Home Grown Cooks

by jayne1131 in Digbeth

Home Grown Cooks
We did it
On 9th October 2015 we successfully raised £2,375 with 37 supporters in 28 days

We want to add a cookery school to our food garden so we can offer a unique experience of growing, cooking and loving food in one place.

by jayne1131 in Digbeth

Our story so far...

Kitchen School is a cookery school with a mission to inspire people to grow, cook and love their food.

We have been making a name for ourselves in Birmingham as a place that's serious about growing, cooking and eating. We are the only business around here that offers all these skills at once. We think you really can't cook till you know something about the raw ingredients.

We are currently homeless. That is to say, our cookery school right now is pop up perfection.  

Our Crowd Funder campaign is to raise some finance to place a cookery school at our food growing garden to create a true experience of growing, cooking and eating. We have secured premises next door to our urban farm but it needs refurbishing into a kitchen and cookery school, which is where you come in....please read on.

Our cookery classes are led by Birmingham’s best chefs, home cooks, suppliers or producers and restaurants. Pictured above is ex-masterchef finalist, Claire Hutchings cooking for our Christmas Supper Club last year - at my house.

We also have an amazing canalside city centre garden called Edible Eastside, where we teach people to grow their own food on a neglected industrial estate. We have enjoyed a fantastic four years of al fresco cookery with no facilities - oh yes that's our other problem - the weather. (See below a great summer night unusual for us.)

Why we need you...

Kitchen School needs a home. Edible Eastside needs indoor cooking facilities. 

If we had everything in one place we could offer a food hub - a space for our home grown cooks where you can plant a carrot seed, love it, pick it, cook it, and then eat it with lashings of melted butter and fresh coriander and a whaft of nutmeg...delicious....sorry lost in thought there.

Picture it, a cookery school surrounded by vegetables, herbs and flowers ready for cooking.

Well we've got it. Here is the picture (below). The building in the background is our new premises. The orange flowers are marigolds in wooden containers companions to the vegetables and herbs we grow.

The new school could double our capacity. We already have listed buildng consent for a commercial kitchen so we can dine there too and hire out our facilities to others who need it.

Our alfresco garden dining could be prepared in a kitchen with running water. What deep joy that would be.

So now what's our problem?

Our new premises is currently an office - and it's in a Grade 2 listed building. We need to raise the finance to reburbish it into a cookery school, sensitively and professionally. This is why we need you.

The money we are trying to raise will just cover the costs to refurbish two former office meeting rooms. In one room we will have al the equipment, applicances and extraction.

In another room we are putting the cookery classooms with two long workstation benches for 12 people to work comfortably at. 

We need new floors, gas and electric connections, cookers, fridges, freezers, storage, extraction - everything! 

Why would you help?

We are a social enterprise with limited access to finance and a way too big a heart. We think it's important to offer something to everyone. We like being accessible and affordable to people who really need our knowledge and skills to get by, this means not selling out to the corporate market but ploughing our profits into our work and our community. 


No one is safe from our infectious enthusiam for good food, so we do work with everyone. A permanent school, however, would mean a more stable and long term growth so our message of sustainability includes our business too!

So who are we from adam?

(Bet no one has said that ridiculous phrase to you for a while?) No one here is called Adam. The we - we keep mentioning - are two cooks and a chef. You can visit our website to read our biographies in MEET THE TEAM, but briefly we are Jayne Bradley (Director and local food systems campaigner), Bethan Rees (Marketing and excellent baker) and Chris Hughes (Masterclass teacher, lecturer and supper club chef). We are all passionate about food and have been cooking professionally for a long time. Jayne Bradley set up Edible Eastside because she wanted to demonstrate the benefits of city centre growing for a more sustainable city life. The garden quickly turned into a food destination because the proof is always in the eating. Local food tastes better.

The team take most of the classes and we use part time gardners and other freelance cooks when we can.

Okay you get why we need your need help - but really - what are the benefits?

This is the $64,000 question isn't it.

Well, did you know that 24% of our carbon emissions is attributed to the food system (that'a a lot of badly fed cows emitting methane into the atmosphere if get my drift)? So eating more responsibly could really help that polar bear we keep seeing pictures of looking lost and hungry to survive, because global temperatures havent risen as much. (apologies to you climate change experts for this simple resume but we are trying to keep it brief).

Eating less meat, sourcing food locally and generally eating less can really help reduce the impact food has on the planet. We are doing our bit by giving people the skills, knowledge and opportunity to make the right food choices. By helping us, you are doing your bit too.

We work with people who don't know how to cook and live on take-aways and ready meals. Did you know that obesity isnt about being weak willed with the coca-cola? It's about access to good food, portion sizes detirmined by food manufacturers (with profits in mind) and advertisers messages that we cannot escape from. Something's got to change; it's about the long term, skills not food bank hand outs surely?

We think we can help people with their diets. A permanently based cookery school will help us help more, and your help will help us help them even more. Still with us? Good.

So  - finally  - we are asking you to pledge to help us make a real difference to our community and to have an impact on the world and it's diets.

The best bit....benefits to you

There are some fantastic rewards for your pledges. We have it on good authority that we have some of the best pledges on Crowd Funder right now that will make amazing Christmas presents and gifts and seriously there really is something in it for you, if you would keep going and take a look.

