We’ve invited Ledbury Food Bank to tell us about their significant role in alleviating food poverty in Ledbury and district following our short AGM on Monday 8th August at 6pm at the Burgage Hall, Church Lane, Ledbury.
Mark Lister, Chair Lead Team for Ledbury Food Bank has kindly agreed to join us to enable us all to gain greater knowledge of the operations and needs of the Food Bank’s work and to discuss how we might contribute or help. For example:
How does the Food Bank work?
When is it open?
Where does the food stocks come from?
Can/do local producers contribute or supply produce?
What are the items needed most?
How can I contribute food or money or my time?
How do I introduce someone who may be in need?
What has the new premises enabled – do you do more than distributing food stocks?
All are welcome!
AGM of Ledbury Food Group for the year 2021/22
Notice is given that this meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday 8th August at the Burgage Hall, Church Lane, Ledbury.
Report from the Secretary
Report from the Treasurer
Approval of Accounts for the period to 31st March 2022
Election of a Committee for the year 2022 to 2023
Election of Officials for the year 2022 to 2023 – Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
Any other business
Please access the following documents in advance of this meeting by clicking below.
If you came to the Ledbury Celebration last Sunday (10th July) many thanks for coming and supporting the event – we were pleased to see you!
If you were not able to come this is what went on…
Alice from Tuston Market Garden
Local Farmer John Davenport displays his vegetables
Mayor and Palestinian Visitors
Rayeesa offers sauce tastings
Steady Trading at Ledbury Celebration
Taking the shade at the Celebration
Voices Unlimited give it all
Hay Charcuterie on their first visit to Ledbury
The Ledbury Celebration celebrates the local food and drink of Herefordshire and its neighbouring counties with an added menu of music, poetry and our historic heritage.
Held in historic St Katherine’s, Ledbury, the event featured 20 local food and drink producers selling both street-food to enjoy on the spot and specialities to take home. Trade was good thanks to the support of those who came to the event.
This intimate festival also featured local potters selling wares and “hands on”, Kid’s Kitchen where children could enjoy making a meal and several Sustainable stalls.
The entertainment “menu” included poets Dave Pitt, Emma Purshouse, and Leena Batchelor stirring the crowd with their passionate poetry, and Beth Calverley’s magical Poetry Machine creating intimate poems on demand.
The musical menu featured Ledbury Community Choir – Ledbury’s own massed voices, Keith Baldwin, guitarist and singer, The Ledbury Singers serenading in the heat, and the fiddle playing of Gruig.
A first for Ledbury, one-of-a-kind Voices Unlimited brought their unmistakable Wall of Sound” to the Performance Area setting alight what was already a hot afternoon.
Sustainable Ledbury’s Community Art Project, “The Tale of the Bird and the Tree”, reached its conclusion when the Bird took flight and soared over to join the Tree.
Special visitors to the event included the Mayor and Town Clerk of Ledbury, the Ledbury Carnival Court and a group of young people visiting from Palestine.
This event was assembled as a partnership between Ledbury Food Group, Ledbury Poetry, Ledbury Fringe and Ledbury Town Council, and featured the Town Council’s newly acquired gazebos.
Ledbury Food Group thanks the many volunteers who had made the event possible and the public for supporting the event.
The Ledbury Celebration on Sunday 10th July celebrates the local food and drink of Herefordshire and its neighbouring counties with an added menu of music, poetry and our historic heritage.
This year’s event brings an outdoor market to historic St Katherine’s, Ledbury next to the 15th century Master’s House, and just off the High Street. The event runs from 11am to 5pm with entertainment from midday.
Local produce will be on sale either to eat and drink “on the go” or to take home to savour in slower time.
Producers this year include:
• Case for Cooking
• Chock Shop
• Gun Dog Gin
• Hay Charcuterie
• Kitchen Flowers
• Kontext Koffee
• Little Bento Box
• Little Marcle Organic Produce
• Miniyaki’s Japanese Street Food
• Myrtle’s Kitchen
• No Frickin Chicken
• Orchard Grove Preserves
• Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen
• Seb’s Cider
• Tuston Market Garden
• Vicenta’s Empanadas
• Wykeham Gardens
In addition you will find:
• Sustainable Ledbury – find out about avoiding food waste
• Jayne Parry Ceramics
• Karen Tacey Ceramics
• CUP Ceramics – Pottery demonstrations
• Kid’s Kitchen – food activities for younger children
• Eat like your Ancestors
Ledbury Poetry Festival has lined up special “al fresco” poetic performances during the event featuring:
• Dave Pitt – “Now more than ever, our world needs the raw anger of poets like Dave. Importantly, we also need the laughs he brings”
• Emma Purshouse –“Her talent is in taking the most mundane situations and bringing them alive.”
