A lovely write up on our very own Luke Osborne on the Southend Peers website blog today.
written by the eloquent Sarah Kellaway at Juniper copy (www.junipercopy.com)
The Southend Peers networking group is a local group which helps support and promote local businesses as well as raising money for local charities. Its members represent a range of industries and actively help and encourage each others businesses to grow.
They meet every Thursday morning at the iconic Arlington Rooms in Westcliff-on-sea and encourage guests to come along and experience for themselves the friendliest business networking group in town.
Today, UrbanFarmers have a stall at the 'Next Generation' education day in Chalkwall Park, part of village green. Together with many other stall holders we hope to help impart knowledge and educate the next generation of society in good and healthy living. The weather couldn't be better...for humans, although it may be a little on the warm side for our lovely oyster mushrooms, which we are demonstrating through 3 stages of our production process....although to be honest, the final fruiting stage demo bag hasn't faired so well in transit and I am currently just awaiting a replacement.
We are hoping that the children find our idea of permaculture interesting and will be offering the opportunity to purchase our amazing 'Grow your own Oyster Mushroom kits' so that they can experiment with growing their own oyster mushrooms at home using their (parents) used coffee grinds. These 'Grow your own Oyster Mushroom kits" are proving so popular, not only with children, who find the whole process fascinating, but also with adults, who equally so are intrigued with the process. This is a great gift for children and 'foodies' alike.
Urban Farmers were delighted to be invited to sample the delights of Food by John Lawson, a fantastic new restaurant on Leigh Road. This is a truly great 'experience' restaurant featuring all locally grown produce- including our own Oyster Mushrooms. All the courses can be superbly complimented through the wine matching option which really is a tantalising delight.
John Lawson really is a chef with vision and conviction in what he achieves- great food, great atmosphere and surroundings, as well as support for local food producers. All of Johns ingredients are locally sourced and the menu reflects the authenticity of this. The offerings adjust on a day to day basis according to what produce is available that day, thereby offering the freshest of ingredients.
We're very proud to be a part of his endeavours and wish him all the best for the future.
Food- by John Lawson can be found at:
92 Leigh Road
And his menu and all other information can be found through the website:
Today we had our second stall at the popular Leigh-on-sea farmers market, held at the community centre on Elm Road, Leigh-on-sea. There was a fabulous array of stalls from local producers, including pure locally produced Essex honey, Sarah Greens Organics, South Essex Organics Society and numerous other offerings including meats, breads, pastries, cakes, soaps etc etc.
Our fresh oyster mushrooms proved popular with both our fresh and dried variety selling well. I think this could have been helped by the fact that we were coking them fresh on the stall, with our great new toy...a table top induction hob! I had never used an induction hob before and am definitely converted. Safe to use, cool to touch and with instant control- it was like cooking on gas...without the gas! We just used a variation of our 'simple but oh so tasty' recipe and simply heated up some sesame oil, tore up some fresh mushrooms into strips and fried them off. We then added a touch of light soy, a couple of grinds of himalayan salt and pepper. Even people who professed to not really liking mushrooms were impressed.
So, if your in the vicinity when the next Leigh Farmers Market is on, pop along and try a free sample.
A big thanks to Space 282 (http://www.space282.co.uk) for hosting this event this evening. Space 282 are a shared workspace, where people can rent out desk space from a day to a month. It gives people working from home a more conducive environment for getting their work done. There are also meeting rooms that can be hired out. We were really impressed with the place, which is spread over two floors and features a shared kitchen area, large meeting room, large desk area and lovely communal area. The place was modern, light and well suited to freelancers and anyone looking for a place to work without the isolation of being at home with all of a homes distractions.There was a lovely wine tasting from Vino Vero (http://www.vinovero.co.uk) who featured a fantastic bottle (or 4) of Cuvée Terasses, which I can testify to being very easy on the palette. The Cuvée Terasses is imported solely by Vino Vero and is definitely worth picking up a bottle or two from their lovely shop on the Leigh Road, where you can also find a wide range of wines and spirits. I have been lucky enough to experience a couple of their wine tasting evenings in the past- these guys really know their stuff.
We took along a range of samples of our mushrooms for people to try and included our wonderful vegan 'Bittenballs' and the tangy Tandoori Oyster mushrooms. I'm pretty sure they went down well as there was nothing left over :-)
Of course, there was also plenty of networking going on which is the main purpose of Southend Peers (http://www.southendpeers.co.uk/). I have been a member of Peers for a couple of years now and have found the support and knowledge of the members very important in my own development as well as enhancing business. There are a number of networking groups around, but Southend Peers is the only one where I felt all the members seemed genuine and friendly.
If you fancy joining us, we meet on a Thursday morning, 0700 until 0830 at the Arlington Room (http://thearlingtonballroom.co.uk/) where you are greeted with unlimited coffee, a fabulous breakfast and a beautiful Art Deco surroundings. Come along and give us a try.
Here are some photos from this evenings event:
We had a fantastic article published about our business in the Echo newspaper. Its great to hear that people are so receptive to the idea of what we are doing. There are even some great recipes featured- so go on....come and buy some of our mushrooms and enjoy some wholesome healthy, full flavour foods!
Urban Farmers are immensely proud to say that we won the South Essex Business award 2016 in the Environmental Awareness category. We honestly did not expect to win the award, even though we completely believe in our business and the activities we undertake. We would like to thank not only the Judges and the organisers of the event but also all our customers, those for whom we serve in collecting and processing their waste and those who love to buy our Oyster mushrooms.
It is a great accolade to be awarded this and helps to give us the strength and determination to grow the Urban Farmers company so that we can continue to serve local businesses, provide fresh locally grown nutritious food and to help grow the local economy of Southend-on-sea.