It’s a little over a year on from the last update on the community garden, and the site is now bursting with life and providing a varied harvest of fresh, tasty, organic produce. Along with the promise of edible goodies, the garden now offers a wonderful aesthetic yield, with an abundance of greenery and the striking pink of peas in bloom.
This week saw the harvest of some crisp and beautiful purple snow peas, and some delicious bright green sugarsnaps, along with huge spring onions, purple garlic and salad greens. A trial crop of salsify – which provides a yield both of striking flowers and an edible tap root known as vegetable oyster – also came out of the ground this week, making way for some new tomato plants.
Some of the beds are so full of produce that it was necessary to thin out the beetroot and carrots, providing an excellent haul of baby root veggies and their nutritious tops. If you’re unsure of what to do with carrot tops, you’re not alone! See below for a an easy way to save these from the compost pile by making use of them in pistou (basically a French version of pesto).
The polytunnel has a queue of new tomato seedlings, which are getting themselves ready for planting out, along with some new lettuces and salad greens, so there will be plenty more to come throughout the summer.
Inspired by Riverford’s Carrot Top Pesto, this vegan-friendly pistou is adapted from the Spinach Pistou recipe in the excellent Peace & Parsnips by Lee Watson (page 333). Thanks Lee and all the folk at Riverford for helping these carrot tops avoid the compost heap and providing a tasty and very nutritious mid-week supper. The quantities below served 3 people generously when stirred into spaghetti.
Shown here stirred through spaghetti with charred mushrooms and topped generously with toasted pinenuts.
The Community Food Growing Project team have worked hard over the last year and now have 3 sites around Llanfyllin – behind the Public Institute, at Y Dolydd and in Brook Street. Growing spaces have been mulched with compost and are ready for more members to get involved. The main gardening time is 10 -12 on Tuesdays but this will expand as needed. If you want to help please join BRACE via the link https://mailchi.mp/e2d67b52f4db/brace-membership , this will allow us to keep you up-to-date with events and help comply with our insurance obligations.
Some photos to show how much has been achieved already – how much more could we do if we could add to our dedicated little team??
As we start to look forward to meeting up again, running events and expanding projects we need a reliable way to contact our our members, especially those in the local community who want to get more involved. We have created a membership database using mailchimp and it would be great if you could follow the link to register and send us your email address. We can use this to make sure you receive regular updates from us. Thanks in advance.
The recording of the Share-Energy Talk held back in December can be found on this link:
An online talk about the environmental and social benefits of recycling human excreta to land.
University of Leeds PhD Researcher Katie Allen will discuss the role poo can play in reversing soil degradation, improving crop yields and mitigating climate change.The presentation will also highlight the need for, and barriers to, wider adoption of the practice, both in the UK and the developing world.
It is hoped that after this presentation you will have gained a new-found appreciation for the wonderful recycling system that is your digestive tract, and might think twice before flushing such a valuable resource down the toilet!
Online talk by David Green of Sharenergy.
Could we as a community get together to generate energy and income for the town?
Dave will explain how Sharenergy works to make a contribution to green energy production.
We’ll be online earlier for anyone who’d like a natter before the talk.
The webinar hosted by Nick Wier was a great success with familiar and new faces joining us to find out how we might be able to set up a scheme to link local producers with local customers. The session was recorded and can be found on the link below. (Nick was having problems with bandwidth, so apologies for the quality)
https://bit.ly/3eUjaDn – meeting recording
Join us at BRACE for an online talk by Nick Weir of the Open Food Network on Wednesday, November 11th at 7.30pm. Zoom link https://bit.ly/34DUmMu
If you’re a farmer, grower, market stall holder, owner of one of our excellent town shops – this is for you.
If you eat – this is also for you.
As concerns grow nationally over possible food supply disruption this talk explores a new way to boost local shopping. The Gloucestershire-based not-for-profit Open Food Network offers communities an online shop front where individual growers and small shops can sell their stock. Attendees will hear from people running successful food hubs in other parts of the UK and see behind the scenes how the Open Food Network functions. The webinar will explore ways that food hubs can link up with existing local shops and create additional employment. Food hubs can be a great way to generate income for producers and stimulate additional sales for markets and independent shops. It’s a chance to boost our local economy, remove the barriers to local food production and make good quality food available for more people. We’d really like to bring everyone together to explore this idea. More on the Open Food Network: https://about.openfoodnetwork.org.uk/
Special General Meeting
28th October 2020
This was a virtual meeting to which all supporters of BRACE were invited
The meeting commenced at 7.00pm
Participating: Alison Alexander, Diana Allen, Lorna Brown, Amanda Dady, John Dady, Sue Dolman, Dux Duckers, Sally Duckers, Kay Goddard, Colin Hargis, Steve Heys, Jacqui Langstone, Darren Mayor, Shan Mayor, Lesley Sweet , Anja Torikka, Ruth Weston
Apologies: Jane Carrington, Jeni Trythall
Inaugural Annual General Meeting
Chairperson: Diana Allen
Secretary: John Dady
Treasurer: Steve Heys
Members: Alison Alexander, Sue Dolman, Kay Goddard, Shan Mayor, Lesley Sweet, Anja Torikka
There will be no fee for membership and we will maintain a list of contact details and areas of interest under GDPR rules of privacy and confidentiality. Members will be encouraged to participate in both our activities and our decision making. There could also be a list of supporters who wish only to be kept advised and informed of events, activities and other matters of interest.
The question was raised of how general funds, or unspecified donations, are to be allocated between possibly competing projects. After discussion it was decided to include a clause requiring the decision-making process to involve consultation with members. Item 1 of the Finance section of the constitution has been rewritten accordingly.
If in the future funding does increases significantly and BRACE’s activities develop along more commercial lines it may be appropriate to dissolve the Unincorporated Association and register as a more corporate style of charity e.g. Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This establishes a charity as a separate legal entity and as such may limit the liability of its members and allow it to employ staff and to hold assets in the charity’s name. There are however more formal operating and reporting requirements for a corporate charity type.
We will be making further enquiries and taking advice from PAVO and others on these matters.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.45pm
A sincere thanks to all members of the BRACE WhatsApp Group, our Facebook and Website followers for your support and encouragement as BRACE has evolved from a conversation between people concerned about climate change and conservation to become an organisation that is now an established part of our community. We have started some great initiatives in the last 18 months such as the Community Garden & Repair Café. In addition, we have supported other local events such as the Christmas Fayre, Severn River Trust tree planting and wildflower planting in the verges.
To enable BRACE to move forward in an organised and co-ordinated way, we are setting up a committee to formalise our work. The first step will be to adopt an appropriate constitution and a suitable organisational structure.
After several discussions and advice from PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations), we have prepared a constitution which can be found below or a copy can be emailed on request. A virtual Special General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 28th October 2020 at 7pm to seek its adoption. You are all invited to join the Zoom meeting – details of which will be announced nearer the date.
Should you wish to make any comments regarding the constitution, please let us know by Wednesday 21st October 2020.
Once the constitution is adopted, the meeting will become our first AGM and you will be invited to elect a Steering Committee. If you would like to join this committee, please let us know by Wednesday 21st October 2020.
I do hope you will be able to join this special meeting but, if you unable to, we will be pleased to chat to you beforehand.
Our current email address is BRACE.Committee@gmail.com
Those proposing to stand for committee (so far):