Transition Leytonstone, in collaboration with OrganicLea, runs a market stall each Saturday between St John’s church and Matalan. Some of the produce is grown at OrganicLea’s site in Chingford, with the rest being sourced from as close to London as possible. Of course, organic food is available nowadays in supermarkets, and with their advantages of scale and low prices why should you buy from the Transition stall? Well, here are a few reasons to mull over…
The stall has far more choice and variety of organic fruit and veg than the supermarkets. On 5th January, products for which Tesco Leytonstone had no organic equivalent included Bramley cooking apples, beetroot, parsnips, swede, red cabbage, rainbow chard, cavelo nero (black kale), celeriac and winter squashes.
Most of the produce on the stall is grown in Chingford, Essex, Kent or East Anglia and so comes with a relatively small carbon ‘footprint’. By contrast Tesco’s organic pears and red onions, when checked on 5th Jan, had travelled from the Netherlands (the ones on the stall were from Kent and Norfolk respectively); Tesco’s organic spinach was from Spain (the spinach on the stall was grown in Essex); and most strikingly Tesco was selling organic garlic bulbs imported all the way from China, whereas OrganicLea is growing garlic just down the road in Chingford.
No plastic packaging
For anyone concerned about the amount of plastic packaging our modern lifestyles create, supermarket organic fruit and veg poses a problem. As supermarket staff need to be able to easily distinguish between non-organic and organic produce, the organic produce is never sold loose but in prepacked bags. On the stall most produce is sold loose (paper bags are available).
Buy only what you need
Of course along with the reduction in packaging, on the Transition/OrganicLea stall you can buy exactly the quantity of fruit or vegetables that you want. In Tesco, for example, it’s impossible to buy just one organic apple, lemon, onion or garlic bulb but on the stall if you only need one or two, that’s all you pay for.
Does your local supermarket offer you the chance to linger and chat with volunteers and other customers about good food and recipe ideas? Does it produce a newsletter telling you who grew your vegetables and how to cook them? No, I thought not!
But let’s confront that elephant in the room – price. Isn’t it much cheaper to buy from the supermarket? When I checked on 5th Jan the answer was ‘not really’. Tesco was slightly cheaper on most things where a comparison was possible, but the differences were mainly small and as previously mentioned only prepacked bags of produce were on offer. Here are a few examples:
Tesco – £1.60 for a 630g bag = £2.54/kg
Stall – £4/kg
So, these were cheaper in Tesco – but only if you want a bag of them. On the stall you can buy exactly the number that you want.
Tesco – £2.50 for a 550g bag = £4.55/kg
Stall – £4.80/kg
A marginal difference, and the stall pears were British (from Kent) whereas those in Tesco had been imported from the Netherlands.
Tesco – bag of 3 for £1.50. Based on a weight of around 125g for a typical lemon, this is equivalent to £4/kg, exactly the same as the price on the stall (where they don’t have to be bought in multiples of three!).
Here are a few examples of veg prices…
Tesco – £1 for a 700g bag = £1.43/kg
Stall – £1.80/kg (and buy exactly the number you want)
Tesco – £1.25 for a 750g bag = £1.67/kg
Stall – £1.80/kg
Spinach (200g bag)
So in summary, yes there’s a small premium for buying from the stall rather than the supermarket but we hope that the other benefits will make you feel that’s a premium you’re prepared to pay. As a non-profit organisation, OrganicLea passes on those slightly higher prices to its suppliers. For an extra couple of pounds per shop you can be sure that the farmers and growers who produced your food are being paid fairly for their work; and on food miles, choice and variety, waste reduction and that all-important personal touch we think the stall is hard to beat.
The Transition Leytonstone & OrganicLea market stall is between St John’s church and Matalan (E11 1HH) every Saturday from 10.30am to 3pm.
If you’re passionate about local, organic, packaging-free healthy food and would like to find out more about volunteering on the stall, please email RoseMary – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on April 19, 2018 by ecoviewfinder
We are excited to be participating in the 4-week trial of a new street market in the centre of Leytonstone on the site of Church Lane Car Park. Starting on April 21st, the car park will be transformed on 4 consecutive Saturdays into a trading area for all manner of food, drink, and creative craftspeople’s wares – and let’s not forget the music provided by a traditional old-fashioned organ grinder and steel pans. It is a truly local affair, reflecting and celebrating the hugely diverse nature of our population. Come and look for our gazebo: the Best Before Stall will be migrating temporarily from its usual site between Matalan and St.John’s Church, we’ll be selling plants from our Community Garden, home-made marmalades and jams, telling you about Transition Leytonstone’s activities and projects – and recruiting new volunteers to make these even better than they already are. Keen prospective volunteers can sign up to our Volunteers’ Feast taking place on April 27th. Ideas are nothing without people to turn them into reality!
Posted on October 22, 2015 by ecoviewfinder
Celebrating 6 years of Transition Leytonstone
Believe it or not, 6 years have gone by since the inception of Transition Leytonstone on September 28th, 2009! To celebrate both our birthday and the success of the Market Stall we’ve been running in partnership with OrganicLea, we’re holding a Harvest Supper on Saturday 24th October at St. John’s Church Hall. All ages welcome, including children. Book your place here on Eventbrite.
