What a week of Accumul8 wonder!

This past week has been a week of jam and chutney jubilation.

Thanks to the lovely and kind generosity of Crop Drop (a local community organic fruit and veg box scheme) we were given a huge bucket load of quinces. Now, quince can be seen as problematic, but not in Accumul8 land. So, a hearty Hola to our new flavour – Membrillo Quince and Cardamom Jam, sweet with a touch of sour, and a perfect friend and soulmate to cheese.

Next up, were very intense, very active chutney and jam making activities in order to replace our sold out, very popular, Apple Pie Jam, Apple, Rosewater and Cardamom Jam, and Morrocan Apple and Date Chutney. We managed to do about 20 jars of each in a morning’s session – fantastic! And we’re even getting jam technical with our new jam thermometer!

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Just check out our cool hats – very street, very desirable.

Saturday was the big Crouch End Festival Craft Fair  – we’ve been working up to this one for quite a while, and it was good, very good! People really love the whole concept of Accumul8 and how it uses surplus fruit donated by the community, teaches the residents of North London YMCA cooking skills and inspires ownership and independence by selling the jams and chutneys to raise the funding for creative workshops, activities and equipment at the YMCA, with the ultimate goal of an exhibition of the residents’ work at The Crouch End Festival in June 2014. But most of all, people love and savour the sophisticated and delicious tastes of the Acccumul8 chutneys and jams! We sold well, went home tired and prepared for the next day’s selling at Hornsey Parish Church.

Monday saw the delivery of our first wholesale order to Manor House Development Trust, where the lovely Kristina ordered Accumul8 chutneys for their Christmas dinner. So, one great project supports another. One thing is for sure, through Accumul8, a whole world of wonderful people doing wonderful things has opened up to me and it is truly inspirational to see what is going on in the community around me, and which, shamefully, I was ignorant about until I started Accumul8.

And then on Tuesday I met up with Josh from Tikkun Olam. Tikkun Olam have funded Accumul8 and also, through their Community Fruit Tree initiative, supplied us with free apples, green tomatoes and pears which created the first batches of Accumul8 chutneys and jams. Tikkun Olam really are our seed funders! Josh and I discussed the project and possible ways of developing it using the skills and expertise of the community of New North London Synagogue.

Finally, to top it all, Accumul8 have been included on the UnLtd “Buying Social” website which has been set up to encourage people to buy products that are good and do good and have good social values. This was a complete surprise to us and a lovely way to end a very full and active week!

Hope you have a lovely festive break,

Marice

The church and chutneys.

Once the North London YMCA residents took on the challenge of raising their own money for an exhibition of their creative work and decided that making and selling chutneys would be the answer, we needed to find a kitchen that would allow us weekly access and be supportive of what we wanted to do.

The Holy Innocents Church on Tottenham Lane in Crouch End came up trumps.

We used their kitchen on Fridays and, even though it was small, it became the epicentre of our chutney empire and many a good chutney was concocted there! The YMCA staff and church employees that work at the church would pop their heads round the kitchen door and ask us about the week’s recipe and what we were cooking. The place was full of the spicy and sweet smells of Accumul8’s chutneys and it was the start of the Accumul8 chutney journey.

This morning, it came full circle and I went to sell the Accumul8 chutneys at the church. Father Tim and the Holy Innocents community loved the chutneys and most of all, what was great was to get such a positive response to the project and the work it does.

Thankyou Holy Innocents Church for being so supportive and enthusiastic about Accumul8 and we hope you enjoy your chutneys!