Below are some of the images of our work and some of our pledges. Take a look and then PLEDGE!!



This is Chris taking a masterclass in crab preparation and dressing. This next image is the dining room at Jayne's house. The class and team building offers would be here or at a city restaurant where we also pop-up. If you can wait we can also hold them in our new bespoke dining room if you PLEDGE!!



This is an image of chefs (Blanch & Shock) harvesting for a meal we held in the garden in 2013 for 100 people. The other two images are of a cookery class in action. The yellow tank is one of our favourite images of Edible Eastside taken from the the other side of the canal.

Below is some of our pickled veg. Your home made preserve reward would be in a jar like this but smaller, should you go for the jam option. This season we have some amazing crab apple jelly and our own-made brown sauce is legendary. Next is Albert our bread maker. He's managed to get non-cooks making bread including Jayne, who is now a sough dough maniac. His open and honest meditation on the benefits of bread to our mental health is inspiring. (clue: it's about creating narratives and slowing down).


This is Jayne posing for a photograph reading a NOMA cookbook - we teach the essense of Nordic cookery - using local ingredients but also in a locally distinctive way.

The final image is Pizza making at Edible Eastside, yours for only £15.00 with a beer thrown in. You can even make it yourself. WELL - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? CHANGE THE WORLD, OUR WORLD AND PLEDGE.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Your name on our hall of fame, sign painted in our cookery school and placed on our website. Thank you for believing in my project!

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Pizza & Beer at Edible Eastside in 2016 available to collect at Digbeth First Friday* in April, May or June 2016(*www.digbethfirstfriday.com)

£15 or more

£15 Reward

Jar of Edible Eastside Preserve. A jar of home grown goodness. The cost includes P&P (UK only I'm afraid). Choose from courgette pickle, EE brown sauce, Indian lime pickle or mixed berry jam.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A beginners gardening class in how to grow vegetables in containers (any anywhere else for that matter) . Class lasts for 2 hours and includes soil types, how to seed, potting on and harvesting.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A cookery class for beginners. A two hour session covering basics like how to make a simple supper from scratch. We will make a an English classic like a Shepherd's Pie and an Italian dish such as Cacciatore Chicken. Dates will be offered in Winter 2015 and Spring 2016.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Bread Making & Mindfulness class with Albert Smith of Ubuntu Bakery. Albert is a brilliant bread maker who teaches the art of using kneading and the meditative value of bread for our well being. A brilliant class where you take home lessons on life as well as a loaf of bread!

£50 or more

3 of 5 claimed

£50 Reward

An Edible Eastside Hamper. A cellophane wrapped basket of edible preserves, seeds and jars of our home grown dried herbs and flowers. It would make a brilliant gift for a foodie who loves home made local food. inc P&P

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A Masterclass in Thai, Tapas or Middle Eastern Cookery. The course lasts for 3 hours and includes wine and a two course supper. We work with professional chefs on the delivery of our regional courses . If you pledge £50.00 we will send you preferred dates and type of class.

£50 or more

0 of 15 claimed

£50 Reward

A mini wooden window box. We make them ourselves from green oak and painted on one side with blackboard paint so you can write scribble on it, or remind yourself of what's growing. Dimensions are 750mm x 250mm x 300mm depth. (includes P&P cost at £20.00) If you collect, we will fill it with compost and seeds.

£50 or more

5 of 25 claimed

£50 Reward

Invite to our Launch Party. We would love to meet our pledge heroes. You will be invited to our launch party for the cookery school when we open formally in March 2016. The invite includes lots to drinks, canapés and hopefully meeting a well known chef - fingers crossed.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Do you have children? We are offering a Children’s Cookery Party for up to 10 children where they will cooking and gardening at Edible Eastside for 3 hours. Party voucher redeemable within one year of pledge, so there is plenty of time for them to have a birthday.

£100 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£100 Reward

Join our food revolution. Rent a container plot at Edible Eastside for 1 year. For this pledge you get your own 2metre x 1metre plot ready to grow food in. We give you a key to the garden so you have 24 / 7 access to the site and we offer you to use the facilities we have there. Subject to signing a gardeners agreement.

£250 or more

£250 Reward

A private cookery party. We are offering an amazing opportunity. Hire us for your private party. We offer a 2-3 hour private cookery class for your friends at your home (or you can come to us) for up to 10 people. Alternatively ask us to cook for your dinner party. Choose classes from Cake & Pastry Baking, Italian Pasta or British Pies. Offer lasts for one year from the pledge.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

A bespoke dinner and cookery event. This is one for a special occasion or a corporate team building or hospitality event.we are offering one of our bespoke private hire event for up to 15 guests. We offer a three course dinner with cookery demonstration & wine at our private dining room. Event voucher redeemable up to one year of pledge.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£1,000 Reward

Sponsor a cookery course for users of food bank in Smethwick or Aston. We work with food banks when we can. We offer a 5-6 week course in the basics of cookery and nutrition on a budget for up to 6-8 people at a time. Each class lasts for 4 hours and includes lunch. If you sponsor this course we will name you on our publicity as the main sponsor/donor. Classes will begin in November 2015. Sponsors will be invited to attend and meet the group.

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