Paddock Food Fayre – 22nd September 2012

Paddock Community Trust logoFood Fayre
Saturday 22nd September 2012
10am to 4pm

Paddock Village Hall
West View


Paddock Community Trust are holding their first annual Food Fayre. The event includes stalls from local food suppliers, cookery demonstrations, children’s activities, face painting, competitions, live music, bar and cafe.

Free entry.

Please come along to find out about local food in Paddock.

Healthy Communities – 15th September 2012

Free event on Saturday 15th September 2012Healthy Communities event

Saturday 15th September
10am to 4pm (drop-in)

Newsome Scout Hall
Newsome Road South, Huddersfield HD4 6JJ

A fun and interactive event to help you take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Drop in for a wide range of healthy activities that will be fun as well as informative.
Come and out what’s on offer locally…

  • Get some cooking tips and growing advice.
  • Sign up for an allotment, or join our Community Allotment.
  • Healthy lunch (made from local produce) served from 12 noon.
  • Try fitness sessions and get a free Kirklees Active Leisure day pass.
  • Blood pressure checks, smoking advice and local health services.
  • Try an Indian Head Massage or a relaxing back massage.
  • Entertainment from HOOT’s local singing group – why not join in?
  • Shall we dance? workshop – try ballroom dancing.
  • Nordic walking taster session in the church grounds.
  • Assistive technology demos, helping people to live independently.
  • Info about food growing, reading, cooking, social care and leisure.

The Health Communities event has been organised by Newsome Ward Community Forum, with thanks to Newsome LEP.

Please come along to learn about the services available locally that can help you to care for your physical and emotional wellbeing – and enjoy a healthy lunch prepared by Growing Newsome.

Have a look at the leaflet for more details. You might also want to put up a poster:

Healthy Communities leaflet (pdf)
Healthy Communities poster (pdf)

Fruit wanted – can you help us to find some?

Our accidental jam factory is open again. We have lots of lovely jam jars lined up waiting to fill, so all we need now is something to put in them. We have a few things on the go ourselves, but we can always make use of extra fruit or vegetables.

Last year you gave us your surplus raspberries, loganberries, crab apples, gooseberries, plums and marrows – and we made jam out of all of them. Can any of you help us again this year?

Please let us know if you have any surplus fruit or veg that you’d be willing to share with Growing Newsome, or if you can recommend a good spot for foraging.

We’ll be looking for ingredients between now and October, so whenever you spot something going spare please let us know. We can come and collect things from you if you need us to.

We can make use of any fresh local produce at our many events this autumn – not just to make jam, but for savoury things and for sharing too.

We’ll also share the recipes so that everyone else can give it a go. Anything considered!

Please get in touch here if you can help, or email

Hall Bower Supper – 6th August 2012

plate of fresh vegetablesMonday 6th August
From 6.30pm
Hall Bower Chapel

Join staff and volunteers from Stirley Farm for a friendly evening to reflect on Stirley’s past, present and future. We really enjoyed last year’s Supper and lots of Growing Newsome participants will be there again this year. Please come and say hello.

Arrive at 6.30pm for a film show and presentation.

Locally grown produce will be served at 7.30pm.

Book your ticket by phoning 01904 659 570. £3 on the door. Children welcome.

Organised by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Wild Food Wombling


A few of our allotmenteers took a gentle walk on the wild side last week. On Tuesday 17th April we joined Chris and Rose Bax from Taste the Wild at their woodland in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. We had the great pleasure of spending the day taking part in one of their wild food foraging courses. We were excited to see what we could find.

It was a miserable-looking day when we set off from Huddersfield. We arrived in North Yorkshire slightly soggy to find Chris standing tall at the entrance to the woodland, being his own landmark. And the sun came out. So we found ourselves suddenly in a sunny, peaceful woodland full of Rose’s wonderful wood carvings and the sound of birds in the trees. Every Tuesday should be like that.

Throughout the day, Chris and Rose showed us lots of plants that are easy to find and easy to use, from thistle stems to delicate wood sorrel (both to be handled with care, although only one of them fights back). We also found out what the law says about foraging. Along public rights of way, you can forage without a problem, so long as it’s for your own use.

Theft Act 1968 Section 4(3) states that:
A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose. For purposes of this subsection “mushroom” includes any fungus, and “plant” includes any shrub or tree.

What you shouldn’t do is dig up roots without the permission of the landowner, or deprive the owner of the whole plant by taking all the foliage. You should also pick from several different trees or shrubs if possible – and remember to leave some for the birds.

Foraging is getting quite popular (you might have noticed more funny ingredients popping up on the Great British Menu this year) and Chris thinks that there might be a backlash at some point from people who are worried about the countryside being plundered. But foraging is very much about getting to know, understand and respect the natural environment.

Chris Bax showing us wood sorrel Many plants have only a very short time of bounty. You need to be watchful, to know the right time for harvesting, so that you can use and preserve as much of this bounty as you can. Chris told us about the first smell of the elder blossom each year and his expectation of it. For him, this is what’s magical about foraging.

