Now all of us can harness the benefits and fight climate change. To mark Newcastle’s Allotment Week, Climate Action Newcastle shares inspirational experiences and suggestions from members and local gardeners, in our latest blog series.
We don’t even need a garden to make a difference – simply make a start on using every scrap of our food waste, or get involved with local guerrilla gardeners. It all helps harness the healing power of nature - and it’s easy and enjoyable! See links to member blogs below.
There’s now extra opportunities for those of us already growing – which could include anything from herbs in street planters, a window sill, a pallet with pot plants to a border or an allotment. New routes are now opening to share nature’s bounty, through donating to food sharing schemes.
Stumped for ideas on how to use a glut of seasonal produce? We’ve included a few favourite recipes. Don’t hesitate to send us YOUR most-used recipes - and do share your own tips on composting and ways to avoid food waste.
Local allotments and gardens
If you’re interested in allotment growing, there are more than 60 allotments in Newcastle. Find out your nearest one here.
It’s hoped the annual Newcastle Allotment Show will be back in summer 2022 – it’s been virtual since the pandemic started, and this year, replaced by a Facebook Allotment and Garden Show group to swap info and pictures. Get involved by visiting the group here!
Also, this year is marked with a checklist for sustainable gardening
You can enjoy the most recent show, in 2019, in the Gallery on the allotment website page.
Local gardening and growing projects
Vertical Veg man (locally-based Mark Ridsdill Smith) has loads of great tips, especially on container gardening, and runs occasional courses. Check out his two projects to help get you started.
National allotment week
To take part in National Allotment virtual events during National Allotment week, see details here.
Find out what our members are up to
CAN member Olwyn Hocking explores how exciting composting is in tackling climate change – from avoiding food waste to powering bountiful gardening, it’s got so many positives. And it’s easier than we all tend to think! Her blog “THE MAGIC OF COMPOSTING!” includes tips and relevant links whether we have an allotment, a garden – or not even a window sill for growing.
CAN member Mark Warner has tested the Bokashi system, which uses a traditional Japanese fermentation process to convert food waste so we can use it for compost or other purposes. Find out how easy it is for us to use, indoors or out.
The benefit of donating surplus produce to help fight food poverty is outlined by Bob Heyman from the Highbury South Allotment Association, who have been donating their extra fruit and veg to asylum seeker organisations for years.
Try some home cooking with home grown food
Treat yourself and sample some of our favourite recipes using seasonal gardening produce or foraging. Or send us your own!
WILD GARLIC - follow your nose and you’ll find it - great clumps in many local parks in spring. Or plant your own.
Wild Garlic Soup - view recipe
Wild Garlic Pesto - view recipe
PUMPKIN - millions are wasted at Hallowe’en. Encourage everyone to use every scrap for food - they can still make candles as well!
Pumpkin Risotto - view recipe
Pumpkin and Banana Cake - view recipe
FRUIT - if your fruit bushes do you proud, here’s some alternatives to making jam!
Rhubarb Meringue Pie - view recipe
Brown Butter, Almond and Berry Traybake - view recipe
Many ingredients can be grown, especially herbs (including in window sill pots).
Many of the ingredients can be purchased without packaging from Newcastle’s increasing number of refill shops - read our Blog posts which include reviews and maps
Vegan alternatives (and other dietary preferences) are not included in all recipes, but people familiar with plant-based cooking will be aware of the alternative options now increasingly available.