Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Cakes and campaigning at Fair Trade event

March 5th, 2014

Plate of Welsh cakesFair Trade Fortnight was launched in Witney by WAFTAG with cakes, campaigning and a choir. The Fair Trade event, held at the High Street Methodist Church on Saturday, proved very popular.

Local children’s choir Songscope opened proceedings with a selection of upbeat songs. There were stalls selling a range of Fairtrade goods and a cake stall groaning under the weight of home-made cakes. The most unusual feature was the smoothie bike, blending smoothies using pedal power!

The campaigning focus of the day was the problem of cheap bananas. Many supermarkets are using bananas as “loss leaders”, offering them below cost price as a way of attracting customers to buy other goods. The price war between supermarkets has seen the retail cost of bananas halve in recent years, while the actual cost of producing them has doubled. This means that many banana farmers are living in poverty. The Stick With Foncho campaign asks Vince Cable as Business Secretary to investigate the impact such low pricing is having on farmers’ lives. 50 people at Saturday’s event signed postcards asking Vince Cable to do just that.

The campaign also aims to raise awareness of the real costs of cheap bananas and encourage consumers to buy Fairtrade. (If you want to be sure of buying Fairtrade bananas, the best supermarkets are Waitrose, Sainsburys and the Co-op, since these three do not sell any non-Fairtrade bananas.)

The event made just under £300 for WAFTAG, which will be spent on Fairtrade projects. To get a flavour of the day, you can watch the video on Witney TV.

Fairtrade Fair

February 17th, 2014

On Saturday 1 March it’s time to celebrate all things Fairtrade, with an event organised by Witney Fairtrade Action Group (WAFTAG). Come to the High Street Methodist Church from 2pm to 4:30pm for Fairtrade smoothies (made with pedal power!), cream teas, a children’s choir and stalls selling an exciting selection of Fairtrade goods.

The event is part of Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 24th February to 9th March. The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is bananas, which are currently sold so cheaply that the people who grow them are trapped in poverty. Colombian banana farmer Foncho will be coming to the UK to ask our government to investigate unfair supermarket pricing. Visit the website  stickwithfoncho.org.uk to find out more and sign a petition supporting Foncho.

Feel free to print the Fairtrade goes bananas poster and display it in your window!

 

Raised-bed cooking: chard pie

July 21st, 2013

It started with a pallet. Sustainable Witney member J-P dismantled a wooden pallet into its component planks, then built a raised bed out of it . Then he turned it into a mini allotment and when you last heard from him in May, it was doing well.

I’m his wife and I’ve decided to blog about the fun bit: turning what we grow into tasty meals!

Picture of raised bed with greenery in it

Our raised bed in mid-June

By early June, the raised bed was a riot of green, with a lot of spinach and chard. (The picture of the bed was taken after I gathered enough for that evening’s meal.) Here’s my recipe for chard pie.

Pie base

100g grated carrot
100g wholemeal flour
100g oats
100g butter
Pinch of salt
Teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Filling

Chard (and spinach, if you like)
1 onion
A few garlic cloves
1 egg

What to do

Mix all these ingredients together until there aren’t any offensively dry or offensively buttery lumps. “Crumbing” with your fingers helps to get the texture right.

Then press the mixture into a lined, greased, baking tin, roughly 8 inches in diameter. Chill it for half an hour, or if you’re impatient, freeze it for ten minutes.

Then bake the pie base for about quarter of an hour at 200C.

Colander with green leaves in itIn the meantime, gather your chard. (You can easily add spinach to this too; nobody will notice.) I gather mine in a colander so I can wash it in the same container.

Chop and fry an onion and a few garlic cloves. Chop the green stuff. When the onion is going brown, add the chard (and spinach, if you like) to the mix.

Beat an egg and add it to the mix. Turn the heat off as soon as you add it and keep stirring. Add salt and pepper and keep stirring.

Put the mixture onto your pie base. Top with cheese – any cheese will do, really. Then put back in and bake for about half an hour at the same temperature. Then take out of the oven, leave to cool for ten minutes, remove from the tin and serve!

Chard and spinach pie on table

Notes

  • I didn’t create this recipe; it’s adapted from one I came across several years ago. If anyone knows the source, let me know so I can credit it.
  • Making and chilling the base is time-consuming, so I always double up on the quantities, make two bases and pop one in the freezer.
  • While the pie is in the oven you can (with any luck) go out to your raised bed again and get some lettuce for a salad to go with it!

The Green Cafe – Corn Exchange

May 10th, 2011

Cogges Volunteer Open Day

May 9th, 2011