On Monday last week, after a crazy day of garden consultations, I popped along to meet up with my lovely pal Danielle, who runs Bishopston Supper Club. I adore visiting her home as she has turned a beautiful Victorian ground floor flat into a complete food hub. Her kitchen is her workspace so a professional kitchen but also a beautiful space that is always wonderful to be in, and as I arrived it was full of the evocative scent of plum chutney on the hob. Next to the kitchen is the space the supper club is held in, with wooden floors and high ceilings it’s a glorious space to meet with friends both old and new!!
Sadly by the time I arrived it was dark but the other quite extraordinary thing about this home is that both front and back gardens are filled with raised beds full of fruit and vegetables that are used for the supper club meals. The beds are beautiful and always full of delicious looking and tasting goodies.
Bishopston Supper Club is also famed for the preserves they make and sell in various independent shops across the city. From rhubarb ketchup to medlar jelly, these jams and preserves use the seasonal harvest to create wonderful preserves that talk of the seasons with creativity and love.
But I was there to talk about Bristol Jam Plan, a new venture with a great community slant! Using surplus fruit and veg, Danielle will create great preserves, jams and jellies which will be used in two ways. Firstly using her cargo bike to deliver them, the jams and preserves will be given to homeless shelters for breakfast spreads and additions to meals later in the day. Relying on surplus means that often there’s a lack of preserves for toast, to add to porridge etc, and so this is something that really matters in supporting people through homelessness and we already know is making a huge difference in several shelters across the city.
The rest of the preserves will be sold at markets, food festivals and in independent food shops across the city, so you’ll be able to buy them all over, including in the Bearpit and several other places where people are working hard to support the homelessness issue in Bristol. Any profit will go back into community projects that are supporting homelessness or food surplus issues across the city.
So if we have any surplus at Incredible Edible Bristol you can guess where it will go!!
I think this whole project is awesome, but not just because it’s using up surplus. It’s also proof that by having a brilliant idea and getting on with it, everyone can support change to happen, just by talking to people and taking action. Often it’s a scary proposition to begin with, but once there’s support from the community, which there always is for great ideas, these projects fly and expand!! I’m so excited to see this happen at Bristol Jam Plan.
At the moment volunteers are coming together on Mondays to prep and make the preserves at Bishopston Supper Club HQ, and what’s great here is that you need no experience to join in as Danielle takes you through everything you need to do, so not only is she supporting homelessness and food waste, but is also teaching folk how to preserve their harvests!! If you’d like to get involved just email firstname.lastname@example.org!!
I’ll be there as often as my crazy diary allows.
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