• Leena Batchelor – Pixie Muse – “Calling herself a “poetic minstrel with living in her veins”, Leena writes passionately about everything that strikes her mind and heart”
Poetry performances at 12.45pm, 1.45pm and 2.45pm
Beth Calverley, will be present with her magical Poetry Machine. This is your chance to experience poetry, created in response to your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and discoveries.
And a feast of musical entertainment…
• Ledbury Community Choir – Ledbury’s own massed voices. Join in if you know the words (and the tune! At 12 noon.
• Keith Baldwin, guitarist and singer, frontman of the band Rubble, will entertain from 1.10pm.
• The Ledbury Singers will serenade you with their own smooth music style from 2pm.
• One-of-a-kind Voices Unlimited – rocking out their unmistakable “VU Wall of Sound” raises the tempo at 3pm.
• Gruig, a rip roaring foot stomping band from Gloucestershire bring their sing-along Irish songs, jigs and reels to get you dancing at 4pm.
A special event at 1pm – Ledbury’s Community Art Project, “The Tale of the Bird and the Tree”, will reach its conclusion when the Bird will take flight and soar over to join the Tree accompanied by music.
And you can visit Ledbury’s heritage sites, or book in for a session of poetry with Ledbury Poetry Festival on the last day of the festival.
This event is organised by Ledbury Food Group in partnership with Ledbury Poetry, Ledbury Fringe and Ledbury Town Council.
We will post more about next month’s Ledbury Celebration annual food festival with added music, poetry and heritage shortly…but you can put the date in your diary – 11am to 5pm in St Katherine’s Car Park, Ledbury on Sunday 10th July.
But these events don’t happen by chance – we are looking for help with stewarding the event as a general steward or helping on the Food Group stand. We are looking for an hour or two of your time between 11am and 5pm. You won’t be on your own, and there will be professional stewards on site to help.
It’s a day when Ledbury receives many visitors and we want to put on a good show.
If you can spare an hour or two please contact David at 01531 634033 or Griff on 01531 633637
If you know someone who likes putting up or taking down gazebos – please send them our way.
Ledbury Food Group with its partners Ledbury Poetry Festival and Ledbury Town Council invite you to join us at this year’s Ledbury Celebration on Sunday 10th July.
This year’s event will again be held in the historic setting of St Katherine’s, Ledbury by our very special 15th century Master’s House – it worked well in 2019! The event will include:
An outdoor food and drink market featuring the best of local produce and street food from the Three Counties for you to enjoy at the event or take home. We hope for as good a show as last time
“Al fresco” poetic entertainment provided by the Ledbury Poetry Festival
Outdoor musical entertainment featuring local musicians
Kids Kitchen, Cup Ceramics and a number of craft stalls
It’s the last day of Ledbury Poetry Festival so there’s lots going on, and our heritage buildings will be open for a visit.
The event will run from 11am to 5pm with entertainment from 12 noon.
As in previous years the Ledbury Celebration will be a free public event. The event has received funding from the Herefordshire Council Festivals and Events Discretionary Grant. This grant scheme supported events impacted by Covid-19 and was funded by the Additional Restrictions Grant provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
If you are a locally based food producer using local produce and are interested in a stall at the event please contact our organiser Hannah Day at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact us if you would like to help us setting up, stewarding or setting down after the event at Griff – 01531 633637. Your help makes these events smooth-running and successful – even an hour or two helps.
More information about the food market and the performance schedule will be available on this Food Group website nearer the event.
Our guest blogger Liz Pearson Mann explores the parts of the animal our thoughts may not normally reach, shares her personal views with us and provides some recipes:
A native African mother gives her baby its first solid food, according to local cultural wisdom. She offers up raw liver, which she has first thoughtfully chewed. People of the Sudanese/Ethiopian border also highly value liver. They believe that their soul resides in the liver, and that a person’s character and physical growth depends on how well they feed the soul by eating it. Indeed, liver is so sacred that it cannot be touched by human hands. This report was given by Weston A Price in the 1930s. He was a Canadian dentist and researcher of indigenous tribes and their approach to health through food.
Liver – this is just one component of “nose to tail” eating. Cheek, heart, liver, tripe (stomach), kidneys, blood, ribs, tail bone, trotters and more could be added to the list depending on your tastes, of course. Although this is food we’ve long been eating (until recent decades), you might ask if we’d want to return to it. However, if you want to enjoy a healthy diet, and be sustainable in your eating, read on.
You could be forgiven for thinking that nose to tail eating is merely a frugal way to make do, and poor fare at that. But, this is the way our ancestors ate. They used knowledge passed down through generations in order to maintain the health of whole communities through the food they ate, and the health of their local natural landscape. Yet, those eating habits of small, remote indigenous communities are still relevant, even here in a modern Herefordshire landscape.
