Food Justice

BS3 Jammin’

By Cags Diep

Read about an exciting community event happening in south Bristol on 30 September to 1 October: BS3 Jammin’. Cags Diep, who works in music management and volunteers at BS3 Community Food Bank, tells us about what the event is and how to get involved.

I have been volunteering at my local food bank, BS3 Community Food Bank, since the start of the pandemic – at St Paul’s Church in Southville. Sadly, in the past few years, we have seen an increase in people from a range of backgrounds, using our services. In part due to the pandemic, the impact of Brexit and the global economic climate. To make matters worse, in the past few months there has been a worrying shortage of food and supplies for the food banks in Bristol overall. We are now having to actively go out and spread the word doing supermarket drives to ask people to donate to try and keep up with demand.

With rising food costs and a shortage of goods in shops; there must be a way where we can take advantage of what we’re able to produce ourselves locally – to be more sustainable and self-sufficient?

This got me thinking…

Every year there’s an apple tree at the end of my road that never gets picked (to be fair, it is tall so it is really hard to reach the apples). All the apples end up rotting on the road or if lucky; end up in the bird’s belly. It always makes me sad when I go past, seeing all of these perfectly good apples go to waste. However, I know that tree would not be the only tree suffering this fate. The reality is one fruit tree can produce a helluva lot of fruit! For most people with a fruit tree in their garden, there is simply too much, they get bored of eating the same thing over and over again or they may not be able to pick it all – so the fruit just ends up dropping off the tree, lying on the ground, uneaten.

I contacted the vicar of St Paul’s Church, Jacqui Kean with an idea and asked her if she’d be interested in putting on an event. Coincidentally, she had already been discussing ideas for a new community event with our local Green Councillor Christine Townsend – so my message was perfectly timed. We all put our heads together and came up with BS3 Jammin’.

BS3 Jammin’ is a community harvest that will be on for a whole weekend. The idea is to create a ‘Pick Your Own Trail’ where people open up their spaces to allow people from the community to pick fruit/veg from their gardens or allotments. We would also include public spaces such as community orchards and parks as well. 

We will provide a map for people to follow the trail and pick the produce – like a fun treasure hunt. If people prefer, they will be able to leave picked fruit in a box outside their house for harvesting. St Paul’s Church will be the hub where any surplus fruit and veg can be donated (which will then be distributed via the food bank and to food clubs, charities and schools in need). We’ll also host cooking workshops: showing people how to make jams, chutneys, pickles and the like from the harvest; do apple pressing to make fresh apple juice and also invite people to take part in a cooking competition where they have to cook with what has been harvested! 

We want the event to bring people together, celebrate what we’re able to grow and see what we’re able to achieve by working and supporting each other. 

In other words…

We want to get BS3 Jammin’.

BS3 Jammin’ is proud to present the first community harvest BS3 Jammin’, on 30th September – 1st October at St Paul’s Church in Southville.

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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