch so we can add them to our calendar.
In Britain, we don’t like being told what to eat. It can conjure lots of strong feelings when the government pitches in and tells the public not to waste food or celebrities campaign to stop people buying cheap chicken.
If you’re interested in the environment, however, you’re interested in the food on your plate. How far has it travelled? Could you grow it yourself? What has it been sprayed with? How much carbon was used to produce it? We at One Planet Sutton are interested (even excited!) about all those questions – hence our Food Project to help local people grow and buy fresh, local produce.
So it was fascinating to visit the Ministry of Food exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London. During the Second World War, the government needed to start talking to people about what food they were eating and the impact it had. The more food that was imported, the more merchant ships needed to cross the Atlantic in danger from German U-boats. The more intensively it was farmed, the more petrol and metal was taken away from the war effort. The more food that was wasted, the more lives were in danger, simple as that.
While we’re not at war or under rationing, the exhibition conjured some really interesting thoughts. First, how quickly the country could turn around from 40% imports to being almost self-sufficient, despite doing most farming by hand. The number of allotment holders and keen amateur gardeners that sprang up is testament to what people can do if they believe in the need for something. And that legacy continued after the war and after rationing was finished.
Second, that people we healthier under rationing than they had been before, by eating a balanced, high fibre, low meat diet – the same whether you were rich or poor. The government had a big part to play in this, through education and information.
And third, that I’m very glad that I’ve never had to do some of the things with spam that our grandmothers did…
So it turns out that growing your own food, eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, reducing imports, recycling and healthy nutrition were just as topical in 60 years ago as they are today – though for very different reasons. And we aren’t limited to one egg a week…
The Ministry of Food exhibition at the Imperial Ward Museum, Lambeth, runs to 3 January.
The Greening businesses in Hackbridge project aims to help local businesses become more environmentally sustainable. Going out and meeting businesses is a great experience and we are starting to form a network of enthusiastic businesses going green. Here is a case study of one local business called Sausage Masters:
This traditional family butcher, operating since 1931 and now in its fourth generation, sells high quality meat and dairy from its friendly shop as well as supplying lots of local schools and nursing homes. To start with and perhaps most importantly, all of their meat and dairy produce is procured locally – reducing food miles and supporting British farmers.
However that is only part of the story – Manager Daniel Parker is keen to reduce the impacts of all areas of the business. To date, he has installed a high pressure hot water tank, is in the process of upgrading refrigeration to the most efficient models and we are together looking into establishing an Environmental Management System.
We are using the remainder of their audit time to look into reducing their packaging and researching biofuel for running their delivery vehicles. We are also developing a network of businesses that create food waste to convert to fertiliser in a local BioDigestor in Mitcham – please contact us if you are interested.
About Greening Businesses in Hackbridge Project
The project, called Greening Businesses in Hackbridge, is run by the London Borough of Sutton and funded by money from Europe, via the European Regional Development Fund and the London Development Agency. It is part of a bigger drive to boost enterprise in London by plugging small and medium-sized businesses into the opportunities that being a green business can offer.
For more information, visit the Hackbridge Green Business Network page: http://www.oneplanetsutton.org/projects/gbn/
Commuters can buy locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables outside Hackbridge train station on the way home from work in a new scheme from local environmental charity, BioRegional. The Veg Van, a not-for-profit, renovated milk float, launched on Wednesday, bringing seasonal, locally grown fruit and vegetables to this area of the London Borough of Sutton where fresh produce is hard to come by.
Nicknamed Veggie, the veg-mobile is aiming to cater for thousands of people in Hackbridge, making it convenient and affordable for them to eat healthily while cutting their need to drive to shops and boosting sustainable business in the local area.
Anna Francis, One Planet Food Manger at BioRegional said: “We’re linking up with local growers such as the community farm to bring super fresh, seasonal food to the area. We hope that the van will become part of people’s weekly shop and that others will be inspired to set up similar projects around the UK.”
The Veg Van will be open every Wednesday 4.30-8pm, conveniently placed at Hackbridge rail station for residents to pop by straight after work or school. It will also be travelling to local schools to sell its wares and may even stock food grown by the pupils.
Find out more at http://www.vegvan.org.uk/
Thank you to everyone who attended the first of our monthly Activity Day on Saturday. Despite the ominous grey clouds, they day was a great success (and not a drop of rain!) – we managed to erect a poly tunnel, plant cordon apple trees, raspberry canes, beans and prepare beds, as well as a bee keeping talk, nature walk and home made soup, amazing! More photos from the day are available here:
Find out more at http://www.suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk/
Fine out about the first activity day at the farm, which will be on Saturday 27th February, form 10am-3pm. Training and equipment will be provided and everyone is welcome.
Local environmental charities BioRegional and EcoLocal have launched an exciting community project that will enable Sutton residents to buy affordable, delicious and nutritious local food and get fit and healthy through growing their own. The project includes:
Food growing training for everyone from school children to families; including a revamped community allotment training centre in Carshalton
- Increasing awareness about healthy eating, including healthy cookery courses and healthy/local food events and workshops
- Setting up Sutton’s first community farm near Carshalton and Wallington – perfect for people who don’t have enough time for their own allotment but would like to grow some food and learn new skills. The farm will start in January 2010 and provides free growing space and training
- Local food markets providing fresh affordable local produce in areas with limited access; the first market will kick off in Hackbridge in January 2010
- A local food network where local producers supply healthy local food to Sutton’s schools and hospitalsThe project is funded by Big Lottery Local Food Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, NHS Sutton and Merton and Sutton Council and is part of One Planet Sutton – promoting sustainable council services, lifestyles and workplaces within the London Borough of Sutton.
The training events have already started and look out for the fresh food market in Hackbrige in the New Year. Likewise if you want to volunteer on the farm please get in touch with Anna.
For more information or to get involved contact:
BioRegional email@example.com or call 020 8404 7085
mailto:EcoLocal: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8770 6611