By Nathan Bushell
The Holy Grail for the Teign Valley Larder is a permanent site in Christow, which would not only provide the largest selection of items of our five larder sites but would also serve as a home for the store cupboard, where we would store restock items not out on display.
We have been very fortunate so far in that kind residents have donated space in garages and sheds, and St James’s church in Christow has allowed us to use the church porch right from day one.
A substantial trailer has always been at the top of our list for a more permanent home, and has always trumped other options in terms of versatility. Its only major drawback has been an available site upon which to place it, even on a temporary basis, and (as we recently discovered) the need for planning permission.
Needless to say, this has left us feeling frustrated, especially since we have the funding to buy one and to kit it out according to our needs.
Thankfully, we are very pleased to report that the Parochial Church Council has stepped in and allowed the Teign Valley Larder to use space within St James’s church for a trial period subject to review later in the year. If all goes to plan, then we will use the funds raised to fit out the new home, and maybe buy a smaller trailer for spare stock storage, which could be kept elsewhere.
We’re working hard behind the scenes and hope to have an update on when the transition will be finished soon.
Talking of churches, the church hall in Ashton has become the new home for the village’s collection box. The donation box is still in Lower Ashton just down from the Manor Inn.
Finally, the Christmas Dinner service was successful, with the joint enterprise of Acorn Community Support, the Teign Valley & Haldon Hill Mission Community, and Teign Valley Larder providing Christmas Dinners to 35 local residents – most of them single. We would like to thank all of them who responded by making a donation, as well as the volunteer team of drivers who made the deliveries. As always, thank you to everyone who has donated money and/or food, and you can always check teignvalley.org for items that are in short supply (supplies of UHT milk are currently running low!).
The Teign Valley Larder, a community food bank based in Christow with satellite locations throughout the Teign Valley, is running very low on food. To boost donations, they have started the Three Tin Challenge on Monday, July 5th.
1. Take a photo of three tins you plan on donating to the Larder. (Preferably not soup or tomatoes though. We have loads.)
2. Post it to your own Facebook/Instagram page and/or the Teign Valley Facebook Page.
3. Add the following text:
I’m supporting the Teign Valley Larder with the Three Tin Challenge. To join, post a photo of at least 3 tins and tag 3 friends in the Teign Valley. Then drop off the three tins in your local dropoff area here: http://teignvalley.org/larder/. Copy and paste this to join in.
4. Tag three people by adding the @ sign before typing their name in the post.
BONUS: If you have a great recipe to use with the tins, or even a pic of the completed meal, add it on!
“We thought it’d be a nice way to get more local people involved in the Larder,” said volunteer Ted Miller. “The Larder has only been active for a few months and it’s really taken off. But unfortunately we’ve been a bit of a victim of our own success, and stores are running down. We’re hoping this will boost visibility and add much-needed donations.”
The Larder has added 120 members in its Facebook group since opening in early May. It recently published the following infographic to celebrate its one-month anniversary:
The Cridford Inn, who donated an £80 gift certificate to the grand prize winner. Thank you guys! – Ted
We have the results from the Teign teens art contest. The following is a message from one of our judges, Rev Ruth Frampton.
I met with Marie and Hilary this afternoon to judge the Art Competition. It was brilliant to be able to see most of them “in the flesh” so to speak and we were all very impressed by the high standard of the artworks. Some of them provoked much comment. If a similar competition is organised in the future perhaps the artists could be encouraged to write a short narrative about their work and what inspired them. It would be easy to award prizes to each entrant because each one displayed a special quality.
Archie’s picture and fascinating video demonstrates a lovely confident drawing skill; Edward shows a strong sense of design with a dramatic use of colour and diagonals on the panel and bat. Isabella’s miniature of the white tower rising up over the trees is a skilful portrayal of a local view; Isabelle’s setting sun and night sky glow with their deep colours and contrast with her delicate drawing of roses around the globe.
We were very impressed by Hannah’s watercolours, particularly the hares silhouetted against the moon, and the compass against the backdrop of rainbow colours. Louis’ red frog is truly original and a bit spooky in the way its head twists round to follow you! Max’s picture shows maturity in the mix of genres, with a Gothic/futuristic fusion contrasting dark and bright colours – is this a depressing present lockdown with a brighter future somewhere ahead? Ruby’s fruit is nicely painted on shadow and we liked her cottage floating on a welcoming cup of tea.
All these artists deserve prizes but with only three prizes to award we were limited! We so wished we had narratives to give more insight into the works, but we really enjoyed seeing them and were united in our verdict.
The NHS prize goes to Phoebe for her chameleon in rainbow colours; we also liked her pressed flowers and were sorry that wasn’t possible to view them!
The Year 6 prize goes to Emily for her variety and range: the cats on a bat totem is skilfully thought out and executed; the horses’s head is beautifully drawn and painted; the dark wood hints at menacing fairy tales.
