Tuesday, 10 September 2013

'Remembering the Food Cycle' event at Dunham

 'Clematis' with the  Brew Boat behind

On Sunday, 8th September, we held our first event for the  'Remembering the Food Cycle' project at Dunham Village Hall and Wharf.
Sharing Histories
'Clematis' was enlisted by the Wooden Canal Boat Society along with her crew, Liz, Nick and Chris Leah, to help us re-enact the arrival of city manures (human and horse - both a big problem at the time), and the return of locally grown vegetables to the city's  markets and warehouses such as those at Potato Wharf.

OK, so no, we didn't actually use night soil but instead used local manure - really well rotted - and a big thanks is due again to Sue and Mark Jones at Little Heath Farm for supplying and receiving this on their field!
The event was steadily attended from 12-4pm both by people who were passing on the canal, or through the village, and by many people who had seen adverts, tweets and fliers. Curious locals historians, horticulturalists and even those with careers in waste management dropped by.

Heritage potato crop harvested
Out in the field beside the Village Hall children and adults were able to dig their own heritage Royal Kidney potatoes to take home.
Unsurprisingly few adults took up the offer to dress as Victorian
potato harvesters!
Though there are many potatoes, they are rather small due, we think, to a combination weeds getting the better of us and dry weather...
the potatoes are reputed to be rather tasty though!

Local historians set up their own displays
Many thanks to Pat Coulburn ( local historian) who sat for hours engaging many people with photos and tales of local heritage.In particular Pat has  mapped the many nurseries and market gardens that existed in Sale around 1930's (many of whom may have benefited from night-soil or manure)
Also many thanks to Gina Hutchinson who brought a fascinating display of photos relating to the agricultural community of Dunham.

Manure being transferred to fields
The Brew Boat was enlisted to provide volunteers and visitors with  leek and potato soup; made from our own crop and really fresh Manchester Veg People produce...It was wonderful.Cups of tea, coffee and home made cake also helped the day go with a swing.

   All was filmed by Charlotte; so look out in a while for a new short film on the Forgotten Fields website

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