First Stroudco Social Night a Success

Our dinner on 20th May was a great success. With Fadia’s fantastic food, a really nice venue and around 30 Stroudco members for company, what more could you want.

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We enjoyed a chat and drink outside before DSCF3062nsitting down to have pitta dipped in houmous and other delightful dips, plus fresh falafel. Then we helped ourselves to a range of aromatic dishes brimming with the taste of fresh herbs, including various salads and hot dishes.

 

The meal was finished off with the best baklava I have ever tasted, plus Palestinian coffee or mint tea from Fadia’s one mint plants.

I’ve often said I’d love to do a culinary tour of the Middle East but maybe I don’t need to!

 

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Thank you to all who came and a special thanks to Fadia and her helpers. If you couldn’t make it this time, I’m sure there will be a next time!

 

 

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Stroudco Software Switch-Over

We are now in the process of switching to our long-promised and long-delayed webshop / food hub system.  This means that the Stroudco shop is not available for a few days so please do not use the ‘Shop’ tab at the moment.  We will email all our shoppers when we are ready to take orders with the new system.  Thanks for your patience.

The new system – Open Food Network provides a platform specifically designed for food hubs, buying groups and small producers.

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To quote their own website, it’s the “flagship project of the Open Food Foundation, a non-profit, registered charity established in October 2012 to develop, accumulate and protect open source knowledge, code, applications and platforms for fair and sustainable food systems.”

Timeline

23rd April – food hub as normal
27th April – orders close for the last time on old system
30th April – last food hub on old system
7th May – NO FOOD HUB
8th May – orders open on OFN for food hub on 14th May
14th May – first food hub on new system

If you are a shopper member:
We will be in touch to point out the key differences between ordering now and ordering on the new system. It makes sense to do this closer to the time so that you don’t forget again by the time you actually get to try it out.

If you are a producer member:
We need to make sure you know how to update your products on the new system and we will be in touch with you with instructions on how to do this. We can provide support and training. In some cases we will be able to update your listings for you.

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Buttermilk

One of the farmers who came to the very first meeting of Stroudco Food Hub back in October 2006 was Jess Vaughan whose family has kept a dairy herd at Hardwicke Farm near Gloucester for three generations.   Her farm is organic and meets all Stroudco’s high animal welfare standards. All of ‘Jess’s Ladies’ graze on luscious organic pasture, which results in the milk containing higher levels of natural omega 3 than most supermarkets milk.  Even organic supermarket milk is often sourced from cows which are fed GM soya and rarely see the light of day.
Jess’s Ladies delicious organic unhomogenised milk and yogurt has been very popular with Stroudco shoppers for nearly ten years now so we were very pleased to hear that Jess has added organic buttermilk to her Stroudco range.
This buttermilk prepared in the traditional way has health benefits as it contains probiotic microbes and is sometimes referred to as “Grandma’s probiotic”.   It is also soothing to stomach and skin.  The fat content of buttermilk is far lower than that of milk or curd as fat is removed during churning.  The probiotic nature of buttermilk is beneficial to the gut and improves immunity when taken regularly.  One cup of whole milk contains 157 calories and 8.9 grams of fat whereas one cup of buttermilk contains 99 calories and 2.2 grams of fat.  Buttermilk contains vitamins, potassium, calcium, and traces of phosphorus.   In some countries it is a favourite traditional drink during summer as it is soothing to the stomach and alleviates minor stomach upsets.  In India, flavouring ingredients such as asafoetida, coriander leaves, ginger, curry leaves and sea salt are mixed with buttermilk to enhance its digestion-aiding properties.

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Offer support for a new dairy herd in Stroud

One of Stroudco Food Hub’s longest standing producer members is looking to expand but would like reassurance from as many potential customers as possible before taking the leap.

Stroud Community Agriculture (SCA) has been farming 50 acres on the outskirts of Stroud for ten years and has recently supported the purchase of an additional 40 acres on Wick Street in the Painswick Valley.  SCA has been selling biodynamic vegetables and meat through Stroudco for eight years and is now looking into setting up a micro dairy in spring 2017, with the aim of supplying the Stroud community with organic unpasteurised, raw cow’s milk.