Attendees are invited to bring their favourite vegetarian dishes to share, prepared using locally grown or sourced vegetables in season. People always love to discover new recipes, so could you please print yours out on small slips of paper to share with others? If you want to celebrate with something alcoholic, feel free to bring along a bottle or two. In keeping with this appley time of year, we will be providing some delicious local cider to try. Not to mention – a birthday cake!
On this occasion, we won’t be asking you to provide your own plates and cutlery – we’ve got the use of the church’s tableware. But do bring along an empty container and/or a doggy bag to take home any leftover food. We don’t want to let anything go to waste!
and other Transition Leytonstone projects over the past 6 years. If this sparks off any ideas for future projects, we certainly want to hear about them. We especially welcome ideas from attendees about future projects, to make greater use of the Community Garden. So don’t be backward about coming forward!
People are encouraged to arrive by foot, bicycle or public transport.
Posted on August 3, 2014 by ecoviewfinder
Can You Sell Fruit and Veg? Help Needed Saturday 9th August!
Every Saturday we help OrganicLea with the running of the local community produce stall next to Matalan. On Saturday 9th August our current team of helpers will be unavailable, so we’re looking for a few foodies to come along to assist OrganicLea’s staff – any sales experience would be helpful too. If you’re keen on handling and selling fresh produce, chatting to people about food, and happy to help set up or take down the stall, there could be a shift waiting for you on Saturday. (no shift is longer than 3 hours) Hours are between 9am and 4pm, with the stall open for business from 10.30am-3pm. All volunteer helpers receive a 20% discount on the purchase of produce from the stall!
If you can help out this Saturday or would like to help in the future, please get in touch asap with Stall Organiser RoseMary on 07759 278 445 or 020 8556 3090.
Posted on March 3, 2014 by ecoviewfinder
Our Cultivate Diary
Cultivate is Waltham Forest’s very first urban food growing festival, taking place over 9 days between March 21-March 30. The event will kickstart with a one-day conference hosted by Capital Growth, where established and new local food growers and home grown champions will come together to share debate to help to create and put in place initiatives for sustainable food growing in the borough. The event aims to mark Waltham Forest as the garden of London, harnessing the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of amateur and professional food and related growers. Unsurprisingly, Transition Leytonstone will be involved in 6 of the 50-odd planned events – see below.
Friday March 21- Grow Waltham Forest: Shaping the future of food growing in the borough (opening conference)
The conference will be complemented by activities, stalls and information showing the whole food cycle and aims, amongst other things, to i) establish a Waltham Forest Food Co-operative, ii) create new community food growing plots and spaces, and iii) promote food growing for personal use and sale.
Our very own Phil Mason will be on the panel, co-presenting Vision and Leadership to Support Local Food Growing along with Sue Sheehan of the Lambeth Food Partnership.
Venue: Leytonstone Library, 6 Church Lane, E11 1HG
Free to Waltham Forest residents, booking essential here.
Saturday March 22 – A Vernal Equinox Celebration at Church Lane Community Garden
Our Big Dig event. Seed sowing, seed swapping, a potluck feast and barbecue, plus an interactive ideas bank for future Garden workshops. A triangular patch of land reclaimed in 2012 from dereliction and neglect with the help of a Transform grant is now a community garden growing organic produce, hosting regular workshops and social events under the auspices of Transition Leytonstone.
Venue: Church Lane Community Garden, Harold Road, Leytonstone E11 4QX (just past the footbridge over the Central Line)
A Free Event.
Saturday March 22 at Leytonstone Market Stall (next to Matalan)
SeedSwap – 12pm-12.30pm
Organiclea and Transition Leytonstone invite you to a Seed Swap – come exchange your surplus seeds with other passionate gardeners.
A Taste of Local -1pm-3pm
Organiclea and Transition Leytonstone invite you to sample a taste of locally grown produce at their market stall made from the produce we source from local growers, our Chingford growing site and East Anglian organic farms.
Tuesday March 25 – Finding Space to Grow
A discussion on creative ways of growing including joining a gardenshare as well as a practical session on container growing. Our Gardenshare team will be there to help with your queries and signing up to the scheme.
Thursday March 27 – Gardeners’ Q&A
Edible gardening and food growing advice, an evening in the style of Gardeners Question Time. Ru Litherland (OrganicLea) and Mihkel Manniksar (Transition Leytonstone) will be on hand to answer your questions. Bring along your surplus seeds for a seed swap. Tea and biscuits served.
Venue: The Great Hall, Adelaide Road, Leyton, E10 5NN
Free to Waltham Forest residents, booking recommended here.
Saturday March 29 – Food-a-Fair
Food-a-Fair is a spring day out to celebrate the benefits of growing, harvesting, sharing and making food from plot to plate. Everyone is welcome to discover something about the fun and benefits of food growing with a rich menu of events at Waltham Forest College. There will be a local food marketplace, information stands (we will be there!), food-related talks in the lecture theatre, cookery demonstrations and creative growing workshops.
