Thursday, 21 October 2010

Jam Demo at St Katherine's School, Pill

It's always great to find children and young people enjoying fruit and vegetable's both growing and eating and especially interesting to be asked to contribute to a Food Festival Week at St Katherine's School in Pill at the begining of October.
St Katherine's is a Food For Life flagship School and achieved the prestigous Gold Award, presented to them last December by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
As part of their Food For Life initiative, they hold a Food Festival every year and this year we were asked to come along and demo jam making for the children. As expected, it was hectic but fun and all the children engaged and had lots of questions. They loved tasting the jam and they had plenty of goodies to take away with them.

We're working towards becoming more involved with schools, running demo's and classes and also talking to pupils and teachers about SwapCrop and how they can get involved. We've also been asked to return to St Katherine's next year once their new Hospitality and Catering building is ready for use.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

BLUE spot lids are here!

I am almost fainting with excitement! We have just received our new delivery of blue spot lids - you've had the red - and we still have those - now we have blue as well! They are so new we don't even have a picture yet. People have found them on the website and ordered them though. They match the blue spot labels if you want to see the colour.

What are you making at the moment? We are very, very lucky to have been given a huge amount of quince by a lovely lady in our next village. Our preserve business, 'Jam on the Hill', has survived the re-branding and this boost of these rare fruits is very welcome indeed. Classes are underway at The Old Smithy and I am just working on the programme for next year, which will be published on the website this week. There are still a few places left leading up to Christmas as well.

We will be launching our gift vouchers this week - ideal for Christmas presents - watch the website.Talking of Christmas, there are some fantastic packaging ideas on-line as well - we have hampers, trugs, crates, fill, ribbons - you just need to provide the contents. Take a look.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

SwapCrop and the Guild at the Organic Food Festival

Well, if anyone has been to the Organic Food Festival in the past or was there this year, you'll know that it's always a successful event, with so much going on over the two days and we were very happy to be part of it this year. The response to both SwapCrop and The Guild of Jam and Preserve Makers was so positive with lots of interest in memberships so we've been pretty busy since!

It was really interesting to meet people from all ages and walks of life who were truly making the most of the seasons fruits making everything from jam and chutneys to flavoured vodkas and cordials. We even spoke to a lady that uses a bread maker to make her jam but, we were particularly inspired by a group of young men that were keen preservers and told us that they regularly hold 'jam offs' (as apposed to bake offs) of an evening!
This is brilliant, really good to see that all ages are making jam and in their case, making an event of it too.

During the weekend, we also met several journalists and school teachers, all very interested in the concept of a Jam Guild and the benefits of a scheme such as SwapCrop so look out for up and coming write ups!