Growing need for fresh food
A community food co-operative that has been running for a year is proving so popular that there are plans to take it into schools.
Feel Good Foods in Ollerton and Boughton was launched 12 months ago and now has 22 families in the group as well as a community allotment.
Any fruit and vegetables grown in gardens or an allotment owned by Ollerton and Boughton Town Council is pooled and shared, or sold in a bid to introduce more fresh produce into the diet of people in the area.
The scheme is run by Ollerton and District Economic Forum and Sherwood Sustainability and Environmental Associates.
It plans to introduce three projects into schools in the area to spread information about growing and sharing vegetables.
All projects are still in the planning stage.
The projects could involve up to six schools in the area including Dukeries College and Forest View Primary School, Ollerton; Crompton View Primary School, Bilsthorpe; St Joseph’s Primary School, Boughton; King Edwin Primary School, Edwinstowe; Edwinstowe Primary School and Walesby Primary School.
Mrs Kate Hiseman, a project manager for Feel Good Foods, said: “Because of the success, there has been interest from the schools who want us to work more closely with them for a variety of reasons.”
She said that as part of the curriculum and new healthy eating menus in the schools, it is being instilled in the children to eat healthily, but that message is not being relayed to parents as well.
She said that, either through lack of time or money, they do not always eat vegetables so she wants to extend the co-operative so they can grow their own and share with others.
They aim to introduce the scheme to parents through leaflets and talks.
The group also wants to work with schools to start their own allotments so that the children can learn how to grow fruit and vegetables.
Feel Good Foods is applying for money to pay for the third project — for children to make books of recipes made in the area from the 1940s onwards.
Pupils will interview older generations about what food they produced and what recipes they used.
A DVD of the interviews will also be produced.
Mrs Hiseman said the idea was to build up a knowledge about when food started to be imported into the area.
She said: “We are trying to engage people back with the history of the area, understand the environment and build up a social history.
“We wanted to do something more dynamic which directly involves the children.
“We are so excited about this project.”
Mrs Hiseman hoped the project would entice children to start growing their own fruit and vegetables to re-intoduce more local food to the area.
The co-operative is hoping to get a grant of up to £10,000 from Awards for All to start the project.
Feel Good Foods’ first annual meeting will take place on January 31.
The team will reflect on their first year and discuss future plans, which could include opening a shop to sell produce.