Food Projects

Stroud is fast becoming an exemplar for local food projects, from our award winning farmers’ market to Community Supported Agriculture and communial allotments as well as food distribution and processing. 

Developing More Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms

Following the success of the 6yr old Stroud Community Agriculture (SCA) project located at Hawkwood College and which has now expanded to include more land at Brookthorpe, the CSA model was introduced to Stroud Slad Farm in March 2007. Both CSA projects are now seeking new members, with SCA looking for around 20 more and Stroud Slad Farm Community (SSFC) who currently have 60 are looking for 100 in total. A founding principle of SCA is to demonstrate and show what has been achieved and enable  others to copy and learn from it. We also have a principle of transparency, including financial transparency, so that visitors are able to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. SCA  has regular press interest and a steady stream of visitors including people pwanting to set up similar projects.  FFI nick.weir@localfood.org.uk  

Stroud Food Hub

is a new and exciting project which is being set up to provide another alternative to supermarket shopping. Members of this food club will be able to order food directly from local producers. The project will use the school hall at Parliament Street Primary School in Stroud as a drop-off and collection point for food and drink ordered online from local producers. The club aims to·         

  • make locally produced food more easily available·         
  • strengthen food culture and community·         
  • create a structure that can be copied easilyBy·         
  • providing support for small producers·         
  • supplying food at better than retail prices·         
  • building links between members and producers·         
  • creating a new way of buying locally produced food Stroud Food Hub is carrying out some trial trading with 6 producers and a selected bunch of volunteer consumers to test the system.

FFI nick.weir@localfood.org.uk  OR jadebashford@hotmail.com  

The Vital Squeeze KITCHEN

is a new initiative from Vital Squeeze supported by the Transition Stroud Food Group. It aims to provide a resource that can inspire anyone to become creative with the abundance of food available in our locality, and in particular to respond with practical solutions to seasonal gluts of wild and cultivated foods. In the long term, the Vital Squeeze KITCHEN intends to become a centre for the exchange of skills and knowledge relating to  the transformation of food in theory and in practice inviting people of all capabilities and backgrounds to participate in interactive, hands-on learning. This has the potential to link in directly with Transition Cafe [working title] – a vision for a public interface for Transition Stroud.FFI vitalsqueeze@gmail.com  

One Mile Herbal Apothecary

How much medicine can we create from the herbs growing wild around us or from those that are easy to grow in our own gardens? Medical Herbalist Nathan Hughes believes a significant proportion of our primary health care needs can be met through deepening our knowledge of how to work with the plants growing in our area. At present, Ruskin Apothecary  is developing ways of working with local herbs and educating people how to use them safely and effectively. This summer we aim to construct a straw bale building at Stroud Slad Farm dedicated to creating medicines with local herbs.FFI Nathan 01453 835 029 

StroudSown Promotions / Events StroudSown

is a group of food enthusiasts dedicated to the development of a local and sustainable food economy by providing support to each other and other budding local food businesses and promoting awareness of local and seasonal food. Consisting of Angelo’s Wood-fired Pizza, Vital Squeeze and StroudSown Buffet (with Stroud Brewery as an honorary member!), StroudSown is well equipped to host a diverse range of awareness raising events. Currently in the process of commissioning a pedal-powered generator (funding required – considering co-op community grant), StroudSown will soon be in the position to be powered entirely on location from renewable energy. FFI AngelosWoodFiredPizza@cooptel.net  (Jessica Standing)  

Stroud Communal Allotment group

Ten years ago a group of families took on an allotment in Stroud and worked it as part of the LETS scheme, paying themselves $5 per hour for their work and making the veg available for LETS $. Even though the LETS scheme is now dormant in Stroud the communal allotment is becoming more fertile (in all sorts of ways!) every year. It is now 4 adjacent allotments supporting 7 families who work together every Friday morning.  Whoever turns up takes home a share of that week’s harvest.Even though the group has decided to spend a year or two consolidating and does not plan to take on new families for a while, its members are very keen to support other groups in taking on allotments communally.FFI nick.weir@localfood.org.uk 

Leonard Stanley Food Enterprise

Is a community enterprise sourcing products from local producers. Their ambition is to establish a community shop sourcing largely local produce working very closely with a number of farms.FFI david@andrewtownsend.co.uk  FUTURE PROJECTS

Gardening workshops

Transition Stroud Food Group is looking for an Organic/Biodynamic /Permaculture gardener to run roving gardening workshops in the Stroud area using volunteered private gardens to demonstrate skills and techniques. Funding would need to be procured to support the workshop leader. 

Apple Capital Stroud!

95% of the fruit we buy is imported into the UK! A sad state of affairs when our home climate is perfectly suited to apples, pears and a wide variety of soft fruits. The food group would like to build on the apple history in Stroud and develop community orchards and fruit growing skills expertise to empower people to create and support our own local fruit supply. 

The Community Kitchen Project

Vision: A large kitchen, surrounded by a herb garden and maybe a few fruit bushes
and trees etc. Equipped in such a way that it can be used in situ. However it would also have removable hobs and equipment for transportation to other venues.
In the kitchen there will be students, cooks, creating a lunch together. The purpose of this activity is to socialise, learn, cook and create a meal to share, to have a sense of purpose, to become armed with recipes, menus and nutritional information, skills and techniques and to make new friends and a supportive network. The lunch would be shared with guests.
The students would be learning about local, seasonal, organic, nutritious, delicious food catering for special diets too, with education in macrobiotics, vegetarian, cooking for children, obesity, etc, targeting parents, pregnant women, socially isolated, etc. Placements could also be offered for students.FFI jennipedwards1@cooptel.net  

Stroud Food Festival

Supported by Stroud Town Council this will be a two-week festival spanning the Stroud Fringe music festival weekend in September 2008. The Food Festival will offer a series of events, walks, workshops and parties celebrating Stroud’s burgeoning local food culture. 

Ruskin Mill Exhibition

at Nailsworth FestivalThis year’s theme is ‘Transition’. Food Group contribution in discussion. A Collective Marketing StrategyIt would perhaps benefit us all to jointly fund/ resource a local food marketing campaign aimed at regular supermarket shoppers. Utilising some sound commercial expertise about what methods and messages would work best.