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Bloomfield Intrigued at Incredible Edible

Published: Tue, 28 Oct 2014
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Pictured are Isobelle Hamilton and Venie Gibson from Bloomfield along with Patrick Frew of Incredible Edible.
Bllomfield Incredible Edible
Residents from the Bloomfield area of Bangor recently visited the multi award-winning ‘Incredible Edible’ project at Cloughmills.
The community food initiative in the village has been running for the past two years on the Old Mill site.  Central to its aim is reconnecting the community and the natural world.  As an orgnisation we are highly supportive of the projects in Cloughmills, recently funding a project which will see six young people skilled in the art of bringing mushrooms from plot to plate as part of the unique Incredible Edible Mushroom Company.
Bloomfield’s seniors visited the project as their participation in our Shared Communities Programme comes to an end.  During their visit the group met Jim Whitten who provided the group with an overview of the project from its establishment to present day, while Patrick Frew (Chairman of Cloughmills Community Association) provided an insight into the community allotment garden and management on an organic basis.   They learnt how the project will expand to include bee hives, so they can produce local honey and cultivate high end mushrooms, such as shitaki and oyster, which will add to the edible landscape at the project which also houses kitchen gardens, chickens, social therapeutic horticulture projects, baking and growing courses. At the end of the visit the ladies purchased some of the home made jam and vegetables and were given some flowering calamine.
The Bloomfield group was delighted with the trip, to see how an area after the demise of the linen industry could be turned into a social economy enterprise.   After their presentation and tour the ladies sampled some of the locally grown produce through homemade vegetable broth and sandwiches served under the canopy of the authentic Mongolian yurt and trellis eating area and buy some homemade jams.  The ladies then returned home by the scenic coastal route, and had an impromptu stop off in Glenariff to where they sampled ice cream in the afternoon sunshine before heading back to Bangor
Isobelle Hamilton from Bloomfield Community Group was delighted with the visit arranged for the older members of the local community saying…
“Incredible Edible proved well worth the journey for those able to go.  It is a terrific thriving local community growing space; so inspiring.  We all enjoyed the tour around the community allotment, with the chicken run proving a bit hit with all of us.
“I’d like to thank the Housing Executive for helping us organise this excursion and Jim Whitten and Patrick Frew for taking the time to show us around.  They were great ambassadors for the project.”
The Housing Executive’s Neighbourhood and Cohesion Manager, Deirdre Crawford, was pleased with the feedback from the group commenting…
“The community food enterprise in Cloughmills is a fabulous initiative and I’m delighted the group from Bloomfield took the opportunity to visit Cloughmills as part of our Shared Communities Project; this gives groups an insight into what is achievable when a community collaboratively together.”
“I wish Bloomfield Community Association well as they continue their development along the shared communities’ path.”