As well as being Brighton’s only community owned pub, is the Bevy Brighton’s first zero food waste pub?
Every weekday lunchtime we serve up home cooked community lunches for just £4 thanks to our link up with Fareshare Sussex who redistribute surplus food, feeding bellies not bins. We also receive donations from Infinity Wholesalers. Any food waste is then either put in our compost heaps or Brighton Paper Rounds’ kitchen waste bins. We are even experimenting with turning surplus food into ready meals through a partnership with a new social enterprise called Brighton Food Factory.
Our edible pub garden is looked after by Dave and Jonathan who play a pivotal role in Friday Friends. As well as planting flowers and putting together the hanging baskets, they manage the Sussex fruit trees and grow veg that makes its way into the kitchen to be served to the lunch club, or turned into pickles, jams or puddings. They recently won two silver awards from Brighton and Hove City in Bloom.
We get gluts from Moulsecoomb Primary School, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Sussex Gleaning, which organises trips to farms and harvests all the surplus fruit and veg. During the summer there was so much extra food Friday Friends set up a mini green grocer store for people to take home produce.
We hosted an East Brighton Trust grants drop-in for people to meet funders to try and get their ideas off the ground. One conversation has led to funding Mark the Chicken Man to buy an incubator and start his Chickens Therapy project at Moulsecoomb Primary School where children are enjoying looking after and learning about chickens – and where the eggs are being used in the community kitchen.
Community cook Carly runs family cooking sessions at Moulsecoomb Primary with Albion in the Community and runs kids cooking clubs at the Bevy. She also cooks at Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.
Moulsecoomb Primary’s eco school grounds have to be seen to be believed. Their green flag school grounds are a fantastic space for children to learn and play with orchards, ponds, vegetable gardens and roundhouses where pupils from across the city learn the pre-history curriculum.
Infact the Story of the Moulsecoomb Primary apple crop perfectly sums up how everyone across the estate is working together. As part of the schools Harvest Festival Year 5 cooked veg with Carly and made apple cake, while others were juiced with Brighton Permaculture Trust serving everything up in the playground at the end of the school day. The lunch time gardening club have been delivering apples to classrooms. They’ve been turned into puddings by Friday Friends, apple pies for Moulsecoomb Forest Garden volunteers and apple sauce for their Christmas Party. With no food miles on the clock. Any rotten ones have found their way to the extensive school compost bins. The school also has a heated greenhouse and hotbox and the children learn how to grow plants from seed, to plant in the school, take home, and be planted at Moulsecoomb Forest Garden, which the pupils regularly visit. Any excess plants are sold at the Bevy’s annual spring plant sale.
The Bevy struggles to make money from food, but ironically it is our community approach to food that is a shining example of how our untypical pub on an ordinary estate working with a host of different organisations, is helping to achieve extraordinary things. While helping bring the ideal of Moulsecoomb as a garden estate back to life.