Before committing to the expense of setting up a new dairy herd, SCA would like to hear back from as many people as possible about their interest in raw milk.  They have set up a very brief survey here

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Free Delivery this March

For the month of March we are offering FREE DELIVERY for any orders over £50 within a radius of 3 miles of Stroud Valleys School. We are also offering free deliveries to Nailsworth and Horsley under the same condition.

If your order qualifies, simply add the Free Delivery item under “other food and drink” to your order.

The offer includes orders received now, for the food hub on 5th March and may be extended. Otherwise the last food hub included in the offer will be 26th March.

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If you are unsure whether your address is within the 3 miles radius, please get in touch.
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Wine from Woodchester

We are very pleased to offer a wine made from grapes grown in the Five Valleys

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Bacchus is a delicious, aromatic dry white wine with a distinctive fruity bouquet and hints of elderflower coupled with refreshingly crisp finish and is made from 100% Bacchus grapes grown in three vineyards around Stroud.

This wine is a great alternative to a new world Sauvignon Blanc and pairs well with fish, chicken and creamy pasta dishes.

Bacchus is produced by Woodchester Valley Vineyard – a family owned, boutique, Cotswold Vineyard creating a selection of still white, rose and sparkling wines.  The grapes are grown at three vineyard sites; The first planting took place in Amberley in 2007, then Woodchester in 2012 and Stonehouse in 2013.   Woodchester Valley Vineyard currently have 45 acres under vine with a total of 60,000 vines.

Grape varieties include: Bacchus (one of the most successful varietals in England) as well as Chardonnay; Pinot Noir; Pinot Gris; Pinot Blanc; Pinot Meunier; Regent; Seyval Blanc, Ortega and Solaris.

All the grapes are hand-picked so only the very best fruit are selected for these wines.

Woodchester Valley Vineyard use a sustainable approach to viticulture, working with the soil to promote healthy vines.

Click here to order a bottle of Bacchus – and maybe some delicious Single Gloucester cheese from Godsells Farm to go with it.

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Raw Chocolate at Stroudco

We are pleased to share with you that CocoCaravan Ltd are now selling raw vegan chocolate through Stroudco.

Proprietor Jacques Cöp knows what matters in life. After starting off in Australia and selling for two years in Cardiff, he moved his family to Stroud to give his children access to Waldorf Steiner education. He applies his holistic approach to his chocolate too, sourcing only the best ingredients from highly ethical sources.

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Imagine chocolate with only natural ingredients: Cacao butter, cacao powder, coconut blossom nectar, and raw ground vanilla.
Jacques says:
“For our smooth raw chocolate we work only with the best Raw Criollo Cacao there is to find and combined with truly pure, unrefined and raw liquid Coconut Blossom Nectar. All our raw cacao and nectar are from certified fairtrade sources.”

Never heard of coconut blossom nectar? Neither had I. Apparently the blossom of the coconut tree produces a nutrient rich nectar that can be tapped. This sap is a rich source of minerals, 17 different amino acids, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and a neutral pH. It’s GI value has been measured at between 35 and 54, making it a low-GI food.

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New Cheese at Stroudco

We are very pleased to announce that Godsell’s Cheese have agreed to supply us with their locally made cheeses!

Godsell’s Cheese is a range of hand made cheeses made at Church Farm, Leonard Stanley, using their own milk. Liz Godsell says: “I have always loved cheese but since starting the cheese business my love has become a passion. I am Master Cheesemaker and love talking about cheese (and cows). My husband, Bryan, pasteurizes the milk, helps make it, sell it and deliver it (and is very good at cooking with it!).”

Godsell’s have won a range of prestigious awards. They sell to local businesses and at Stroud Farmers Market but also to well-known shops including Harrods in London.

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Stroudco shoppers can now order these delicious cheeses through us, either in multiples of 150g or, for extra savings, as 1.25kg wedges.

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New delivery of store cupboard items

Stroudco is now taking orders for our next food drop on Saturday 9th January.   We have recently stocked up on products from Essential – the workers’ co-op in Bristol who supplies all our ethically-sourced tinned/packet produce.  To see the full range of local and strore cupboard items available on Stroudco Food Hub click on the ‘food hub’ tab or just pop in and see the food hub in operation any Saturday (excluding December 26th and January 2nd) from 12 noon to 1pm at Stroud Valleys School on Castle Street GL5 2HP

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