Archive for ‘News’

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.

November 1, 2017

Lunchtime conversation: Property is theft? Property is freedom?

Property is theft_

What have the English Revolution, the Irish potato famine and the gentrification of Easton all have in common?
Find out at a fascinating discussion on the transformative role of land ownership patters through British history.
The event will include a talk from Humprey Lloyd, a grower and member of the Landworkers’ Alliance, as well as a Q and A and general discussion from all present.
Lunch will be ready at 12:30 for everyone to share, cooked by the volunteers at Sims Hill Community Food Centre – we would appreciate a small donation. The discussion will then take place from 1-2pm. Please sign up on eventbrite so we know how many to cook for 🙂

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/property-is-theft-property-is-freedom-tickets-39475596572


Everyone welcome!

 

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.

September 13, 2017

Re-imagining the city – what do you want to discuss?

cristina

Join the Sims Hill Community Food Centre for lunch and help us decide on topics for our upcoming monthly discussions- we want to re-imagine our future and our city in a more sustainable and ethical way – so what big ideas and practical steps do we want to have and to take? During this event we will creating a list of topics that we want to explore over the coming year. Chris Sunderland, director of Sims Hill and the Real Economy will be facilitating.

The Sims Hill Community Food Centre group will be cooking a deicious vegan lunch for us to share. Please sign up for a ticket so we know how many to cater for. Donations for food costs would be appreciated.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/re-imagining-the-city-what-do-you-want-to-discuss-tickets-37869514738

Thursday 21st September, 12:30-14:00 @ Feed Bristol

Everyone welcome!

September 7, 2017

Education project shares the harvest with Sense families

On the 1st of September, a group of families from Sense came to enjoy the bounty of the Sims Hill Harvest.

The children who visited have sight/hearing issues, and in some cases many other health complications. All enjoyed engaging with the smells (from garlic chives to fresh tomatoes), textures (from soft marshmallow leaves to prickly cucumbers) and tastes (from raspberries to green beans) on offer!

Families harvested and prepared simple meals, learning new healthy seasonal recipes which they can repeat at home. Many parents said their children were trying – and enjoying – vegetables that they wouldn’t touch at home.

It was a great day, with very positive feedback from children, parents and Sense staff. We hope to arrange more similar days in the future which really make the most of Feed Bristol’s accessible facilities and bring new diverse groups to Sims Hill to engage with healthy, seasonal local food.

Here’s one of our easy recipes if you want to try it with the glut of beans we have at the moment:

Tangy Green Bean Salad

Ingredients:

Green beans

1 tbsp Oil (olive or sesame)

1/2 tbsp Soy sauce

Squeeze of lime

Garlic, 1 clove crushed

 

Method:

  1. Steam green beans until just soft
  2. Drain and cool with cold water
  3. Mix oil, soy sauce, lime and garlic in a jar
  4. Mix all ingredients together and serve
July 26, 2017

Sustaining the land: the diet question – lunchtime conversation

Easton pick up point

The next in our series of monthly conversations – let’s discuss what a sustainable diet really looks like. Hannah Steenbergen from the Sustainable Food Trust will be facilitating a conversation about this topic – drawing from her work at SFT, which will bring in important topics such as fats and livestock, soil and sustainability. Food for thought – and you will get fed as well! The members of our Community Food Centre will be cooking up some fresh, homegrown veggies so we don’t get hungry while we talk about food!

Thursday 10th August, 12:30-14:00.

Feed Bristol, 158 Frenchay Park Road, Bristol, BS16 1HB

Please RSVP on eventbrite so we know how many people to cater for: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sustaining-the-land-the-diet-question-lunchtime-conversation-tickets-36538457510

 

Everyone welcome.

The event is free but donations for ingredients would be welcomed.

July 11, 2017

The Busy Month of June: Schools Project Update

June was a busy month for the Education project, engaging with lots of young people on and offsite.

We had a visits from Wallscourt Farm Primary Year 3 classes who delved into the fascinating subjects of seeds and plant families. They were very excited and curious and survived their visit on one of the hottest days of the year, cooling off under the sprinklers!

The local Young Carer’s group came one weekend for a day of harvesting, cooking and feasting. Young people learnt new cooking skills and recipes which some said they were excited to go home and share with their families. South Glos Young Carer’s network fed back what a ‘fantastically interesting, fun and supportive day it was for young people who really need a day out’.

We were part of The Festival of Nature’s School day in Millenium Square., sharing the mystery and magic of soil with lots of children from Bristol schools.

It’s been great to share Sims Hill site and produce with so many people. We are still looking for more bookings – so do get in touch if you know any schools/groups interested?

Kirsty on simshilleducation@gmail.com

July 4, 2017

Why eating locally matters – talk

MODEL-FARM.png

We are pleased to announce our next Sims Hill Community Food Centre event: ‘Why eating locally matters’ – Thursday 13th July, 12:30-2pm, Feed Bristol, Frenchay Park Road, BS16 1HB Bristol, United Kingdom.

A delicious meal cooked on an open fire and an interesting discussion…what could be a better way to spend a Thursday lunchtime? Steph Wetherell from Real Economy will be joining the members of Sims Hill Community Food Centre to lead an informal discussion about why eating local produce matters. We will be exploring ideas such as health, sustainability and the true cost of fresh produce. Steph is a local food expert – working for Bristol Food Producers, organised the Food Connections conference and also does freelance writing.


The meal will be vegan, locally sourced and cooked by our volunteers…and free – though donations are welcomed and encouraged.

Everyone is welcome – please RSVP on eventbrite so we can estimate numbers for catering.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/why-eating-locally-matters-lunchtime-talk-tickets-35754598968