Saturday, 22 April 2017

Slow Food Norwich and Norwich Lanes Fayre

Slow Food Norwich are very pleased to be part of the popular and famous Norwich Lanes Fayre which returns to Norwich this summer after an absence of two years. The Fayre will be on Sunday July 9th, and will be held again in the streets, lanes, courtyards and open spaces of the beautiful old Lanes area of the city.
It was first established in only 2008 but quickly became one of the most popular events to be held in Norwich and one of highlights of the annual events calendar, now attracting nearly 20,000 visitors on just the one day.
Slow Food Norwich too part in the 2015 fayre which proved a very popular event and that year we were based in the very popular Upper St Giles, part of Norwich Lanes and in the centre of Norwich.

The stand which Slow Food Norwich will taking on Sunday 9th will be located near the lovely delicatessen and artisan cafe, Louis' Deli in the Upper St Giles area of the city again and  we will be working closely with them on the day. As well as our promotional material about the Slow Food organisation i Norfolk we will also be working with the olive oil group Olivaverde who will have their usual fantastic range of artisan extra virgin olive oils they will also be trialling a new bottled sea water from Sicily, Aquamaris, which can been used for cooking pasta, fish and other produce.
Aquamaris is closely linked to a group in Sicily who support and promote Slow Food produce both in Italy and across Europe and they believe that this special water from near Sicily can be used in cooking, and also it can be used as an ingredient in both food and drinks.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Slow Food and the Norwich Eco Festival

Slow Food Norwich along with our regional Slow Food Anglia group will be one of the sponsors at the Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council Eco Awards to be held on March 16th at the iconic Millenium Forum building in the beautiful city of Norwich. The Eco awards are organised by Norwich City Council’s environmental strategy team who are also running the wider One Planet Norwich project. Norwich City Council are very proactive in sustainable living and environmental projects in the city and last year for the first time Norfolk County council also took part in helping to organise the  new  both the festival and awards were held over two days on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March 2016.
The Eco wards have been running for several years in Norwich and is designed to showcase sustainable living practices, and to encourage individuals, businesses, organisations and groups in our the city to make small changes every day to reduce the amount they consume so our one planet can sustain us now and in the future.

The aim of the Eco awards is to celebrate projects and schemes with a strong ecological or environmentally friendly ethos and groups which also show that they can adapt a sound Eco approach to their business and also their dealings with other local Norfolk buisnesses.
Last years Eco food producer which was sponsored by Slow food Norwich and Slow Food Anglia was Mrs Temples Cheeses and Highly Recommended were Cornerways nursery and Candi's Chutney.
We hope that one of our Slow Food Norwich Committee members will be present on the night to award this years Eco food producer with their prize and all of us at Slow Food in Norwich and east Anglia are grateful for Norwich City council to allow us to be part of this prestigious event.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Slow Food Norwich and Anglia AGM

Slow Food Anglia and Slow Food Norwich will be holding their annual general meeting at the well known Louis' Deli in Upper St Giles Norwich on Friday February 17th. This well known Deli in the centre of Norwich is also owned by a member and active supporter of Slow Food in East Anglia, and all current members will be contacted in January with an update of the date and time of the AGM.
The AGM in Norwich next February is a requirement set by Slow Food International for local groups as part of its commitment to local communities and members. It is to always have the highest standards in regards to the way the local groups are organised and run by Slow Food members in order to be able to cooperate and work within the areas where they are based.
Slow Food is an organisation run by volunteers and each groups constitution specifies they have full range of officers and the annual AGM is an essential part of the efficient running of the group as well as a chance to discuss plans for future events and activities.

