Get fresh with Rock Abundance: coming to Cherry Hinton Road this Friday

ROCK ABUNDANCE: “One person’s glut is another person’s feast”

Were you lucky enough to catch the Transition Cambridge pop-up stall at Rock Road Library last Saturday? I was, and went home happily with some beautiful sweet peas, a little jar of redcurrant jelly, and a prickly cucumber. The idea is that you take along any spare produce from your garden, and swap it for someone else’s superfluity.

This Friday, the group will hold its second ‘Rock Abundance’ stall outside the Blazing Saddles bike shop at 102 Cherry Hinton Road – that’s on the corner of Rock Road, for those who haven’t already discovered this gem of a bike shop.

It’s a brilliant idea: you just take along any home-grown (or foraged) fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs; and you swap them for your neighbours’ goodies. Even if you don’t have anything to take, you can take produce and make a donation. When Rock Abundance took place at the library donations went to the Friends of Rock Road Library for community events; this time they will go to the Homerton Children’s Centre community garden. Any excess food will be distributed to FoodCycle or other local charities.

sweet peasThe stall is just there for an hour, between 5.30 and 6.30pm on Friday – set up an alarm so you don’t miss it!

Further details: www.rockabundance.org.uk (Facebook: /RockAbundance; twitter @RockAbundance) [email protected]; or telephone Rebecca Jones, volunteer and first co-ordinator: 07792 531 400.

Lib Dems announce free school lunches for infants

At the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow last week, I heard the good news that all pupils at infant schools in England are to receive free school lunches from September 2014.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg used his speech to Liberal Democrat conference to make the formal announcement. In addition, disadvantaged students at sixth form colleges and FE colleges in England will also be eligible from next September. Money is also being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, should their devolved parliaments choose to spend the money on free lunches.

Free school meals were one recommendation in The School Food Plan, commisioned by the Government and launched in July by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. They found that in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, students were academically months ahead of their peers.

Nick Clegg said:

“Teaching healthy habits young, and boosting attainment early, will bring the biggest benefits. Universal free school meals will help give every child the chance in life that they deserve, building a stronger economy and fairer society.”

In closing the Liberal Democrat Conference in Glasgow, Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg re-emphasized the impact the Liberal Democrats are having in Government. Click here for a copy of his full speech.

Morley Memorial School Fête this afternoon

feteToday, Saturday July 6, Morley Memorial Primary School holds its annual school fête.

There is something for everyone: face-painting, bouncy castles and trampolines for the under 8s, arts and crafts for the creative types, and plenty of scope for finding a bargain or something special from the various stalls, which include local businesses such as Phoenix Cards and Orchard Toys.

There will also be a wide range of stalls selling plants, cakes white elephant, books and toys.

Morley fêtes are well known for their great range of international food, with dishes from different parts of the world. This year, the school is welcoming special guests from Inder’s Kitchen.

1.00-3.30pm, Blinco Grove.

Summer barbecue in a riverside garden

barbecueThe Liberal Democrats are holding a summer barbecue on June 23rd, in the delightful surroundings of the riverside garden of Key’s Cottage in Meldreth.

Key’s Cottage is just 5 minutes’ walk from Meldreth Station, and Meldreth is just a couple of stops from Cambridge on the Kings Cross line.

Please contact me or another member of the local team if you would like to go and we will order tickets from our colleagues in Meldreth.

Meat provided by Leeches’ Butchers of Melbourn, plus vegetarian options

June 23, 5:30-9:00

Tickets £13.50 or £30 per family with children under 18

Giving it up for Romsey Mill

My employer, Cambridge University Press, is a partner of Romsey Mill, and I thought I would tell you about their seasonal appeal.

Romsey Mill is a charity that helps young people all over Cambridgeshire: it’s a Christian charity, but you don’t have to be a Christian to want to help!

This is what they have to say: (more…)

Enough Food for Everyone IF

IFThe world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food.

Today, I attended the Cambridge launch of the ‘Enough Food for Everyone If‘ campaign at Great St Mary’s Church, Cambridge, together with a crowd of people including some the city’s campaigning organizations, including the Humanitarian Centre, World Development Movement, members of Great St Mary’s,  and fellow members of Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group.

Steve Jones from the Humanitarian Centre eloquently described the scandal that in our ‘developed’ society, one in eight people in the world goes to bed hungry, and the two million needless child deaths every year due to malnutrition. The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Sheila Stuart also addressed the meeting, and declared her support for the campaign.

The IF campaign is a coming together of UK-based organisations, including Oxfam, who share the vision of a world where everyone has enough to eat. We also have huge ambitions: to reach 20 million people across the UK with our message and inspire 5 million of them to get involved.

The catalyst for the campaign is the next G8 summit of world leaders, taking place in Britain this June, and the desire to lobby politicians and government leaders to impress on them the desperate urgency to put things right. The campaign has four main (more…)

Community Day, Saturday 6th October

Cambridge City Council is organizing a Community Day outside the Wulfstan Way shops next Saturday. The event will include:

  • a Take it or Leave it Stall (to recycle good quality, small items – such
    as books and clothes)
  • a talk on Grown your own Food
  • Children’s cookery
  • Crafts for children
  • Plants & Cakes stall
  • Bread stall
  • Preview of plans for the Jubilee seat
  • Talk on basic gardening 10-11 (QE Chapel)
  • Details of plans for the new pub and Bell School development, and information about grants (QE Chapel)
  • Guided tour of the Nature Reserve, 12 pm

For more details, or to help, contact [email protected] or Queen Edith’s ward councillors.

6th October               10 a.m. – 12 noon                                                                 Download a flyer: Community Event

Your vote is needed again – this time for charity’s sake

Every year, Sainsbury’s runs a Charity of the Year contest.

I shall be giving my vote to the Cambridge City Foodbank – which collects donations from shoppers at Sainsbury’s in Coldhams Lane, Cambridge. They also collect at Waitrose and Asda , but I believe Sainsbury’s was the first Cambridge supermarket to welcome Foodbank into their foyer – at least, that’s what they said when I did a session last year.

Cambridge City Foodbank would really appreciate your visiting Sainsbury’s and voting for them as Charity of the Year. This will strengthen their position and their chances of being able to continue collecting there on a monthly basis. You can vote any time between tomorrow (9th May) and the end of May. You need to fill in a form saying what the charity contributes to the local community, and how it helps people. Here is a copy of the form, in the Sainsbury’s ‘It’s Time to Nominate your Favourite Local Charity leaflet: CAMCANON_Canon018_1648_001

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A Farmers’ Market for Queen Edith’s

Would you like to see a Farmers’ Market in Queen Edith’s? Possibly outside the Wulfstan Way shops, or in the Hills Road area?

A farmers’ market is a market in which farmers, growers or producers from a defined local area are present in person to sell their own produce, direct to the public. All products sold should have been grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholder. For more information, see http://www.farmersmarkets.net/

Farmers’ markets are a great way of bringing producers and customers from the same area together. Not only do they support the local economy, but they gives you fresh and healthy food and they reduce food miles – helping the environment as well as making life easier for those who cannot get into town easily.

If you’d like to be involved, please contact me.