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Time for Lunch with The GROW Project in Coleraine

Jun 27, 2023

To celebrate the Slow Food UK “Time for Lunch” Campaign this June, Slow Food Causeway is highlighting the inspirational work of The Grow Project in Coleraine.

Slow Food Causeway is delivered by Taste Causeway. Sharon Scott from Taste Causeway and Paula McIntyre, Chair of Slow Food NI visited members of The Grow Project in Coleraine to learn about the important role of a healthy, nutritious lunch made from locally grown produce in this award-winning project.

The Grow Project is the brainchild of Ashes to Gold, a community and mental health charity, set up about 10 years ago to inspire people with all abilities to learn, to grow and cook their own food. Last month, the project won the National Lottery People’s Project for NI following a public vote. The funding will be used to create a fully functional on-site training kitchen to teach people how to grow local produce, prepare it, cook it, and sit down to eat together.

The small, committed team at GROW were delighted to show the abundance of local fruit and vegetables being grown by the all the community groups in this little oasis of colour, smell and taste.

Paula McIntyre commented:

Visiting on a warm, sunny day in June, we were treated to a wonderful display of seasonal fruit and vegetables including strawberries, redcurrants, and gooseberries, bursting with flavours. I was impressed by the distinctive colour of the chard and the living walls of carrots and other herbs. It is truly amazing what the team have achieved here and a superb example of what Slow Food is all about.

Ben Wilson, the chef responsible for teaching the visiting groups to cook delicious meals from the seasonal produce grown on site added:

It was great to show Paula around and learn more about the Slow Food Movement and our shared ethos. I got some great tips on pickling and preserving and we were able to share a few of our favourite recipes too.

Slow Food UK is suggesting that everyone makes time for lunch this June and sits down to enjoy all the benefits of relaxing with something good to eat. It is estimated that Working Brits only take lunch on 11 out of their 20 working days each month, and when they do, up to 80% snatch a bite at their desk.

Shane Holland, Chief Executive of Slow Food UK says
Take time to have lunch with a friend, partner or loved one. Maybe re-connect with someone you haven’t seen for a while. Invite the neighbours round. Transform lunchtime at your school, or senior’s home.  Take your lunch into the garden, park, visit a restaurant, a canteen, or just sit around the kitchen table. It’s not the venue that matters, it’s the time out.  Taking time means you’ll enjoy your food more, and enjoy the pleasures of breaking bread with others. A healthy contrast to eating quickly while distracted or doing other things, which might well lead to eating more than you need. Take some time and you’ll experience more of the flavours, textures, and smells of the food you eat.

For further information on Slow Food UK go to

For further information on Slow Food Causeway go to  

For further information on Ashes to Gold GROW Project go to 

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