Another chance, if you missed it, to read Mandy column in Saturday’s Yorkshire Post about Food Circle, York:
“We grow. We supply. We cook. Food Circle: a social enterprise working to create a sustainable and fair food system. Community powered. Nature led.”
Something rather special is happening in York. A quiet revolution, you might say. Twice a week, in a playground outside Tang Hall community Centre you’ll find a market selling fruit, veg, meat and oil from small scale food growers and makers. Food Circle was started 3 years ago by Joe Fennerty, whose experience working in fine dining kitchens prompted him to conceive of a different way to put food on our tables. “It’s not rocket science” he says. “It’s about creating a local food economy, a low-impact system, trying to make good farming work for the growers – and customers benefit from eating organic, local, sustainably-grown produce”.
“The idea is to build a producer-focused mini food system. Our network ranges from vegetables from Newfields Organics in Fadmoor, organic rape seed oil, oats and wheat from J Stringer & Sons in the Wolds, biodynamic yoghurt and cheeses from Botton village on the North Yorks moors, to mushroom production by Yorkshire Fungi in Whenby, to pasture fed beef from Rosewood Farm in the Ings, to unsprayed, local fruit from Abundance York.”
The Food Circle team includes the head chef from Partisan, Jim Gilroy – he feeds folk at the markets (£5 a portion) as well as doing all the pickling and fermenting, and Ruth Cassell, the head grower at the polytunnels at Paradise farm, Howsham. Amongst his many other commitments, Joe works two days a week at Newfield Organics where they grow potatoes, leeks and broccoli over 20 acres, and what he picks goes onto the stalls to sell. “Basically I swap labour for veg!”
Markets run twice weekly: Thursday night 4.30 – 6.30 and Saturday afternoons 12 – 2pm based at Tang Hall Community Centre YO310UG. Shopping slots can be booked via a mailing list – email [email protected]. The last Thursday of every month there’s a producer market, 6-8pm, a bigger affair with farmers and growers.