‘The Southside’ building incorporating Growing Local’s Food and Horticultural Skills Centre will be a shared build with Belmont Wanderers CIC and NMITE’s sports and training hubs. The three organisations will share the ‘Southside’ hub building. The hub will be positioned on the border of the three projects, accessible from the Growing Local Gardens as a field to fork cook school, classrooms, an affordable farm shop and community cafe. It will lead out to the educational garden and enjoy elevated stunning views of beautiful rural Herefordshire. Visitors to the cook school and cafe will be able to eat their meals on external viewing decks looking out over the gardens and beyond.
We hope the Southside will showcase sustainable building techniques and green technologies. The build will be completely funded by the Stronger Towns Fund.
Growing Local’s Food and Horticultural Skills Centre will incorporate:
- A main teaching cook school room
- Further teaching classrooms
- A catering kitchen
- A Community Cafe (also selling surplus produce)
- Storage rooms and areas
- Toilets and Cloakrooms
- An office for Growing Local staff and volunteers
A Field to Fork Cook School
Building on our successes over the last ten years in food education in Hereford, the centre will provide a much needed base for our ‘Growing Cooks’ food education. Until this point we have operated from a basic converted shipping container at our Court Farm educational garden and taken our equipment to community centres and schools. The new centre will allow us the opportunity for a permanent base to deliver an enhanced programme to a bigger reach of children, young people, families and adults. We will continue to visit schools and community centres with our outreach programme and will of course be moving our shipping container field kitchen for posterity.
We wish to inspire our visitors to cook from scratch, to budget their family meals, to understand how to prepare vegetables, how to make a sauce, how to butcher meat or use up leftovers or bake a loaf of bread. These are vital life skills that have over the generations been lost to so many.
At the cook school’s heart will be our strong ethos of field to fork cookery. The school will use our own fruits, vegetables and herbs all freshly picked as part of the sessions. All other produce will be sourced as locally as possible, our meats, eggs and cheeses will be sourced from Herefordshire. We want our current and future generations to truly connect with their food, to shop for locally grown or produced food and to know what’s in season and when.
Our Cook School Offer:
- Primary and secondary school Harvest Cook and Cook Workshops from Hereford, Herefordshire and outside the county schools
- Bespoke schools workshops to fit with class topics, themes and/or curriculum requirements
- Small group SEN and nurture sessions, pupil referral unit visits
- Community Group sessions i.e scouts, guides, church/faith groups, youth group visits
- After school cook clubs i.e. ‘Healthy Dinners Club’
- Weekend and holiday Family Cook Workshops, ’Saturday Brunch Club’, Pizza Days
- Children-only weekend and holiday Cook workshops
- Children’s Holiday Schemes
- Children’s or Adult Cook Parties, including Birthday Parties
- Adult Cook Clubs and Short Courses for mental health groups, unemployed, NEET, long term sick, elderly, socially isolated or vulnerable community members
- Private Cook School and Supper Clubs
- Private hire opportunities
The Community Cafe and Farm Shop
The daily changing menu will represent the project ethos of seasonality and sourcing locally from Herefordshire. It will be affordable.
The cafe will be used by independent visitors, Southside workshop and training course attendees, community and educational garden visitors, staff and volunteers.
It will be a day time only cafe open throughout the year, potentially seven days a week in the summer months. The daily changing will include soups, sandwiches, a wide selection of salads and salad boxes, tarts, quiches and daily hot specials, for example tagine, curry, lasagne, pies. Smaller child size portions and a special children’s menu will be available. It will also offer a selection of homemade cakes and puddings. The cafe will be furnished with a catering coffee/expresso machine and serve a selection of hot and cold drinks.
Seating outside will overlook the educational garden and the beautiful Herefordshire countryside. It will be a stunning destination cafe for families and individuals, walkable for households in South Wye and Hereford City.
The onsite farm shop will sell excess fruit, vegetable and herb produce from the community market garden and educational garden. It will also sell fruit, vegetable and flower plants nurtured at the community gardens to generate additional income. Produce will be sold at affordable and realistic prices to encourage as much local trade as possible.