NuFEAST research reveals how lucky we are in Bridport

NuFEAST research reveals how lucky we are in Bridport

Over the summer 36 Bridport residents took part in four focus groups looking at what makes our food culture special and what we can do to preserve and strengthen it.The research project, NuFEAST, led by Bournemouth academic and nutritionist Dr Juliet Wiseman sets out to explore how sustainable food and eating practices, including growing food at home, in community gardens and allotments, is associated with food knowledge, confidence and skills and “nutritional well-being.”

Focus groups were held at Waitrose, St Mary’s School, Mountfield and the Flourish Pop-up Wellbeing Cafe. Each one drew quite a different crowd and so made for very stimulating conversations. The sessions were all filmed and are currently in the process of being transcribed and analysed.

Initial findings suggest that Bridport is fortunate to have retained so many independent food and drink producers and retailers which provides shoppers with the opportunity to buy and enjoy good local food. This is certainly not the case everywhere and the human scale of Bridport’s centre is also key to an enjoyable shopping experience.

Bridport’s reputation for great food is the result of the huge efforts of many people over many years and is supported by a special ecosystem of small-scale producers who are also active land rights campaigners. The influence of River Cottage, Trill Farm and nearby Tamarisk Farm, the first organic farm in the area, also plays a major role.

A strong Grow Your Own culture also exists and complements the sense of community people feel when they are able to actually meet and develop relationships with food producers and retailers. So much so that some participants had even moved to the area because of how impressed they are by the food culture here.

But there are also tensions – particpants felt food can also be socially divisive and easy access to good food isn’t universal. Engaging working parents can be tricky when it takes time, money, knowledge and confidence to make the most of the great produce on offer.

One thing is for sure: closer collaboration between food producers, retailers, educators, academics and policy makers is certainly necessary if the diverse and rich food culture in Bridport is to be strengthened and preserved. Watch this space!

St Mary’s Edible Garden students celebrate with homemade pizza!

St Mary’s Edible Garden students celebrate with homemade pizza!

Thirty one Year One students at St. Mary’s Primary School recently had their very own homemade pizza fest.  The  Edible Garden staff team Tia Perrella, Mitch Burt (pictured) and Sarah Wilberforce lit the cob oven ready to bake pizzas for the whole class and together with teacher, Claire Legg, they helped each child to make a pizza from scratch.

This practical connection with food and cooking is part of the ongoing HOME in Bridport project at the school where  children, teachers and parents work together to understand where food comes from, how it is vital to our lives and how the choices we make affect our health and wellbeing.

The project is now also providing nurture sessions in the garden, as well as continuing to provide the school kitchen fresh vegetables each week.  Civic dignitaries from all the Dorset towns visited recently and were highly impressed with the School and its focus on good food.

Food Festival AGM and Front of House Awards

Food Festival AGM and Front of House Awards

Bridport Local Food Group Annual General Meeting & Celebration of Local Food

Wednesday 16th November 2016 in the Town Hall Bridport

Bridport Local Food Group, the committee of volunteers who organise the annual Bridport Food Festival, invite individuals and businesses interested in local food to attend the AGM.

The event will highlight achievements over the last year and be an opportunity to thank sponsors and supporters of this year’s Food Festival. We also welcome those who would like to find out about either joining the Food Group or possibly sponsoring next year’s festival, which runs from Sunday 11 June to Saturday 17 June 2017.

The winners of the Bridport Local Food Group Front of House Awards will be awarded at the AGM. The aim of the award is to show recognition and appreciation of individuals who work locally within the food and drink industry. The categories are restaurants, pubs/bars, cafes, food to go and food and drink retail. All candidates have been nominated by the general public impressed with the level of service received from them when dining out, having a drink or shopping in one of the many food outlets in the area. The winner of each category receives £50 and a plaque to display in their premises.

If you are interested in attending the AGM please contact Jay Anderson, Chairman, Bridport Local Food Group on 07907 844919 or

Sign up to help launch Bridport’s very own Food Assembly

Sign up to help launch Bridport’s very own Food Assembly

Launching soon and working in tandem with Bridport Food Market at St Michael’s on Sundays, Bridport Food Assembly will make it possible to view and order local food online in advance from local farmers, growers and producers. It costs nothing to register as an Assembly Member – just a few minutes of your time – and once there are 100 Members signed up, the Food Assembly will be ready to go!

Please take a few minutes to sign up for fresh local food and support our local food producers and the local food economy. You’ll be able to browse/order online & collect your produce from Bridport Food Market. Visit Bridport Food Assembly to join up!

Click here for more information about Food Assemblies, now active in many different countries.

Happy Birthday Charmouth Dragon!

Happy Birthday Charmouth Dragon!

The Charmouth Dragon Real Food Shop celebrates three years on the road this week, delivering produce from small scale local growers (plus the occasional organic citrus fruit) to villages and towns along the Jurassic Coast. And if you’ve chatted with us recently or follow us on social media, you’ll have already heard rumours of big exciting changes to come.

The Dragon is currently developing an online shop with the help of the amazing Open Food Network. In cooperation with village halls, schools, pubs, post offices, and other local community pillars acting as collection hubs, we hope to improve our accessibility across the region with a network of weekly deliveries.

“We’re back on Local Giving and they’re doing their Grow Your Tenner campaign. They match your donation up to £10 until the 17th of November, “says Laurie Walters, driver of the lorry. “This is a great opportunity to help us build our online shop, to make healthy organic ingredients more accessible to more local people. Double your money and invest in us today! Find our Local Giving page here:

In other news, our beautiful shop van will be off the road for the next little while for necessary repairs, and we are looking seriously into finding it a new owner in the coming months. Watch out for little-white-van mini-shop for Friday stops in Litton Cheney and Poundbury and the one and only Fivepenny Farm market stall at our spot outside Smith & Smith on Saturday in Bridport.

To join the Dragon mailing list, help develop the Network of Hubs, trial the new online shop, or (sniff) find out more about the sale of our van, get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you…

Thanks as ever for your support!


Real Food Shop: The Charmouth Dragon
+44 (0)7460 972683 project of
The Peasant Evolution Producers Co-operative

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