Tuesday 28 July 2020

The plot today

A wee video update on my plot.  It's a mess with over grown weeds thanks to weeks of heavy rain interspersed with the odd hot day.  It is what it is 😁

Sunday 26 July 2020

How MY community food shop works

This photo is from my wee community food shop FB page earlier this week.  Just recently the council has given them this former beauty salon to use.  They clearly say open to all and if you can use it then take it.  Their ethos is simply to stop food waste.  It's only open for 2 hours each day.

Community food shops might be different in other towns/countries but in my wee city there are lots of different ways to access 'free' food.  Needing food and wanting to help reduce food waste can be 2 different things.

We have an excellent food bank service here (I won't comment further other than that it's disgraceful we even need one!!) Local supermarkets donate huge amounts of food and money through their community schemes.  Local businesses and the public can donate food (and money) directly.  As a school this is the main charity we support.  My food bank cannot take fresh goods (bread, cakes, fruit and vegetables) and legally (for health and safety reasons) they cannot accept out of date items.  They use the cash donations to buy fresh food on the days they send out food packs.  To use our food bank you need to be referred.

As I mentioned in my comments yesterday to Marksgran, during lockdown a group of local cafe workers/cooks on furlough set up a kitchen to make and donate food to families.  Supermarkets had a huge excess of fresh food going to waste and were happy to donate it all.  Local businesses like an egg producer and a fruit farm donated produce that would have otherwise gone bad.  This group of amazing people cooked and delivered meals to families and vulnerable people DAILY free of charge.  No referrals, no questions asked.  If you needed food, they delivered.

The community food shop grew from this.  Even after taking what they needed to make the meals there was STILL a huge amount of food leftover and they began offering it to anyone who could use it.  And then if there was any leftover food it went to the local safari park for the animals!!

Now that lockdown has eased and cafes are reopening the food delivery service is continuing under another group of retired ladies.  They get first dibs on the excess food from supermarkets and restaurants.  Remember, most of the food they use would be thrown in the bin!!

So the food bank still gets their food, the meal service still gets first choice of fresh food that cannot legally be donated to the food bank, the community shop gets what's left from the meal service and the safari park gets whatever is left at the end of the day. Supermarkets don't dump their out of date food into landfill.  I think this is an amazing chain that stops food waste AND feeds people.  Something positive to come from lockdown!

I'm always happy to discuss issues in my comments but if you leave a rude or insulting comment I'll simply delete you.

Saturday 25 July 2020

Free lunches

There's no such thing as a free lunch so the saying goes.  But the above photo says otherwise!  Since poor Emma is getting too old and arthritic to do more than shuffle round the block, I've resolved to try and walk a lot more by myself.  I walked into town this morning to checkout my local community food shop.  Local supermarkets donate their leftover food at the end of the day and this shop GIVES IT AWAY FREE in order to help reduce food waste.  How brilliant is that?!  All they ask is that you only take what you will use.

Today I was looking for some soup ingredients.  I got parsnips, celery, broccoli, gluten free rolls and a wee loaf of GF sliced bread and a lettuce for the chickens.  All a mix of Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Aldi products.  Today they had milk, loads of bread and cakes from supermarket bakeries, flowers, tins of chopped tomatoes and chickpeas, potatoes, oranges, mushrooms and persimmons.  I'm sure there was a lot more but I really only focused on the veg.

I've already got a pan of spiced parsnip soup on the go.  And I'll make some broccoli soup later today.  With the rolls and the bread, that's my free lunches sorted for at least a week!! πŸ˜‹

Meanwhile down on the plot, I whacked back my raspberry patch.  I cut out about 2/3 of it, mostly old canes and discoloured leaves.  It looked like it hadn't been done for a while.  Probably not the best time to do it but it was so unruly I couldn't actually harvest any berries!  There's clearly a mix of varieties in there as some are just flowering now.  I tied some string round the patch to hold them in for now.  Not pretty but practical!

The strawberry patch hasn't yielded as much as I'd hoped (probably old plants).  I've put a lot of time into weeding it and covering it to stop the birds eating them all.  But I'm thinking of removing them and just making it a pumpkin patch next year.  Lots of ideas are floating round my head. It's still my favourite place to just escape from everything 😎

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Redesigning the front garden

I'm still here, just not blogging.  My life is rather full on just now with family legal stuff so my garden and allotment are my 'relaxation.'  The front of my house is due to get roughcasted to match the garage so I've been removing trees/bushes etc to make way for the scaffolding.  It's a good chance to redesign it all.

Before and after removing a wild hebe!

I've guiltily removed an acer, a hebe and a pieris.  All lovely trees/bushes, just too big and overgrown for the space.  All my pots have been temporarily relocated so the space is completely clear.  It's actually much bigger than I thought so I'm thinking about what I can do with the space.  It's south facing and gets lots of sun all day.  One thought is a rose garden on the lower part 🌹 and perennials in the raised beds.  Definitely flowers not vegetables 🌷🌸🌼

Wednesday 1 July 2020

More sad news

2020 is turning into the year that just keeps on giving!  Or taking away as my lovely mum puts it.  Sadly my elderly uncle died at the weekend, my dad's brother.  Although he was ill he wasn't expected to die so it's all a bit shocking.  As he was unmarried with no family of his own, it falls to me to sort out his rather disorganised affairs.  Fortunately I'm on holiday so I have the time to unravel it all.  It means I'll have less time to spend on my own projects this Summer but he deserves it πŸ’—