We meet every month – all welcome


Feed Leeds is a network of individuals and organisations working in partnership to support local food growing (at home, in allotments, at schools, in community projects or commercially) for its social, economic, environmental and health benefits, and to promote healthy, sustainable and affordable food in Leeds.

Next Potting Shed Drinks:
Usually every third Thursday. Next is 15th Nov, 8pm, upstairs at Further North
Next General Meeting:
The next GM will be at Inkwell (TBC) on the 22nd of Oct, 9.30am. 

August Minutes

Feed Leeds Minutes: Aug 16th 2018

Further North

Apologies and Minutes

Present: Sarah-Jane Mason (RHS), Marie-Pierre Dupont (LCC and REAP), Sue Ottley-Hughes (Stank Hall Barn), Mark Warner (Plate 2 Plate Compost), Tom Bliss (Unis and Parks Forum; Chair), Beth Bingley (Growing Better, Hyde Park Source), Dorota Hajdukiewicz (Growing Better), Rob Moores (Growing Better; minutes)

Apologies: Sonja Woodcock (Leeds Food Partnership), Becky Mears (IE Aireborough and Season Well).

Land Access

Tom has requested that Leeds Parks and Green Spaces Forum should try to raise the game around growing in parks. Hopefully this will be on the agenda for the next committee meeting in September, which he can’t unfortunately attend. “Feed Leeds would like to know to what extent LPGSF might be able to promote and facilitate more food growing by approved groups such as Friends. This could run from orchards and fruit bushes, which are fairly easy and non-contentious, to display beds (either planted by parks and then adopted, or planted and managed by Friends)  – like the ones at Allerton Grange Fields, to small unfenced allotments in suitable corners, which we don’t think anyone has done yet. We might consider planting hedges around these – fences being ruled out – as this would both reduce over-scrumping, and help to hide any untidiness. We have a list of parks where growing will (probably) be permitted, but we’d like to do more to flag up this option, and encourage more people to try it next year.”

We have not heard back re the sites discussed at the July meeting.


The RHS are looking for people working in the horticulture industry to mentor small teams of students through our annual Green Plan It Challenge.

Being a mentor is an opportunity to help young people learn about the world of plants and to challenge their perception of horticulture, while also being valuable to your own professional development.

Once we have matched you with your team, you will have the chance to inspire and guide them through the ten week process, providing them with practical tips from your own experience. We encourage all mentors to spend at least one hour a week of time supporting the students.

Once signed up, we will provide training and guidance on the challenge itself, as well as carry out any DBS or PVG checks for you. To learn more and see a video summarising the programme visit https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/11-19-years/Green-Plan-It and if you would like to be a mentor please register your interest here https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/11-19-years/Green-Plan-It/Mentors


Friends of Stank Hall Barn

More vandalism problems mean that plants will be started in private gardens next year. (it is not clear if the damage is part of an orchestrated attempt to close down the project).

The group had a very productive trip to Brittany to visit growing projects in St Malo and Dinan, where people are very focused on possibly dramatic imminent social change. This lead to a good discussion about how FL needs to prepare for more, possibly climate migrant, mouths to feed, along with other stressors such as drought and flood, and the need for more and better education about food growing generally.


Siobhan, Sonja, Rosie, Ama and Tom met to plan two events for next year: 11 Feb and 18th April, both at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, which we hope will be more attractive to teachers than Adam Court. We had a better turn-out when we made a small charge, perhaps because this implied a more valuable event, so we are returning to this policy as an experiment, with a longer 3 hour, rather than 2 hour, slot.

We hope a new title will be attractive ‘Growing Food and Gardening Through the Curriculum.

Topics to include:

  • Ofsted, obesity and the curriculum – Siobhan
  • Meanwood farm offer and tour – Robert
  • Case study – Ebor Gardens and support offer to schools – Ama
  • Composting – tbc
  • Where and how to access funding – Sonja
  • Growing Better hydroponics demo.

Beth might be interested in contributing to this, having in the past produced lesson plans that map to the complete curriculum and based around growing.

Ama has been working with Ebor Gardens as a result of the previous event, and we hope this will happen again in future. We are also pursuing the idea of funded mentors based at KIF, but as the first KIF funding bid has been unsuccessful, this will not be imminent.

