As the days lengthen and the sunny weather continues (!), plants have started to grow faster. Asparagus is shooting, salad crops are abundant and the last remains of the winter crops are being harvested and eaten. With this increase in plant growth, comes an increase in growing activities. Last weekend was packed full of local food events, seed sowing and planting and next weekend looks set to be equally as busy.
On Saturday the People’s Café visited Lancaster University and was said to be well attended. For those who don’t know the People’s café, it runs on a pay-as-you feel basis and creates delicious meals from food that would have gone to landfill. The café has also expanded to include a pop-up shop that sells food items that have gone past their ‘sell by date’ (but are still good for human consumption). The Café’s next event will be a pop-up stall at Lancaster’s Midsummer Market on Friday 17th June. The People’s Café will cook up some seasonally-inspired recipes and will run cooking demonstrations to show you what can be made with seasonal and local ingredients.
Whilst people were enjoying the Café’s food, I was busy enjoying a ‘free’ three course seasonal meal at Growing With Grace (an organic farm near Clapham), having successfully completed operation ‘BIG TOMATO’. The weather was glorious, the glass houses were scorching, and a team of volunteers & food fanatics managed to plant over 500 tomato, pepper and aubergine plants to give Growing with Grace a head start with the growing season. We were rewarded with excellent food and company.
Similar volunteer days are planned for the upcoming year, so check out the GOLFE blog, www.foodfutures.org.uk, for more details about what is happening and when.
On Sunday the Claver Hill crew were also out in force – clearing away the winter crops, topping up the no-dig beds with mushroom compost, and sowing seeds for the summer harvest. All of the onions, garlic and potatoes are now growing strong, and the mix of harvested salad leaves is becoming increasingly colourful.
Next Saturday (21st May), Lancaster Soup returns to the Robert Gillow from 5-7pm – offering a bowl of soup for £5+ whilst local people pitch ideas for community projects and initiatives. After everyone has eaten, people vote for which project should receive the money from the soup. LESS will be pitching its Midsummer Market, so please come along and support us.
And on Sunday 22nd May, Lancaster Climate Action is hosting a Vegan Feast in the Friends Meeting House from 6-9pm. All are invited to bring a vegan dish to contribute to the always excellent spread of food for sharing. I hope to see you there!