The Bean Project

We are beyond excited to have launched a collaborative project to provide nutritious hot meals for the community.

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A year in the making.

This innovative project has been in the making for over a year and is helping tackle issues surrounding food security, poor health and nutrition, with meals made from haricot beans grown in Leicestershire.

Excitingly, it's the first of its kind in the country!

What began as a light-hearted chat between co-founder of the EcoVillage, Beth Lambert, and Graham Willett, from Stanford Hall CSA, has resulted in a year-long mission to grow and harvest haricot beans in the Community Farm at Stanford Hall.

 

Regenerative farming.

Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems and, together, the project aims to connect the critical issues of soil health, food poverty and climate change, topics fundamental to our cause here at the Village.

Our very own Two Old Goats, based here at the EcoVillage, will now use the beans to create a range of nutritious meals to feed the community.

Beth, explains more about the inspiration for the project

“We know times are very tough for many people in the community at the moment, and we also know the issues surrounding climate change aren’t going away.

The EcoVillage is really excited to be involved in this project from many different angles. So it’s fantastic for us to bring together something that’s positively impactful for the environment and supports those in need in the community.”

The project has meant collaborating with many local sustainability-focused businesses, projects and schemes, such as Jubilee Food Bank Market Harborough, our very own Mistry Kitchen, as well as local primary schools.

Supported by grant funding from Leicestershire County Council’s Sustainable Food Partnership and the Coop, the initial idea was able to get off the ground in spring 2021.

Beth expands

“Taking a sustainable approach to food production and supporting regenerative farming methods right here in Leicestershire is at the heart of this project.

We’ve welcomed pupils from Market Harborough C of E Primary School, who helped us to sow, harvest and even thresh the beans in preparation for being meal-ready!”

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Beany menu.

And now, the beans have been handed over to the expert hands of Alison and Clare from Two Old Goats, who will be creating exciting dishes every Wednesday at the EcoVillage, paid for in advance by other customers.

Co-founder of Two Old Goats, Clare, says

“We believe in nutritious food for all, so we’re really excited to be sharing The Bean Project with our own, local community.

Serving beautiful and nutritious food to support good health for people who may be struggling in these very challenging times, will be extremely rewarding.”

Options to dine at the EcoVillage, or take away frozen or chilled meals to be eaten later, will be available. Other community members are encouraged to support the project through the Pay-It-Forward scheme.

Complimenting this, the EcoVillage has launched a ‘Save Me’ section, offering usable but just passed-perfect fresh produce, to help combat food waste. They are working on imminent plans for a community pantry, too.

Beth Lambert concludes

“We’re delighted to have convinced the Two Old Goats to be part of this project, and can’t wait to see the project come full circle with people tucking into locally-grown, nutritious, hot dinners.

We really hope the community get behind the project and spread the word; either by donating Pay It Forward meals, or sharing the scheme with those that may benefit from it.”

She adds

“From this, we’d love to support further with our Save Me area and Community Pantry to follow. So that, together, locally, we can help tackle issues very close to our heart in a really exciting and meaningful way.”

 

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How you can help.

PAY IT FORWARD

You can take part in our Pay It Forward scheme to buy a bean-based meal for someone who needs it and help us to make bean history!

  • £3.50 will pay for an individual meal
  • £10 will pay for a family of four to eat

You can donate in the Main Room or at Refill Revolution till points here at the Village.