Chris said that there seems to be a trend towards enjoying the countryside at breakneck speed – people want to ride through it, or run through it, or drive through it. He told us about the importance of just stopping to look at what’s there. Foraging is all about observation.

You need to know the land, to experience it, using all your senses.

We learnt about the sad affliction of ‘forager’s anxiety’, caused by people wanting to find something so much that they take leave of their senses (or rather, they forget them). Chris told us not to rely only on our eyes, because when you really want to see something, your mind can start to see what isn’t there. This causes people to identify plants incorrectly, sometimes with painful consequences.

However, forager’s anxiety is soon avoided by just stopping and thinking about it. We learnt about the importance of smell – fir smells like a citrus fruit, and if a plant doesn’t smell of garlic then it won’t be wild garlic (even if it looks like it). Places are also important. A plant that looks right but which is in completely the wrong habitat is very unlikely to be the thing that your eyes might think it is, because habitat influences what type of plants will grow.

Timing is important too. Wherever a plant is directing its energy at any given time of the year is also where the goodness is. Burdock has a two year life cycle. When it is sending up flowers to create new seeds, the plant will be using all its energy to do that, so the parsnip-like roots will no longer be good to eat.

At the end of the afternoon, we gathered a basket-full of greens to make a snack with.

Platter of foraged greensOur feast included nettles, thistles, jelly ears (a type of mushroom), goosegrass (also known as stickywilly or cleavers), reed  mace and rose bay willow herb. Perhaps that might not sound too appetising, but we made some delicious Tibetan momos together and Chris fried the willow herb in butter and oil, which was another tasty revelation.

When I told Andy that I was going on this course, he described it as ‘nutritious wombling’. I’ve since discovered that the term wombling is used in statistics (thanks to statistician William H. Womble). It describes techniques for ‘identifying zones of rapid change, typically in some quantity as it varies across some geographical or Euclidean space.’ This made me think about the pace of change that some of our edible wild plants have, and how people will miss out on this fleeting bounty if they’re busy hurtling through the countryside at a rate of knots.

But the ‘real’ wombling is of course done by those little pointy-nosed creatures who potter about in green spaces and make good use of the things that they find. The Womble motto is: “Make Good Use of Bad Rubbish.” I think that cooking rose bay willow herb, scourge of our allotment boundaries, fits that description very well.

Photos of our wild food foraging day
Wild plant identification sheets (pdf)
Tibetan momos recipe

Local Food Cafe / Kitchen Manager job

Local Food Cafe / Kitchen Manager

Hours: Full-Time (37 hours per week and may include some weekend work)

Salary: £20,000 per annum

Closing date: April 4th 2012

Paddock Community Trust require an experienced cafe / kitchen manager to lead an exciting new BIG Lottery funded project supporting local food growing and healthy eating in Paddock until 2014. The successful applicant will manage West View Cafe – a new cafe / kitchen facility at Paddock Village Hall and coordinate the work of volunteers in the effective running of the cafe and local food sales through our community shop opening in May 2012.

We are seeking an experienced manager, with appropriate qualifications and relevant commercial experience, who has the drive, enthusiasm and skills to develop the long term sustainability of West View Cafe. We believe this is a unique opportunity for an enterprising and imaginative individual with a genuine interest in the benefits of local food growing to play an important part in the Trust’s strategic development. The Cafe manager will also work with our Local food partners in Kirklees in developing the long term aims of this project beyond 2014.

The ability to communicate effectively with a range of staff, volunteers and customers is essential. Familiarity with Microsoft Office applications is highly desirable and is the ability to drive as a limited amount of travel may be required. An enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure will be required at the expense of the Trust. The Cafe manager will also work with the Trust’s Training manager to develop and implement a varied training programme in both horticulture and catering.

Paddock Community Trust is a registered charity with an established track record in community development project work and operates a number of programmes in adult learning, the environment and health and well-being throughout Kirklees.

To apply submit a CV and covering letter detailing your skills and experience to:

Simon Ashbee
Managing Director Paddock Trust
Paddock Village Hall
West View, Paddock
Huddersfield HD1 4TX

Tel: 01484 431400

Local Food Cafe Vacancy (pdf)

What can I do with my green tomatoes?

At a meeting this evening, our community worker, Dot, posed a question that has been asked more often than usual this year:

“What can I do with all those green tomatoes, other than make chutney or fry them?”

Even around just one table, there were many keen to offer suggestions, such as:

  • Leave them on the vine, with the plant unwatered, to ripen.
  • Put them in a biscuit tin with a banana.
  • Put them between your pajamas (presumably, not whilst you’re wearing them).

So we decided to ask how everyone else has tackled their green tomato glut this year. Do you have any tips for ripening tomatoes, or do you have any favourite green tomato recipes to share?

Please put your ideas in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box on this page (then select ‘Post Comment’) or send us an email. All suggestions welcome.



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