Archive for ‘Archive’

May 1, 2018

Spring 2018 update

Work around the farm and in the busy hours of our many helpers, Board members and staff has been keeping everything shipshape and Bristol fashion for Sims Hill.

On the land

The Spring planting has been going well and the new polytunnel looking an absolute delight with its leafy greens and delicious compost. We are on schedule with all of our planting so far, aiming to get all the onions out in the first week of May and the beetroot soon after. The only crop that the strange weather this year managed to spoil was the celeriac. Unexpectedly, it wasn’t the snow or the late cold snap that caused a problem, but those sudden hot days at the start of April that crisped the seedlings and overheated the crop. A shame! But nature takes as it gives, and other than that we are in good form for the summer and autumn to come.

In the shares at the moment we are managing to provide our own greens and salad leaves, but are buying in other vegetables until the “hungry gap” of April – June is over and we have our own crops ready with summer growth. We used an excellent farm near Swindon for much of our bought in veg over the winter, but they too have run out of stocks so we have had to go further afield until our own provision increases. We do our best to balance our aims of sourcing as locally as possible, from other farms who share our ethos and within a price range that means we can continue to provide members with seven vegetables each week. This gets harder as the hungry gap reduces local stocks and raises prices, but summer is around the corner so the growers are working hard on the land to make sure we can provide as much as possible ourselves as soon as the weather allows.

Partnerships

We are extremely proud to announce that we have reached our highest ever number of members, which is brilliant. We are providing veg for over 90 households around the city at the moment. There is always some flux and flow in member numbers as people move away or change their habits, but we hope to keep member numbers up and even grow a little bit more. Our strongest “social network” is our membership, so tell a friend about us (thumbs up sign optional) and help us strengthen our roots across the city.

Feedback from members’ meetings and ongoing discussions have raised the idea of keeping bees on the land several times over the last couple of years. Over the last few months the idea was explored in more depth, and the Board have confirmed that we will not be putting this into action. Discussions with Avon Wildlife Trust (who manage Feed Bristol) have taught us that they would rather the site encouraged solitary bees, as when honey bees are brought in they out-compete the solitary bees. You can find out more about the difference and why solitary bees are important here. On the big field, which is not shared with Feed Bristol, our lease from Bristol City Council would make sub-contracting to a beekeeper complicated, so this is also not a sensible idea. All in all, it has been useful to investigate the topic in more depth – did you know there are 267 species of bee in the UK? – so for the time being we will stay as we are, welcoming and admiring the bees that choose to buzz with us of their own accord.

Upcoming events

Our community worker Laurie has moved away from Bristol, so her role has been taken on by Sian, who was already closely involved in the Community Food Centre which has made for a smooth hand-over. With Sian’s support we will be running a “lunchtime conversation” in June as part of Bristol Food Connections. Watch out for news and details on our Facebook page and here on the website. We are also part of the Get Growing Trail this summer which opens up community gardens and growing spaces around the city for visitors. Along with our usual volunteer work days on the 3rd Sunday of every month, it’s a busy, sociable time ahead.

Happy May day to all, let us unite as workers, eaters, producers and vegetable lovers.

 

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April 20, 2018

2018 AGM minutes available online

Our AGM had to be rescheduled this year due to snow and ice in early March, but a group of growers and members met a few weeks later on 26th March. You can find the minutes of the meeting – and all past meetings – on the members’ meeting minutes page.

March 9, 2018

Vacancy: Community worker

We are looking for a new Community worker to run our Community Food Centre. The Centre has been running since November 2016, and as our staff member moves away we are looking for a replacement to take this important role in the Sims Hill team.

veg

Principal tasks:

You will be responsible for working with referral agencies to invite vulnerable people to join a ‘community of health and well-being’ that gathers at the farm on Thursdays and offers work experience, a meal together and the opportunity to order free or subsidised food. You will manage this gathering, oversee the cooking of a meal and the distribution and ordering of food through Real Economy Co-operative.

The post is for 8 hours per week on Thursdays at the Feed Bristol site.

This role will suit someone who:

• relates well to people who are in difficult circumstances

• has an interest in food and food growing as a means to social cohesion

• recognises the importance of community life to our health and well-being

• has an ability to manage groups of volunteers in gardening and cooking contexts

• is proactive and able to develop the project and monitor progress

You will be responsible, on a day to day basis, to the Farm Manager and may work actively with our partners Real Economy.

Pay and conditions

· either at the rate of £12 per hour for an 8 hour day for 50 weeks per year (self-employed)

· or on an employed basis for one eight hour day per week at a rate of £10.58 per hour with four weeks holiday and a 6% employers pension contribution.

The agreed start date for this post is April 1st 2018.

The post is subject to one month’s written notice and will be formally reviewed and renewed on a six monthly basis.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted on 2 sides of A4 plus a CV to simshillsharedharvest@gmail.com by 23rd March 2018.

October 23, 2017

Sims Hill is Recruiting for a New Farm Manager!

Sims Hill is looking to recruit a Farm Manager to build upon the great work of our current Farm Manager Miriam Schoen who is moving out of the country.

Job Title: Farm Manager – Sims Hill Shared Harvest, Bristol
Status: Employed, 4 days per week
Contract: Permanent, subject to three months notice by either side. Working hours may also be varied at three
months notice.
Pay rate: £10/hour
Closing date for applications: 30th of November 2017
Start date of post: 1st of Feb 2018, or earlier by arrangement

We are looking for an experienced commercial organic grower with an understanding of CSA values and the ability to lead a team of volunteers and other employees. The role will be responsible for the planning, production and delivery of CSA and wholesale vegetables, as well as developing relationships with partners and wholesale clients, and developing other income streams. Part of the role also consists of the continuing setting up and development of infrastructure on the site including raising funds.

