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Grandparent Gardening Week with Food for Life

This spring, we’re encouraging Greenwich primary schools and early years settings to get involved with Grandparent Gardening Week (1 – 5 April), for a great way to kick start growing spaces and get the wider community involved.

Schools, nurseries and children’s centres up and down the country will host a variety of gardening activities, including digging, planting, pruning and more to help children and older people to take part in growing projects together.

Hosting a Grandparent Gardening Week activity is a great way for all to see the positive impact gardening can have on children and how it can help a whole setting to grow. Benefits include:

  • improved health
  • increased self-esteem and confidence
  • better levels of attention in class and higher achievement
  • stronger links with the local community

For schools or nurseries working towards their Food for Life award, holding a gardening event can be a great way to meet some of the award criteria. Information about the awards can be found here.

Get involved

If this sounds like an opportunity not to be missed, and you haven’t already signed-up, get started right away with the following steps.

1) Register for Grandparent Gardening Week on the Food for Life website to gain access to a whole load of downloadable resources to help plan your gardening activity.

2) Identify a time during the week to host an activity and send out invitations to grandparents.

3) Plan activities! Who will be involved? What will you plant? How will the growing activities be linked to curriculum topics? Will the school cook be able to use what is grown in the kitchen? Find more hints and tips on the Food for Life website.

4) Tell everyone what is going on. Share your activities on the @SAFoodforlife Twitter feed using #GrandparentGardeningWeek and be in with a chance to win some fab prizes for your garden!

If you would like to get involved in similar gardening projects happening in Greenwich, visit Growing Greenwich to locate a community garden near you.

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Good Food in Greenwich Network Get Together

19th March, 10 – 12
Bills Restaurant, Greenwich 

We’re delighted to announce our next Network meeting at the wonderful Bills Restaurant in the heart of Greenwich, one of our newest GFIG businesses.

The network meeting is an opportunity to come together to meet other like minded folk interested in food and find out about what’s going on in the borough.  This quarter we’ll be talking about our new Business Charter, we’ve got some great presentations and will be looking at what’s going on in the borough and how it supports the London Food Strategy – and most importantly, how you can get involved – what’s going on in the borough??

Come and tell us what you’re up to!

And if that isn’t enough, Bills are kindly providing a delicious lunch! What stars.

So don’t miss out – book your place by emailing mel@gcda.org.uk Gerneal Gordon Square

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The Annual Food Growing Conference is back!

We’re delighted to announce the Good Food in Greenwich Growing Conference!

Annual Food Growing Conference!
Save the date!
3rd April, 10 – 1 (Venue TBA)

GCDA is delighted to announce its 3rd annual food growing conference! Packed full of great info, opportunities to meet other growers, tips and funding information, this is shaping up to be a fantastic annual event.

We’re looking for speakers too, so if you’ve got some great growing news to share, please get in touch to let us know.   There will be a delicious lunch provided too, so what more could you want of a Wednesday morning in early April?

fun, informative morning exploring how to get growing in Greenwich, sharing resources, exploring how to grow for yourself, your business or your community, and fab give-aways to inspire and delight!

Why?              Branch out and find out more about growing in Greenwich, get involved or share your knowledge and promote your site

To book?        Email mel@gcda.org.uk 

 

The morning will involve workshops, inspiring discussions, ideas and action.  There is a small charge to ensure attendance and to cover a delicious, nutritious lunch!

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Exciting New Foodie Training from GCDA!

Ever wanted to chop like a pro? Heard about the benefits of eating less meat and more veg but not sure where to start? Thinking about getting into fermentation?? Or maybe you’re on a health kick and want to reduce your sugar? Or are you thinking of running your own business? All these things and more are possible with this incredible new training from GCDA.  They are running 4 food-based courses, all starting in the next few weeks – so there’s still time to book on!

Knife Skills Training – 3 weeks from Monday March 11th from 10am – 1pm in West Greenwich 

Essential for anyone wanting to speed things up in the kitchen or who wants to save money and waste less.  This course covers all the basic chopping techniques, how to handle and care for your knives, which knives you need for which job and how to sharpen them.  Each week you will observe and practice these skills, culminating in a delicious meal to sit and eat together!  But hurry! It starts Monday 11th March in the heart of Greenwich, and there’s no charge for anyone on a low or no income!

