Food Group : Transition Kings Cliffe

Ethical Bulk Buying Co-operative

TKC are further developing our food group to include a bulk buying co-operative. The benefits of a buying group include sourcing ethically produced, healthy whole foods, including organic products, at affordable/accessible prices that we can't necessarily get in the village or surroundings. The idea is to supplement what we can already get locally. Over the past year we have successfully trialled several orders through Suma Wholesale, a co-operative specialising in vegetarian, fairly traded, organic, ethical, and natural products. A number of our members have taken advantage of bulk buying, often splitting orders between each other to reduce quantities and maximise savings. To date, the community has purchased hundreds of kilos of inexpensive food and we hope more villagers will take advantage of this opportunity. Examples of products purchased range from bulk nuts and seeds, to organic tinned tomatoes to Ecover cleaning products, to name just a few. If you’re interested in joining our ethical food buying group please contact April at

Download the TKC user guide for ordering goods from Suma

Mini Allotment Project

Fresh produce from the allotment mini plotsTKC identified the shortfall of allotment plots in the village, and felt that anyone who wanted to try their hand at growing their own food should have that opportunity. Full sized plots can feel like a big commitment in both time and labour. With this in mind TKC put the idea to the Parish Council of breaking down a full sized allotment plot to make several mini plots, thereby giving several individuals the opportunity to put some food in the ground.

In October 2012 a large plot became available and the PC agreed this could be used for our pilot project. Over the following weeks a group of volunteers cleared and prepared the overgrown site ready for the 2013 growing season. Currently all 5 plots are taken.

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Transition Kings Cliffe

"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." – Ghandi

Camp fire at the Transition mini allotmentsSeating area at the Transition mini allotmentsNothing tastes better than fruit and vegetables fresh from the ground, particularly if you have grown them yourself. Another benefit is the cost saving, and who wouldn’t prefer to get some exercise in the great outdoors rather than traipsing up and down supermarket aisles at the weekend.

Potentially there is land that can be made available if there are enough village residents who want a full size or smaller allotment plot, you just need to add your name to the parish council waiting list by contacting Deirdre McCumiskey at:

The Cob Oven

Click to enlarge
Cob is applied to the base
The oven is built up with more cob and entrance formed
Mixing cob from clay and straw
Applying the top layer of cob

In 2015 we ran a series of workshops to build a wood-fired cob pizza oven. During the build we used 100% reclaimed or locally found materials plus many hours of companionable grafting. Since then we have had several Pizza Days where people have come together to cook and eat the produce we have grown in the open air! The sun (nearly) always shines on Pizza Day. We are still waiting for a keen allotmenteer to grow a plot of wheat so that we can make our own flour for pizza bases. Could that be you?

Preparing the oven for cooking
Party time, pizza preparation
The best part - testing the oven!
Building a cover for the cob oven
Click to enlarge

New Community Orchard

If you go down to the Pytchell (the paddock next to the church) you’ll see the beginnings of our new Community Orchard. The orchard is part of a bigger scheme to open up the Pytchell (owned by the Parish Council) to all villagers to come and spend time in this tranquil part of the village. The orchard is planted with 37 fruit trees - apples, pears, cherries, plums, medlar, quince, gages, bullace, mulberries, edible dogwood and a Japanese Raisin Tree (!) We hope the orchard will become a valuable educational, edible, communal resource for the village. So why not pop down and take a look for yourself. The land is for all of us to share.

Orchard Project

Fresh Katy apples from the Transition orchard projectIn the interests of promoting growing and sharing of local produce a number of individuals within TKC have formed the Orchard sub-group to specifically encourage the planting and maintenance of 'top' fruit trees, such as apples and pears. Our aims are to encourage the planting of fruit trees in gardens and public places, to promote local varieties and 'fruit-based' events such as harvesting and community juicing in an attempt to improve the community's access to healthy, affordable and sustainable food.

Scrumper caught red-handed in the Orchard!TKC volunteers and all the pupils from the Endowed School planted the Orchard in January 2012, after a year of clearing and preparing the site. The trees, including some local varieties, are all flourishing and provided a good enough harvest for the children to stage an 'apple give away' in October 2013. The site continues to be maintained by a small group of dedicated volunteers, who have also created an 'outdoor classroom', with a wildflower bank and tiered, grassed seating area. To find out more about the history of the Orchard Project download this Orchard History UpdateOpens in New Window document.

There are enjoyable work parties nearly every fortnight between April and October, for mowing and weeding, Sundays (generally) from 11am-1pm. Everyone welcome! Please contact Lisa at: if you’re interested.

Surplus Produce Table in Kings Cliffe Post Office

Unfortunately as the old Post Office has now closed there will no longer be a surplus produce table in the Post Office. We are looking at options as to where to put it and will update the community when this is decided.

Local Food Directory

We’re currently compiling a list of local/nearest food sources to be published on this website, so you can get that nice warm feeling that comes from supporting your community and helping to save the planet to boot! Please contact with any listings that you think are appropriate, providing the name and location of supplier, what they supply, phone number, email address, and website address (if applicable).

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