Wheat and Meat
On the Ledbury Food Group blog, in Diversify Your Grains: Throw in Some Beans we told how the stiff, fertile clay soils surrounding Ledbury have been the focus of heavy wheat crops for centuries, but not without problems. Even fertile soils can be worn out through constant cropping, if not rejuvenated by fallow periods, with grazing and manuring with livestock in the mix. Professor Thorold Rogers, in the Victoria County History of Herefordshire, explained how land during medieval times was let to lie fallow every three years, sometimes reduced to two. He wrote “But fallowing alone could not keep the land in good heart, so that by the end of the 15th century the arable land was being worn out.” There is only ever so much wheat we can grow and eat, and conversely only so many animals we can ever raise and eat. Balance has always been key. Enter “nose to tail” eating as part of the balance.
Ancestral Food and Thrifty Fare
The most nourishing minerals, vitamins and compounds (like gelatine) are to be found in parts of an animal we rarely eat these days. People have always known this without the need for modern science. They’ve observed the connection between health and food, passing this knowledge down through descendants by word of mouth for most of human existence: this is ancient nutrition. For instance, if you’ve ever bought glucosamine capsules for joint pain, you’re buying a medicine that is found in collagen and gelatine released in a pot of slow-simmered bone broth. You could see this as ancestral food versus techno food, and natural health versus Big Pharma.
“Nose to tail” eating is easy on the budget too; after all, liver, kidneys, black pudding, sausages and slow-roast joints of meat are well known for being thrifty fare. Farmers can’t raise just a pork chop, lamb shank, or beef topside joint – they have to raise the whole animal. Many say that to eat the whole animal is to respect the life of the animal. Though some may not wish to eat meat, or any part of an animal, a truth we may find harder to accept today is that all diets require the sacrifice of life. We are all part of the circle of life, however we eat.
Here are some ideas for “nose to tail” cooking:
Cheeky Recipes: Beef Cheeks
With rising interest in slow-roasting, slow-simmering and ‘slow food’, beef cheeks have seen some attention in the cooking world recently. D T Waller and Sons butchers, at The Homend in Ledbury, rate ox cheeks as a good buy at certain times of the year, so check in with them to find out when they may have them in stock.
If you’re looking for recipes, then here’s one that covers some basics:
Sally Fallon, in her book about ‘Nourishing Traditions’ points out that American cook books of only a century ago were full of “nose to tail” recipes. The same could be said of a cook book I own which was my great-grandmother’s. Coombs Unrivalled Cookery for the Middle Classes was published in 1911 with a title which wouldn’t sit well with many people today!
Many of the recipe names in my book sound rather up-market (it’s the style), and though made from simple, basic ingredients, they’re still good. Here’s an easy one for grilled kidneys:
Grilled kidneys a La Maître D’hôtel – Serves 2
3 sheep’s kidneys
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped parsley
Pepper and salt
Skin and core the kidneys and cut into halves
Grill for seven minutes, and serve with butter in each
For the butter:
Put all the ingredients on a plate and work with a knife until the butter absorbs the lemon juice and parsley.
Stewed Oxtail and Tomatoes – Serves 5 – 6
Here’s an oxtail recipe from my great-grandmother’s cookbook. It was more commonly seen in previous decades, but it still lives on, mostly as commercially-made oxtail soup. You’re unlikely to see oxtail (bone with the meat) in a supermarket, and it’s even hard to get it from a butcher’s, but D T Waller and Sons on The Homend in Ledbury sell it. It would be worth asking at any local butchers whether they normally sell it, or would order some in for you. (Please note, though, that modern food safety requirements restrict what butchers can sell today compared with butchers of the past.)
1.5 kg oxtail joints
Chopped ham (to taste)
1oz of cornflour
4 or 5 tomatoes
1 1/4 pints warm water
1 small onion
1 oz butter
1/2 tsp gravy powder*
* The original recipe lists ‘Coombs gravy salt’, which isn’t made anymore, but I take this to mean gravy powder, now mostly superseded by gravy granules. I suggest using the instructions on the back of the packet and adjust for 1 1/4 pints of water. If you can make your own stock, it will be tastier and more nutritious.
Wash and remove the fat from the oxtail, melt the butter in a pan, and fry until brown.
Also fry the ham (adjust amount to taste), the onion (sliced), and the tomatoes cut into slices.
Add the water and simmer slowly for two hours
Put the tail on a hot dish
Mix the cornflour with a little cold water, thicken the sauce with this, add pepper and gravy powder, and pour over the pieces of tail and serve. The sauce can be strained if liked
If you find you have some left over, you can freeze if for another tasty meal.
Come along and join us as we celebrate the 6th Ledbury Big Breakfast, our “almost traditional winter event”. We welcome you to try something different for breakfast, to go out and enjoy a delicious meal to start the day, or buy something special to take home.
Food shops, cafes, and hotels in and around Ledbury will again be offering you all kinds of food to celebrate that most important of meals – breakfast, and what we at the Ledbury Food Group consider important – good locally produced food and drink.