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 and if you would like to be a mentor please register your interest here


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:

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.