loop news

Llanidloes Kitchen Cooperative

We’re very excited at Loop Project HQ to announce that we have received funding to explore the potential of a “kitchen co-operative” in the Llanidloes area.

“What is a kitchen co-op?” I hear you say. Well we aren’t completely sure yet ourselves, hence having received a grant from Glasu’s Community Resilience Fund to do some research on this subject. However we hope it will help existing and new food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses (but not too much – no tesco’s here please) through easy access to kitchen space.

Having started a small bread baking business a couple of years ago, we have seen that there are many barriers to entry to starting a food business in addition to setting up and equipping a kitchen such as insurance, certification, marketing costs and finding retailers. In a rural area it is arguably more difficult and there may be extra regulatory burdens imposed on dwellings in such areas (such as not being on mains water supply).

We think that even if suitable kitchens already exist in a town (school, community centre, church hall, pub), they may not be being used to their full potential for a variety of reasons. So a central point of contact to link all of these may be one solution OR it might be that this doesn’t really work as a model and a new stand-along kitchen would be required.

Our feasibility study will help us find out more by learning about the advantages/disadvantages and processes involved in such a scheme. We then will apply that learning in setting up our own kitchen scheme and help up to 3 other areas in Powys to the same. It’s all very exciting!

In the first part of the study, we will look for existing kitchen models around the UK, look at demand, potential users, potential facilities, compliance issues, management consideration and funding issues. The outcome will tell us how a system might work, how facilities could be coordinated, how well it might work, what levels of support there might be and how items produced could be branded.

We will pull all this information together to produce a guide called “Kitchen Cooperatives: an opportunity for Increasing Resilience” and running an event open to all to launch the guide, have a facilitated discussion and try to identify up to 3 other communities who might be interested in taking the ideas forward. If all goes well, the second part will actually be to set up some of these kitchen cooperatives in Powys in 2013!

We’re really excited and keen to get started. All the paperwork has been signed and we are aiming to have everything finished and an event at the start of November, that means we have 3 months… Best get working then…

If you want to find out more about what we are up to, take a read of this PDF Summary

If you are interested in setting up or expanding a small food based enterprise, or would have kitchen premises you would like to see used more in the community then please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!



This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.


Cyllidwyd y prosiect hwn drwy Gynllun Datblygu Gwledig Cymru 2007-2013 a ariennir gan Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru a’r Gronfa Amaethyddol Ewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig.

loop gardening loop news TLP

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…

…or garlic in one bed.

 This years garlic harvest.

So last year we grew garlic for the first time, we went for it, worked out we probably used around a bulb a week and would need around ten extra for cloves to plant for next years bulbs, so planted 60 garlic. All of them came up, and grew amazing well into big, healthy delicious garlic, which we plaited into beautiful strings and hung around the kitchen.

Very proud of ourselves we were. Full of enthusiasm I was planning rows and rows of garlic in my head. It’s a cert, I thought. So easy. Yeah. We will make our fortune in garlic. We could supply the whole of Llani.

This year? Well, what can I say. Hmph. Something went wrong. The lovely damp, dull weather we’ve been enjoying for most of the year probably was the cause. Rust suddenly appeared on all our garlic and rapidly spread. We picked infected leaves off hoping to halt the spread, but eventually, with nothing but sticks in the ground, we had to give up and pulled our tiny little handful of garlic.

Luckily we hadn’t gone for the full field scale mission. We’d only done a few rows, we were never going to make the year’s worth we’d managed before. But still, I was expecting to have our own for a decent part of the year. In contrast to last years harvest (which has only just run out) this year’s looks set to run out some time in the next month.

Boo hoo hoo.

A close lesson me thinks.

At the risk of making this the most depressing blog post ever I could go into our other garden failures – slug attacks reducing our 40 kale plants to stumps; beans which would normally be 6 ft tall and full of beautiful red flowers, if not handfuls of beans, are struggling to clear two foot from the ground; all our fennel chomped before they’d even left their module trays; leeks, fail; strawberries, gone – I saw nothing but one hollow shell. The slugs, as they say, have been having a field day.

Good job this is only practice.

loop projects

TLP 39 – Nantclyd Eggbox

Eggiwegs, in a lovely new box. Nantclyd’s new logo and egg box. Oh, we did their website too.

loop news loop projects

One, Two, Miss a Few

OK, we admit it, we haven’t been keeping this thing up to date. Tut tut. Naughty us. But that is NOT because we haven’t been doing anything… quite the opposite. It is in fact because The Loop Project has been very busy. LOTS has been happening, and there’s lots more on the horizon.

Here’s a brief round up of a few select projects we have been particularly proud of, we’ll be putting up a bit more detail about these and future happenings over the next couple of weeks:

TLP 20Make a seed packet(July 2010)
TLP 21Out of the box Illustrations(July 2010)
TLP 22Cupcake Revolution logo(July 2010)
TLP 231st ever Wyeside brochure(August 2010)
TLP 24Low Carbon Llanidloes Leaflet(September 2010)
TLP 25LOAF tote bag(December 2010)
TLP 26TLP Presents – Food Inc(January 2011)
TLP 27Marmaduke Dando Website(February 2011)
TLP 28LAAG – Trees for All(February 2011)
TLP 29Seed Swap(March 2011)
TLP 30Geekowarriors – Stationery(March 2011)
TLP 31TLP Presents – Bring and Barter(March 2011)
TLP 32GOF Shop Refurb(May 2011)
TLP 33GOF Producer of the Month poster(May 2011)
TLP 34Ethical change Website(July 2011)
TLP 35Andy’s Bread NEW Price list(October 2011)
TLP 36Andy’s Bread Website(November 2011)
TLP 37Nantclyd – Website(November 2011)
TLP 38GOF Website(November 2011)
TLP 39Nantclyd – Egg Box(December 2011)
TLP 40GOF Veg News Column(January 2012)
TLP 41Llanidloes Seed Swap(March 2012)
TLP 42Odyssey – Poster for Willow Globe Theatre(June 2012)
TLP 43Both Coed Rebel Rebel Pizzas(July 2012)
TLP 44Spirit of Place – Poster for Willow Globe Theatre(July 2012)
loop projects

TLP 25 – Tote Bag for Loaf

Organic and fairtrade tote bags for us with a very special real bread design, made specially for the lovely LOAF of Birmingham.