The AGM next January will discuss our plans for the Holkham Hall Slow Food festival in north west Norfolk on April 8th 2017, the Kings Lynn festival in May and also the part the Slow Food Anglia group will play together with other Slow Food groups from mainland Italy, Sicily and Malta at the Slow Food Mediterranean festival on Malta next July.
In 2017 Slow Food Norwich are planning another small food festival in Norwich, and working together with Slow Food Anglia members we will start work on obtaining a second Presidia for an East Anglian food or drink, two are already shortlisted for the project.
On the night of the AGM after the meeting there will be drinks for the Slow food members present and also later drinks and a presentation of Slow Food Presidia olive oils from Italy and Sicily, and we hope that many of our members living in Norwich and across the region will come along to Louis' Deli on the evening.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Slow Food Norwich Christmas Food Fest on Terre Madre Day

Slow Food Norwich and Anglia are very pleased to be one of the supporters of the Christmas Feast event organised by the Norwich based Feast on the Street group of street food traders which is being held at the Shoe Factory Social club in Norwich on Saturday 10th December. The Shoe Factory is a large warehouse space given over for community use, with plans to redevlop the building in 2017. Norfolk Food and Drink a major promoter of Norfolk food and producers are also a supporter of this first event of this type to be held by Feast on the Street in Norwich.
The event is being held at this fantastic venue near the centre of Norwich and will be open from 4 in the afternoon until late and there will be a wide range of traders and street food vendors on site during this early Christmas themed party!
Feast on the Street is a large group of independent collective of street food traders based in the city of Norwich and the surrounding areas in Norfolk, the group came together in 2013 and there are now over 15 members including Natural Born Grillers, Proper Pizza company, the Duck Truck, Totem and The Nags Head mobile bar.

Slow Food Norwich and Anglia have been invited to have several of their members who are also food producers take part at the event including Debby from Chilli Fundamentals who are one of our Slow Food Anglia Approved business scheme members. We will also have two other Slow Food producers coming to the event including the local olive oil company Olivaverde who import olive oil from Italy mainly sourced from Slow Food Italian members.
The Christmas Food Fest event will also have music later in the evening and the whole festival will have the feel of it being much more like one big Christmas party that just a regular food and drink festival.
The event is already priving popular with Norwich residents and community groups and the Facebook Page for the Christmas festival has full details of the traders and others taking part, all of us at Slow Food are looking forward to being part of this exciting evening in Norwich!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Hallowen Pumpkin Waste Festival Norwich 2016

Slow Food Norwich are again taking part in the Pumpkin Waste festival in Norwich this October, we were first approached by the London based charity HUBBUB in spring 2015 to see if we would represent Norwich in the Pumpkin Rescue project which is being held in cities all across the UK.Pumpkin Rescue began in 2014 in the city of Oxford where over twenty groups took part in events across the city and with more than 2,000 people attending these varied events, which included workshops, dinners and other food related events on the day.The event last year included input by the well known Fire Pit Camp near Swaffham and this year we will have volunteers from Slow food Norwich taking part with the events to be held at the Forum on October 29th.
This year Hubbub is again involved with setting up pumpkin rescue festivals in more than 20 cities which includes our city of Norwich in East Anglia, our region being one of the largest growers of pumpkins in the UK and with that we have a large amount of waste left over after the October celebrations of Halloween.

The City Council has this year team up with several supermarkets including Sainsbury and Morrisons to provide wast collection centres at their stores in Norwich as well as centres to be set up by the Council throughout the City.

We are very pleased that it was because of Slow Food Norwich and Anglia that this scheme was introduced to the City and hope it will spread more widely across Norfolk in the coming years.
HUBBUB has been very supportive of groups across the UK to help promote this festival this year and they hope that this will grow both in size and importance over the coming years, and already a city in the US has joined in this years activities.
The Pumpkin rescue is an example of where Slow Food in Norwich and also across the UK can be involved on the ground with important environmental projects, our ethos at Slow Food Norwich is to both protect good clean local foods and also promote responsible sustainable initiatives in the city and Norfolk.

