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Dig & Dine: How we Got Here - Guest Blog by Darran Mclane 13/04/2016, Health & Lifestyle

Dig and Dine is a new project that Glyn Owen and myself have created with the help of Rich from fresh-range. Our coming together was a case of being in the right place at the right time, and for us being in the food industry, it was a case of being at the right foodie event. 

With Bristol being awarded the status of European Green Capital last year, I managed a small funded project called “The Bristol Good Food Tour’ which worked with individuals and families in the city to improve their relationship with locally sourced fresh produce. We created events around the city to showcase how easy it is to make a great meal using simple, seasonal and local ingredients. We had chefs to deliver the events, with Glyn Owen being one of them. We loved Glyn’s rapport with our audiences and over the year we worked together a lot.

One of the events we attended together was Windmill Hill City Farm and fresh-range’s ‘Eat Local’ event last September where we gave a cookery demo with both Glyn and Jo Ingelby. Fresh-range obviously had a major presence at the event and it was here that I first met Rich and his team. Working in the fresh produce sector for over 20 years and, until recently, 8 years with veg box giants ‘Riverford’, I love to talk shop with other growers and food businesses. I was keen to talk with Rich and in-between workshops we spoke at length. From this, the seed of Dig & Dine was sown.

Rich was very keen to work with schools and we were both excited at the prospect of creating an event which included both growing and cooking, so that children could develop an appreciation and understanding of how their veg gets to their plate. Through “The Bristol Good Food Tour’ we arranged to undertake a free Dig & Dine event at West Town Lane Academy in Brislington, which coincidentally turned out to be Rich’s old school. He joined us at the event showcasing his love of food and he left knowing more about broad beans, if nothing else!

The success of these events sees us looking forward to another successful Dig & Dine session at this year’s Food Connection’s festival. We’ll be running a Dig & Dine session at St Werburghs City Farm which will see Glyn cooking and myself sowing seeds whilst Rich and the fresh-range team support the event. We aim to provide the children with a morning that’s both informative and fun. A real seed to plate event!

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Darran McLane