The Grand prize goes to Eleanor who displays a real drawing talent: in the movement of the elephant’s trunk as it lifts its head we can almost hear the impending trumpet; and the beautiful swish of the girl’s skirt in the slightly skewed picture. The bleeding heart and the science fiction drawing are both slightly surreal – the uni-directional brush/pen strokes on the heart give it shape as seems to beat even as it drips; is the spaceman real, or is he dressing up? Is there a Ziggy Stardust influence here?
Thank you for asking us to judge, Ted, and thank you to all the artists who entered.
The Rev’d Ruth Frampton
Priest in Charge
Teign Valley & Haldon Hill Mission Community
I’ll be working out some time in the coming days to deliver prizes to participants. Everyone who entered will receive a chocolate bar as well.
The Bridford Larder in the church porch is well stocked, if you are short of anything. Tea, sugar, veg and lots of goodies. Thank you for your donations- the lovely looking rhubarb jam is gone but there is blue wool for knitting or crafts, and peanut butter!
In addition to issuing the infographic, they published the following message to their team of volunteers:
To All Our Larder Volunteers: Update
We have just reached our first month of the larder being up and running so it seems a good time to touch base with you all about how it’s going.
A small organising committee has been meeting (virtually) each week, to consider both operational matters and the wider issues of how we take the larder forward. We have just heard that our risk assessment that we submitted a couple of weeks ago has been accepted by CAG (Community Action Groups, Devon) which confirms our insurance cover. We are in the process of applying for our own bank account and in due course, will be making an application to the Charity Commission for charitable status. All this will help us ensure we have good governance of the project and it will be easier to apply for funding. We are actively exploring options for a more permanent home for the larder, including a mobile trailer.
The support we have received from our local communities has been fantastic. In addition to start-up grants from Dartmoor National Park and Christow Land Trust, we have received both cash and goods donations from local businesses and individuals alike. Donation boxes are now in situ in the various villages in the Teign valley and we are starting to benefit from donations to these in addition to the donation point in the larder itself. Since opening on 8th May, we have received in excess of 690 donated items, about one third being donated in the first week of operation. This includes a lot of unwanted items from the government food boxes received by local people (33 cans tuna, 24 cans meatballs, gallons of pasta sauce and a small mountain of rice and pasta). These items, we hope, will help tide us over the autumn and winter period when demand may be higher than currently. Any excess that we are just not using will be donated to Exeter food bank in due course. But in the meantime, we are happy to build up our stores to be ready for any possible leaner periods.
It can be hard when doing your volunteer shift to ascertain if the larder is being used regularly, especially as we try hard to always maintain a good variety of foods to choose from. So we closely monitor what goes out of the barn stock and to date, nearly 500 items have been used to restock the larder, by all of you. This tells us that items are being taken and we are delighted that this is the case. Popular items seem to be:
- Tinned meat products
- Sponge puddings
- Tinned potatoes and veg
- Pet food
- Cleaning products especially laundry liquid
In addition, fresh fruit and veg are popular but due to being perishable, we need to see faster throughput of these items. Once all our garden produce starts to arrive, we hope the larder will benefit from those excess tomatoes and courgettes!
So please be our ambassadors and ‘eyes and ears’ out in our communities and put the message out to your friends and neighbours who wish to support us, letting them know which items are in demand. We will keep you all up to speed on this as we anticipate this could change over time. Once we have our bank account up and running, we will also be able to receive cash donations.
We regularly review the feedback slips left in the larder but recently we have also sought feedback from Acorn Community Service as they have been actively involved with helping some housebound and/or shielding clients access the larder. Here are a few of the comments received:
“Wonderful to see fresh eggs, I wasn’t expecting that”
“I managed to swap my excess for something else different and new to me”
“I’m so grateful, I don’t know how I’d manage without it”
“I’m visiting the larder for someone I support in the village, it has been really useful, thank you to everyone involved”
“It’s brilliant and is going from strength to strength, well done to everyone involved. It’s wonderful to see communities coming together”
Food Hygiene Training Opportunity
Is anyone interested in completing a food hygiene course as part of their volunteering role? This is an online course, takes 3 hours or so and would need to be completed between 9th-24th June. The course fee would be met out of our funds. If interested, please email Corony Edwards at email@example.com by Mon 8th June.
Finally, without all of you doing what you do each week, the larder would just not function properly, so a very big ‘thank you’ to you all from the organising committee. Your practical help, your support and enthusiasm is very much appreciated. If you have ideas for improvements, suggestions or issues we need to address, please contact anyone of us. We’d love to hear from you:
Corony Edwards, Louise Webb, Ted Miller, Chris Keppie, Vinny Logan, Rev Ruth Frampton
The Teign Valley Larder has expanded it’s dropoff locations to six locations throughout the valley to simplify convenience. They are:
- Bridford church porch
- Dunsford church porch
- The Nobody Inn, Doddi
- The Cridford Inn, Trusham
- Christow Stores
- Christow church porch
In addition, it has begun exploring the purchase and customisation of a catering trailer to provide a more permanent location. This trailer would likely travel around the valley on a fortnightly rota. Below is a photoshopped demo of how it might look.