We had several speakers who focused on food waste issues when we held our first dedicated Slow Food festival in Norwich in August, this was only possible because of the backing of the Environment team from Norwich City Council, as well as members of Slow Food Anglia and Slow Food England, We will help promote this important event with our members and other community groups across Norwich so as to make the 2016 Pumpkin Waste festival widely known throughout the city of Norwich.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Slow Food at the Fire Pit Camp, Norfolk

Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food Anglia members have been involved with the food, drink and lifestyle festivals that are held at the Fire Pit Camp in the village of Wendling near Swaffham and we will be present at the Breks Food Festival in September which is being held in conjunction with the annual Slow Food festival that has been held at the Fire Pit Camp over the past three years.
One of the Slow Food Norwich and Anglia's main aims is to be involved with local communities and events in the area in which we are based so we are very pleased to be involved with the Breks food festival for the first time.
The Fire Pit Camp is an independent family run campsite with 15 pitches for campers, a large decorated warehouse which can be used for parties and social events as well as a large cafe bar, and has been featured in several national newspapers as one the the top campsite destinations in the UK.
The one day festival will include many food stalls all with local artisan food producers, live music, DJs, talks and workshops, the event is sponsored by Beeston's Brewery and supported by Norfolk Food and Drink Ltd.

This first joint Slow Food and Breks Food festival will be held on Saturday 17th September starting at noon and as before it will attract visitors from both Norfolk and further afield and over the past three years events held at the Fire Pit Camp have rapidly increased in popularity as they offer the perfect family day out and also a showcase for some of best that local Norfolk food and drink has to offer.
Local artisan food producers who are taking part include Chilli Fundamentals who are based in west Norfolk as well as street food vendors from several local well known companies based in and around Norwich.
There are several excellent play areas for children all across the campsite and many of the activities taking place during the day are specially focused on younger children, and there is also a special converted Double Decker bus which always proves popular with both adults and children.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Norfolk Saffron and Slow Food Anglia

Slow Food Norwich had heard of Norfolk Saffron several times over the past few years but my friend Aviva then took part in a workshop with Sally from Norfolk Saffron near Burnham Market in north west Norfolk, Aviva was then able to tell me more about this interesting artisan saffron producer and I managed to meet Sally for the first time in 2013 and she told me then about her very interesting business and the very interesting history of saffron growing in north Norfolk.
Sally who started and runs Norfolk Saffron is an Oxford trained botanist with a doctorate in plant pathology, she is helped in busy periods by her family and especially by her mother Jill who is the reason that saffron growing has returned to Norfolk.
Norfolk Saffron is based in the family smallholding in the pretty village of Burnham Norton on the north west Norfolk coast, the land has been in the family since 1935, but Sally only started growing Saffron there in 1997 after her mother gave her 20 saffron corms as a birthday present. By 2009 there was too much saffron being grown just for personal or indeed for use by the whole family and Sally decided to go into commercial production and with the help of RDPE funding the new business was born.

Norfolk Saffron continues the ages old practice of growing saffron on the north Norfolk coast, in the past much of the saffron grown and processed in this part of Norfolk was sent across to Holland via the small port of Wells next the Sea but this stopped many centuries ago.
Sally now sells her bottled saffron, two types of saffron flour and her saffron liquor at local farmers markets, large annual food and drink festivals, also some is sold in shops in north Norfolk and increasingly she is selling her saffron on line, she also has set up a small saffron museum in Burnham Norton.
Slow food Anglia is now planning an application to Slow Food International to get the saffron granted Presidia status from the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity and we hope to start the process whicl attending the Salone del Gusto Terre Madre held in Turin in late September.

Aviva Leigh who originally introduced me to Sally from Norfolk Saffron is based near Norwich, she designs and makes contemporary textiles that celebrate artisan skills, using natural dyeing including saffron, hand weaving and also felt making. She currently has a studio in a beautiful old merchants house in the centre of Norwich and runs courses and workshops both in Norfolk and other parts of the UK.
Aviva is inspired by a ‘slow making’ ethos that embraces the use of sustainable and zero-waste processes and considers the provenance of all materials that she uses. She works mainly with natural dye stuffs, often grown locally, and is passionate about connecting personally with the process of creating colour, from sowing the seeds to processing the pigment and dyeing the fibres.
Last year Aviva opened a new workshop and studio in Happisburgh on the north Norfolk coast but also continues with some work in Norwich as well.