Northampton couple set to open their personal ‘food library’ to the public this weekend

A Northampton couple have created a food specific library to help start conversations about growing produce.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 8:30 pm
Michael Mayhew and his wife will open their personal food library to the public this weekend.

Michael Mayhew and Laura Elliott have a collection of around 350 books on topics such as food growing and foraging in their Kingsthorpe home.

From Saturday (January 25) their personal library will be open to anyone who wishes to become a member of The Food Library.

The pair’s appreciation of libraries and love of home-grown produce played a major role in their idea came up with the idea for their reference library out of their appreciation of libraries and their idea to open The Food Library.

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Members will receive a library card.

Michael said: “The food specific library idea started as libraries were closing all around the country.

“A lot of libraries are going down and restaurants are also falling apart.

“But we know how important they are.

“Libraries are a massive part of our life and our society. They are a social space.”

There will even be canapes to enjoy during the opening.

The library in the couple’s home also has 150 recipe books for members to peruse.

With the recipe books, Michael wants to encourage visitors to try new things with their food, as well as join in the conversation surrounding sustainable produce.

Michael added: “Everything in our library reflects on who we are.

“This is not a quiet library because it’s connected to a kitchen.

“We’re constantly testing things that come out of the books and we want people to join in with this and the conversation.”

Members will get the chance to use any of the books for reference and be part of putting the theories and practices into action.

The grand opening on Saturday has received a fair bit of interest, but Michael thinks the idea will be a ‘slow-burner’.

The retired artist said: “We have about 20 odd people coming to the opening so far on Saturday.

“People are travelling from as far as Leicester and London.

“The two women coming from London are really interested in fermenting and they’ve seen this is a dedicated space for food and were interested.”

Although this is a passion of Michael’s, there is an underlying issue that he wants the library to help him spread the word about.

He added: “We want people to be able to grow their own food and not rely on the politics of being fed.

“We have never been fed by other people as much as we are now.

“I think it’s really important to know if food is bad for the planet it’s bad for you.

“We want people to know growing a potato is not a big deal and then we are also helping this thing called climate change.”

To be given the location of the library in order to attend the opening on Saturday, you need to register your interest with Michael by emailing [email protected]

The opening will be held between 11am and 4pm, is free to attend and will include canapes.

If you want to become a member, this can be sorted on the day and will cost £25 for the year.

Members will also get access to future events, including the Food Lovers evening on February 15 where a five-course meal will be served in The Food Library.

This will cost £35 and members will get priority for tickets that are allocated on a first come, first served basis as there are only eight seats available around the table in the library.