You will work with Chloe, our existing paid grower and may delegate some responsibilities to her by agreement with the board.

Please apply in writing including a cover letter and CV to simshillsharedharvest@googlemail.com.
Closing date 30th of November 2017.

The complete job spec can be found here.

May 24, 2017

Looking at Food ‘From Plot to Plate’ at a local Primary School

Sims Hill education project recently engaged with 60 year 1s at Christchurch Primary School in Hanham. Children got happily stuck into all the activities, from understanding soil, seeds and plant cycles to tasting garden peas and salad leaves and flowers. We looked at the latest Sims Hill veg box and what we could cook with it while children got acquainted with some new vegetables including ‘snippers’ (parsnips!) and ‘brutes’ (beetroots!).

Thank you to all the pupils and teachers for their enthusiasm.

February 24, 2017

Sims Hill AGM 28th February!

tractorThe Sims Hill AGM will be held at 7:30 pm 28th February at St. Werburghs Community Centre, Horley Rd, Bristol, BS2 9TJ

Light refreshments (and great cake!) will be served.

We are very much looking forward to sharing with you all the exciting things that have been happening to us in the last year. Sims Hill is on the move! We have added new social projects, held our first crowdfunder, hired a new Membership Coordinator, and are now in the midst of recruiting an Assistant Grower. And of course, concentrating on growing more and higher-quality veg for you all while we are at it.

Agenda:

Presenting of the 2016 accounts

Election of the Board: This year Kristin Sponsler and Simone Osborn will be standing down from the Board as per our articles, and will also be standing for reelection. We still have space for 1 harvest share member and 1 supporter member to stand. If any one would like to stand for the Board, please write to simshillsharedharvest@gmail.com with a brief bio in the next few days so we can announce this before the meeting.

Grower update: Farm Manager Miriam Schoen will report on the farming highlights of the last year, her new growing plans for the next one, and how she plans on using our new tractor!

Education project update from Kirsty Philbrick

Sims Hill Community Food Centre project update from Laurie King

Our new Membership Recruitment Coordinator Alice Lee will tell us her plans for recruitment for the year ahead and how you can all get involved.

Hope to see you the there!

The Sims Hill team

 

February 23, 2017

Come and find out more about the Education Project!

veg-face-winnerLast week we joined up with the Real Economy  community food event in Southmead where residents got together to watch the film Ratatouille and cooked up a delicious seasonal ratatouille and other healthy snacks. Thank you to Tasha of Real Economy and everyone else who helped organise this event.

We’re inviting groups of families with children in Southmead to come and visit us to find out more about veg growing and get involved with harvesting and cooking up a nutritious dish. Please get in touch with Kirsty (simshilleducation@gmail.com) if you’re a Southmead resident who’s interested, or know someone who might be.

We held a ‘veg with a face’ competition for children to win a veg box, seasonal recipe and Real Economy Real Food Club Gift Voucher.

The lucky winner was Kayla (pictured above) and the runner up was Lisa.  We got in touch with them today and hope to deliver their prizes next week. See all the children’s fab drawings below.

veg-with-a-face-competition

February 10, 2017

Sims Hill is Recruiting for an Assistant Grower!

We are now recruiting for an Assistant Grower to help our Farm Manager, Miriam Schoen, keep producing even more amazing local veg for our members.

Job Title: Assistant Grower – Sims Hill Shared Harvest, Bristol
Position Type: 3 days a week for 6 months [with the intention to extend the position beyond]
Status: employed
Pay rate: the post is paid at a full time salary rate of £16,600, so 3/5 time will be paid a total of
£9,960 per annum (or £191 per week).
Closing date for applications: February 28, 2017.

The complete job spec can be found here. If interested, please send a cover letter detailing relevant experience and a CV to simshillshared@gmail.com by 28th February, 2017.

field

January 30, 2017

Sims Hill School Work Update 30 January, 2017

snowdrop-1025050_960_720We’re excited that the first shoots of spring are sprouting their heads out the ground – we’ve already seen the first snowdrops!

With the growth around we’re also growing what we have to offer schools to learn about food growing. We’ve devised an early years programme to immerse children in the field and deepen their understanding of the world. We have our first bookings coming in and look forward to welcoming more schools in soon.

We’re pleased to be able to support schools to achieve their ‘Bristol Healthy Schools Mayor’s award’ by helping schools with their food culture and food growing (Standards 9-11).  They’ve recently launched their ‘Sugar Smart’ programme which we endorse and think eating locally grown seasonal food can help support people to reduce their sugar intake.

Watch this space for more info about our early years programme.

Get in touch with Kirsty at simshilleducation@gmail.com for more info.

January 13, 2017

Sims Hill Schools Work Update

children-working-with-clayWe are excited to start the new year ready for schools to come and learn all about seasonal healthy food.

Primary schools can come for day visits on themes of their choice – from soil to nutrition, field tours to harvesting and cooking and much more besides. See our flyer for more info.

We are also offering a limited number of FREE outreach sessions – classroom workshops or assemblies – on the theme of ‘Plot to Plate – where’s our food from?’

If you’re a teacher or a parent – please let your school know about these opportunities so your kids can benefit too.

Looking forward to lots of workshops with earthy hands and enquiring young minds in 2017!

Get in touch with Kirsty at simshilleducation@gmail.com for more info.