Come along to see Shannon and Mihkel from our Community Garden. They will be running the Windowbox Wonderland workshop between 2pm-4pm, where people can learn how to grow salads and herbs and how to start seedlings of tender crops indoors. You get to take away seeds, compost and a windowbox or propagator. Places are limited to 20, so make sure to come along and book yours on the day.
Venue: Waltham Forest College, Forest Road, London E17 4JB
Sunday March 30th – Film: The Power of Community
A story of local food growing and survival. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. Imports of oil were suddenly cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent. In this film the Cuban people share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis, is an example of options and hope.
The film will be followed by a discussion: “How can we grow more in Leytonstone?”
Venue: Leytonstone Library, 6 Church Lane, E11 1HG
Admission Free. Booking recommended here
Posted on December 17, 2013 by ecoviewfinder
Hornbeam Bakers’ Collective – Christmas Appeal
If you haven’t yet sampled the delights of the wonderful (and wonderfully satisfying) artisan bread that is sold from our weekly Saturday stall, do come along on the 21st or the 28th and buy one of our organic loaves. At £2.90 it is not cheap, but then again, one slice of this more than equals three slices of supermarket bread, which is puffed up with air!
Our bread is made and supplied by the Hornbeam Bakers Collective , a group of community bakers who make and sell our bread for local markets, cafes, and our communities. They have been baking in the collective since 2006 and have organically grown over the years. Beginning with hand kneading and transporting bread by bicycle trailer, they have been based up to now at the Hornbeam Centre in Hoe St, Walthamstow.
They are now crowdfunding to raise £3000+ to expand into new premises where they will be able to bake much greater quantities of wonderful bread and where you can also learn their techniques in regular community baking workshops. Currently these workshops are the most affordable baking workshops in London.
This project will only be funded if they can raise at least £3000 by 4.13pm on January 3rd 2014, so please donate what you can, even a fiver will help.
Put your money where your mouth is and support our local, daily bread!
Posted on December 13, 2013 by ecoviewfinder
Click on the image to download this week’s Local Food News.
There is also an order form here for pre-ordering any produce you require for Yuletide festivities. To help you fill your cupboards over this cold, dark season, and to help our pre-Xmas stall run smoothly, we are taking fruit and veg orders which we will pre-pack for you to collect from 11.30am on the Saturday 21st December Leytonstone market stall. This form MUST be completed and emailed to email@example.com by Monday 16th December. Peace be with you!
Posted on November 21, 2013 by James Bull
Posted on May 10, 2013 by ecoviewfinder
The second issue of Transition Free Press (price £1) is now available from our Saturday Veg Stall outside Matalan, or from Church Lane Community Garden (open Tuesdays 11am-4pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm). Transition Free Press is a new quarterly newspaper created for the times we live in and the issues we care about: in it you will find the transition perspective on food, transport, energy, waste, education, money and more. If you haven’t yet seen it, an excellent read awaits you. A very few copies remain of Issue number 1 at the bargain price of 50p.
Posted on February 27, 2013 by James Bull
Thanks to everyone who currently volunteers on the Saturday vegetable stall which is run as partnership between OrganicLea and Transition Leytonstone.
This is a message to all members, and includes existing volunteers, and hopefully will inspire some of you others to join us.
The stall is changing a little so there are new opportunities to help. As perhaps you know there is an ‘E11 market’ run by Sandra Dene on Saturdays outside Matalan and we have also decided to try to set up the stall earlier. This new schedule has been running since 2nd February and we now believe we have a good approach.
As a result we will try an additional earlier shift between 9 and 10:30. This first shift normally involves collecting the stand from the Matalan storage area and bringing it round to our pitch and so being in position when the van arrives from Hornbeam, hopefully by 9:30. The start time of the E11 market varies but probably will be setting up from 9:30. The shift will continue with the set up of the stall and the pricing of the produce. This usually includes light lifting to unload the van.
The second shift will be from 10:30 to 1:00 and will not include any lifting. This can be the busiest time for selling and talking to customers about the stall, the produce, recipes, growing and also about other events and activities run by Transition Leytonstone or OrganicLea.
The third shift is from 12:30 to 3 so the OrganicLea worker can have a break in their very long day and includes helping pack up the stall, weighing the remaining produce, helping return the stand to the storage area (uphill so usually needs two people) and guiding the reversing van out between the posts and tree and the pedestrians, any bikes, and into a break in the traffic.
We do not expect any volunteer to do more than 1 shift each month and we would like people to sign up in advance. We need people for all shifts from this weekend (2nd March) onwards.
I try to email the produce price list and the weekly OrganicLea newsletter to those on the stall on the Friday so that they have a chance to look at them beforehand.
The price list is much simpler than it was (separated in fruit and veg and mainly alphabetical) however the list is shorter in the winter, when fewer types of produce are available.
Please let me know if you can volunteer and which dates you are available.
One of the stall co-ordinators.