Siobhan shared findings from the latest Ofsted review:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/obesity-healthy-eating-and-physical-activity-in-primary-schools

Siobhan, through HSW (LCC) is reinstating the school Food Survey/Audit planned for last year. An online survey will be sent to all schools and relevant info will be shared with parents. The survey will be incentivised, and will collect information about the current picture for Leeds and include sections such as breakfast, break, lunch and after school food provision, The dining room structure and service styles e.g. family service, Catering providers, The curriculum, Growing, Cooking, Barriers, Facilities etc and it will build on data collected in the first LESSN survey of 2015. A separate planning meeting will take place to enable partners to feed into this.


Key meetings with councillors and others are in the diary, and the first public engagement event proper takes place at the Cardigan Arms in the evening of the 4th of October, with a talk from our CSA advisor, Sue Brown, and early recruiting to the farm membership scheme. Please email Tom if you would like to attend.

Leeds Rotters

Having not heard back from some key people, the planned sub-meeting has not taken place. However, it was resolved to change the Facebook Group back into Page, (Tom, done). Please “Like” the page! As anybody can post to the Page an Administrator role will be created to remove any offensive posts. Mark will produce some template text and pages that can be used to promote the Rotters, and will share this through FL for all to help promote it. When Tom returns in Sept, the Facebook Group can be retired, and the meeting can be convened

Connection Updates

The Orchard Project

Ben Fenton has started in post. Tom has been in touch to invite him to Feed Leeds, which he’s keen to do. (We’ve also suggested that he attend the next LPGS event). He’s giving a talk to Tom’s students in early October, which will provide an opportunity to develop the relationship. Meanwhile, we’re sure FL members based at Hollybush, especially Andy and John, will make him extra welcome.

Growing Better

We have recently recruited our fourth team member, with Dorota joining as Operations Director.

We received a grant from Leeds Community Foundation to run a Healthy Holidays programme for school aged children for 3 weeks over the summer holidays. The aim of the programme was to ensure that children from disadvantaged communities receive a healthy breakfast and lunch during school holidays, and schools in the Armley area helped with recruitment to the programme.  Food was provided by The Real Junk Food Project and a very kind donation from Aspire. A final week will be run in the October half term holiday.

We have successfully applied for an innovation grant from SIAFS, and in conjunction with FERA will be conducting trials to feed pea shoot waste to black soldier fly larvae. If successful, we will explore ways of commercialising this to contribute to the circular economy.

Sept Meeting

It was resolved to meet at Potting Shed Drinks on 20th Sept at 7.30 – at Further North. The room is booked.

Kirkstall Island Farm – first moves

KIF Logos2Working with Feed Leeds, the Kirkstall Valley Development Trust is talking to the Council about taking a lease on the 6 hectares of agricultural land at Burley Mills. We would like to establish a community supported agricultural (CSA) business + growing projects that work with schools and local residents, to sit alongside the remaining allotment holders.

We are keen to hear from anyone interested in driving the initiative, becoming a member or simply ordering veg from the scheme. We will be holding a public meeting in early autumn, but in the meantime please email your interest.

KVDT have their AGM on 6th of Sept. A good time to say hello and talk about the Farm, and the other things KVDT are doing.

Read more about the project here



Elections to the Board will take place. Three Board members are seeking re-election. Anyone else wishing to stand should contact Chris Hill by replying to this email.

We have two speakers that should be of interest:

Pete McGurn, Chief Exec of the Goodwin Trust in Hull, will speak about how they have made a major impact on the lives of their community.

Rajan Gupta is a local developer who is keen to partner with the Trust and develop extra care housing in Abbey Mills. He will explain his ideas and take questions.

7-30pm, Thursday 6th Sept. Milford Sports Club, Beecroft St, Leeds LS5 3AS

All members and supporters welcome

Workshops and Demos at Kirkgate Market

Sonja, Sarah-Jane and Becky (with moral support from Tom) ran a series of demos and tastings today by the LIFF ‘Indoor Allotment’ in the Food Hall; on flavoured teas and waters, how to dress a salad, and seed sowing into paper pots. We created a recipe leaflet with info on Feed leeds and partners Season Well, Leeds Food Partnership – as part of the Leeds Indie Food Festival.

Handout Leeds Markets 190518

This was not quite as well-attended as we’d hoped, due to some family occasion in Windsor, but the display was most impressive, with hot flasks and pots of nettle, mint and lemon balm teas, strawberry/blueberry, mint/cucumber and ginger/rhubarb waters, seed-pot-making with newspapers and formers, salads tossing with edible flowers and more – and we met dozens of Leeds folks who sipped and tasted, told us about their growing successes, failures and ambitions – and some we were able to suggest community projects or allotment sites they could approach to help them get started on growing and making lovely fresh healthy food at home.

A very worthwhile exercise and one we aim to repeat often!