Archive for the ‘Food’ category

Cogges opens for the new season tomorrow

March 30th, 2012

Cogges Farm is opening Saturday 31 March: that’s tomorrow! The attractions available include the working farm site, a petting area, the manor house and a beautiful newly refurbished coffee shop. And most importantly, this season they’ve got animals! Here’s some footage of the rabbits and piglets:

… but there are also sheep, pygmy goats, chickens, ducks and guinea pigs.

» Read more: Cogges opens for the new season tomorrow

It’s easier than ever to eat local

March 1st, 2012

Do you like to eat locally produced, healthy, tasty food? A new season of food markets begins this weekend at Cogges Manor Farm. Starting on Sunday 4th March, the food markets will take place on the first and third Sunday of every month and run from 10am to 3pm.

Jars of jam and marmalade

Jams and marmalades made by Well Preserved

The great thing about food markets is that you can buy direct from the people who make the produce, whether that’s meat from Foxbury Farm, jams from Well Preserved or freshly baked bread from The College Loaf.

Although the farm itself isn’t yet open to visitors (that’s happening on March 31st), the on-site cafe will be open to anyone wanting to enjoy refreshments while browsing. Entrance to the food markets is free.

(Post edited to add the opening times!)

It’s Dinner Time!

February 1st, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the second DinnerTime event hosted at the Turl Street Kitchen, Oxford, to see if we would like to introduce the idea to Witney.

DinnerTime is a celebration of food, family and friends. The idea is to reclaim food in your community by making and sharing a meal together once a month, reducing the amount of food we throw away and maybe gaining a new skill along the way.

This particular event was a test run for the new ‘How to…’ guide to help enable groups to start their own community kitchens.

So how did it work?

» Read more: It’s Dinner Time!

Local News

October 25th, 2011


Produced by CAG Oxfordshire and available on their website or via email subscription, this fortnightly newsletter keeps you up to date with what’s happening in Oxfordshire.

Had I not read it I would’ve missed this link to OxGrow’s Edible Cartography project. Is that something we might like to try in Witney?

It could certainly be added to the list of food orientated ideas discussed last Thursday at Cogges Farm.


Meeting: Local Food – Cogges Farm

October 19th, 2011

Meeting of local environmental groups at the Cogges Farm Museum Cafe to discuss food projects. This Thursday, 20th Oct, 7:30pm.

(Apologies for the late notice)


Feeding People is Easy

October 12th, 2011

A few years ago I read a book that had such a very simple message you could hardly call it radical, but that message is still struggling to get through.

It cropped up in Ramsden during that period when the Wychwood Network were arranging evening talks in the village hall there. It turned out the author is a local man and he gave us a first hand account of why this message is failing to get through.

Then, lo and behold, I’m supping a pint of Hooky on a straw bail in a field near Kingham, and it comes up again. This time Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is citing it as a principal reason behind his latest tv series.

» Read more: Feeding People is Easy

Growing Your Own

February 27th, 2011

Yesterday’s meeting of the Edible Gardens group was a timely reminder that we’re getting very close to all systems go in the garden and on the allotment. And while the grown-ups were busy talking vegetables, the children worked on the marketing.

Looking at my notebook it went something like this…

» Read more: Growing Your Own

Talk & AGM – Congregational Church

February 9th, 2011

Note: venue changed to Congregational Church on Welch Way.


Sustainable Witney’s first Annual General Meeting will take place at 7pm on 16th February in the Congregational Church on Welch Way (next to the Halifax).

Vince Brimble, store manager of Sainsburys in Witney, will be speaking to us about the measures Sainsburys are taking to make their operation in Witney more sustainable.

Previously a store manager in Beaconsfield and also in Kidlington where he worked with the Oxford Food Bank project.

The business of the meeting will follow the talk. Resolutions to be moved at the meeting must reach the Secretary by Wednesday 9th February.

Dig for Victory

January 21st, 2011

I couldn’t resist recycling this old newsreel – it is Friday afternoon after all.

And it is about time I gave some thought to planning this year’s growth on the allotment. But if that film hasn’t got you fired up for digging, I lifted this from the NEF blog

“If your fingers are green enough, growing your own vegetables could save you around £1,500 a year, according to new research by the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners. The study priced the amount of food grown by gardeners at cheapest supermarket costs. (Hat tip to Rob Hopkins)”

A Fishy Business

January 10th, 2011

Witney historically has less than its fair share of independent fishmongers: understandably, because it’s so far from the nearest fishing port. But the major supermarkets — Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, the Co-Op, Marks & Spencers and Tesco — all stock fish. So if you really don’t want to get your Omega 3 oils from the most sustainable source — oddly enough, flax seeds — then you’ve got plenty of local suppliers to choose from.

» Read more: A Fishy Business

Allotment News

December 21st, 2010

The only thing likely to be occurring on the allotments this week is the picking of brussel sprouts for Christmas dinner! However, the Witney Allotment Association has the following news for its members:

“The result of the recent ballot proposing that the association enter into negotiations with the council to take over administration of the sites was as follows;

44 for, 11 against.

80% of those who voted were in favour.

The committee have met since the ballot and it has been agreed that they will meet with council representatives early in the New Year to renew discussions. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.”


Love Food Hate Waste

November 18th, 2010

So where did it all begin? Was it when the ink pen started taking cartridges? When it was replaced by the Bic biro? Was it the disposable razor?

Somewhere along the line food became disposable too. Click on this Love Food Hate Waste logo on the left to turn that around…



Witney Allotment Association AGM

July 6th, 2010

This evening, Tuesday 6th July, in the Langdale Hall at 7pm.

The Witney Country Market

April 15th, 2010

Five Stars and Twenty –five years

I would class the men and women who have been running the Witney Country Market during the past twenty –five years as local unsung heroes.  With the exception of the month of January and Good Friday when they all are having a well earned rest, there is a queue at the door of the Masonic Hall on Church Green to buy the best of local produce.

» Read more: The Witney Country Market

Edible Gardens group planning early spring

March 30th, 2010

Last Saturday Witney’s Edible Gardens group met for the second time to discuss local grow-your-own issues and to provide a place for information, advice and opinion over tea and cake. Yesterday was the start of Grow Your Own Week so it was quite timely.

» Read more: Edible Gardens group planning early spring