No comments yet

Autumn is coming, Project ‘Munch’, and Organic September

Autumn is surely beckoning now at the door! We have had really heavy dew in the morning for the last couple of weeks and quite cold nights, time to close the polytunnel after work to keep the last of the summer crops growing. We have cut off the tops of the tomatoes to allow for the last of the fruit to ripen and the cucumbers need to have their leaves cut back to allow light to the remainder of the fruit too. We are certainly now in that changeover period when we continue with the planting of the autumn and winter crops.
 
Last week, we commenced supplying Warblington High School with our organic produce as a result of our partnership with Steven Cross, the Park Community School award-winning chef. He has been asked to roll out his food education model to 3 other schools, Warblington being one of them. It is heartening to see that such a positive move to improve food education is being recognised and supported, which can only mean an improvement to children's eating habits and all the positives that come with this. Many studies have concluded that giving children nutritious school food, together with a strong food education package, helps with their health, increased attention span in lessons, awareness of where their food comes from and a reduction in sugar intake, one of the main causes of childhood obesity.
 
Steven was involved in their School Project 'Munch' that provides those pupils who would normally get free school meals during term time, a free meal and space to play during the holiday periods. The scheme is open to all primary and secondary pupils in Leigh Park.  During the recent school holidays, children and families enjoyed eating good food and meeting new people. Those that were able to were asked for a small donation to keep Munch going. As part of this initiative, there was a community fridge located in their Dickinson Centre that was stocked with food for anyone in need. It is heartening to know of such great schemes promoting healthy eating for those in most need.
 
We are participating in the Soil Association 'Organic September' event so we will be trying to promote organic eating during this month and hopefully encourage a few more new customers to either sign up for a veg bag or come to our twice-weekly shop. If you know of anyone that might like to trial the veg bag scheme, we would be grateful of your encouragement. If they ask why they should eat organic, below are some of the positives of doing just that:
 

- Fewer pesticides - over 300 pesticides can be used in non-organic farming and often found in non-organic food.

- No artificial colourings or preservatives - Hydrogenated fats and controversial artificial food colours and preservatives are banned under organic standards.

- Always Free Range - Organic means the very highest standards of animal welfare. Organic animals are reared without the routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers.

- Avoidance of antibiotics - In organic farming systems, animals are reared without the routine use of drugs, antibiotics and wormers common in intensive livestock farming.

- Better for Wildlife - Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies – there is up to 50% more wildlife on organic farms!

- Better for the planet - Organic means working with nature, not against it. No system of farming does more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, or protect natural resources like fresh water and healthy soils.

- Its nutritionally different - Organic means working with nature, not against it. No system of farming does more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, or protect natural resources like fresh water and healthy soils.

- You will always know what is in your food -  Any food products labelled as organic must meet a strict set of standards which define what farmers and food manufacturers can and cannot do in its production.

Christine has a few spaces on her Foraging course this coming weekend for anyone that wants to learn a little more of this rewarding activity. After an informative walk around the hedgerows at Tuppenny Barn, Christine will demonstrate how to make Elderberry Rob, a soothing cordial for sore throats and chesty coughs. Having had a chest infection myself this week, I can say from first-hand experience, this is a great tonic to have and now I understand why many Funtington residents, her home village, place regular orders at this time of year.

Comments are closed.