Book here

Culinary Skills for Food Trends – 4 weeks from Tuesday 19th March form 10am – 4pm in West Greenwich

Whether it is for your own business or just your own enjoyment, this course will give you practical skills and knowledge to ensure you are at the cutting edge of food trends.  Each week you’ll eat a delicious lunch and learn the science behind the food too.

This 4-week course will cover:

  • Reduced Sugar – making cracking cakes without the sugar
  • Gluten free – as more and more people are finding their tolerance for wheat and gluten is impaired, we look at some great alternatives
  • Plant Based – move over meat, veggies are the start of this show! Delicious plant based meals to wow your friends or customers
  • Fermentation – all the rage – don’t get left behind by learning these skills to ferment you food; so good for your health!

The next course is Tuesday 19th March from 10 – 4 and you can book here

Community Food Training – 20th March, 10am – 1pm in West Greenwich

Are you thinking or planning to, set up a new community project focussed on food?  Whether it’s food growing, a lunch club, community cafe, projects using food surplus or food bank, GCDA can help you! This half day training covers:

  • Funding and legal structures
  • Measuring need and interest
  • How to make, move or grow your food
  • Legislation/ rules/ best practice
  • Plus loads of industry information from those who have been there and done it!

Essential for anyone wanting ti run a food project in the community!

Book here

Food Business Start-up Training – 10-week course starting 1st May from 10am – 1pm at the Eltham Centre

Got a passion for a winning food idea? Do you want to run your own business, but need some help getting started?

Run by Claire Pritchard, CEO of the GCDA and Chair of the London Food Board, this course is essential for anyone wanting to set up a food business.

What we’ll cover:

  • You and your ideas
  • Legislation and the law
  • Health and Sustainability – how to capitalise on these themes to maximise your profits
  • Product Development – ensuring you have the best product possible
  • Running your Business – logistics, production, trading opportunities and more
  • Finance – how to price your product correctly
  • Promotions and Branding – how to sell yourself and your business product
    Business planning

An absolute must for anyone thinking about setting up a business, or for those who are running a business, but could do with a bit more support.

Book here

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Calling all Food Heroes!

Come join our wonderful community meals!

Every month, a wonderful group of Community Food Champions have been delivering a community meal at various locations around the borough.  Using the most incredible surplus food from FareShare, we cook up an amazing meal full of goodness and invite the community in to eat, chat and enjoy!  There are crafts for the kids, music, friends to make and of course, a delicious meal – usually with some to take home too.

So far we’ve had the great fortune to have been hosted by the Clockhouse Community Centre and Seniors in Touch and Peabody in Thamesmead.  This month we’ll be setting up at Woolwich Common Community Centre and we’re looking for more volunteers to get involved!  The meal will be held on the 22nd March and we’ll be on site chopping and preparing from 9.30 to serve at about 12.30.  We’re looking for people to help set up, prepare food, meet and greet and generally help out.

Patreace, the wonderful cook said “Community meals are some awesome events not to be missed. It’s amazing to see the people sitting, eating and enjoying the meals.  This is an event I truly enjoy cooking for on a monthly basis ,which could not have happened without our volunteers dedication to helping out. Well done to us all, until next time!”

We would love to run these more regularly and move them around the borough, so if you have a venue or a group that you think would like to be involved, please do get in touch!

Next community meal

When? Friday 22nd March, 9.30 start for 12.30 service

Where? Woolwich Common Community Centre

For more information, or if you’d like to get involved, or would like to host a meal please contact mel@gcda.org.uk or call 0208 2694894

 

 

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON……. The Old Cottage Coffee Shop!

**S P O T L I G H T**

Meet Mimi and Michael from The Old Cottage Coffee Shop. Community is at the heart of their business which they have been running from the lovingly restored site of an old derelict burger bar in Charlton Park.

Since opening the café in 2012 Mimi has become the centre of the community by supporting the neighbourhood in many different ways. She and the café contribute hugely to charities throughout the year.

Mimi hosts a Christmas lunch every Christmas Day to which older residents are invited. She gathers together volunteers to both cook and serve on the day and there’s even carol singing and a raffle at this lovely event.

There is now a great buzz in the park since the café has opened and all ages are using the space in many different ways whereas before it was very much a thouroughfare.

And they do an absolutely delicious lentil and chilli soup which is a must-try!