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Christine Iverson on kitchen remedies and how some are tackling plastic

Good evening all,


today I have spent most of the day cutting flowers as we have a large wake tomorrow and am keen that we honour the lady whose life is being celebrated by making the centre look its best.  We have some pretty dahlias ready for cutting and flowering herbs that give a wonderful scent to any bouquet or arrangement.  Please do think of Tuppenny Barn if you want to buy a bouquet for someone and for any occasion as the flowers are cut the day before needed to give them a good long drink and will all be from site.  There are lots of local florists however most will buy all their stock from wholesalers and many stems will have come from abroad.  This week Lynne helped me by making a start on cutting flowers that are suitable for our autumn and christmas wreaths.  I will be running our popular natural christmas wreath workshops in December with Rosie so now is the time to start drying materials for them.


Some of our tomatoes, both outside and in the polytunnel have been subjected to the dreaded airborne blight disease.  From listening to other growers, blight has hit hard this year with many of them having to get rid of their tomato harvest.


This week the education team will be basing their holiday workshop on an orchard theme so our apple press has been cleaned down and ready for action as part of one of the activities.  The taste of freshly pressed apples is delicious and must be savoured.  There are a few spaces remaining on the morning session if anyone wants to sign up their children or grandchildren.


With the hastening of the seasons the elderberries are beginning to ripen so we need to get cropping them in preparation for making our most popular elderberry rob.  It is a favourite with many of the Tuppenny staff and volunteers as it is known to help your immune system for the colder months, the rob being rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.  For those of you that have elderberries in their garden and might want to have a go at making some yourselves, ask Christine for her tried and tested recipe that we use at Tuppenny when making batches of the rob.  Talking of Christine she has recently appeared in the new series of the Olive Magazine podcast produced by the BBC.  Christine Iverson can be found chatting about making natural kitchen remedies from foraged, grown and store cupboard ingredients as taken from her recent book. Listen to the episode here:


At a time when the world was supposed to be reducing waste, the pandemic has created new streams of it in the form of facemasks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). It was therefore heartening to read that Brighton & Hove city council, has become the first council in the UK to install PPE recycling bins across the city.  Processing the waste is the recycling firm, ReWorked, which turns it into furniture, shelters and — appropriately — bins.

An edible alternative to plastic has won the Green Alley Award for innovation in the circular economy. It is one of a number of viable alternatives to single-use packaging. Turning base metal into gold was the holy grail of medieval alchemists. Tantalising, but unachievable. So, what would be an equivalent quest in the 21st century? How about turning the scourge of plastic waste into something useful – like soil-nurturing compost? Or even an edible snack?  Sounds as likely as alchemy. But it’s here, and it’s happening, thanks to the German startup Traceless. This female-led firm has devised a technique to turn agricultural waste, such as starch or brewery residues, into a range of ‘plastic’ films, coatings and rigid materials. Since the resultant materials are made entirely from plant residue, they’re completely compostable, breaking down in two to nine weeks, depending on their thickness. That means they can go straight into the home compost bin, or added to anaerobic digesters to help generate biogas.  They are even safe to eat – although the taste might leave something to be desired. And as Traceless co-founder Dr Anne Lamp explains: “Should they end up in our environment or oceans, they break down completely into CO2 and H2O, leaving no residues, or they get eaten by animals [with no ill-effects]”.  The innovation won Traceless this year’s Green Alley Award. Initiated in 2014 by Landbell Group, a leading supplier of environmental and chemical compliance solutions, the award recognises and celebrates startups that are pushing the envelope within the burgeoning circular economy.  Since Traceless uses farming waste, it’s not competing for land with food crops – unlike, for example, some biofuels. It doesn’t rely on any harmful additives, solvents or chemicals. And compared to conventional oil-based plastics, the production methods save up to 87 per cent when it comes to carbon emissions.  The aim of the Green Alley Award is to encourage startups like Traceless to solve pressing problems with circular thinking. As founder Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of the Landbell Group, which hosts the prize, puts it: “We want to foster business models that combine resource conservation with economic success in a holistic, bio-circular approach”. Traceless, he says, epitomised that aim.


As an update on the lovely Darrin, he popped into Tuppenny on Friday.  He is having quite a tough time of it all and has yet another 6 rounds of chemotherapy to endure.  We have told him that his bread is much missed by the Tuppenny community and we all hope that he gets back to good health as soon as possible.  I know many people have been asking about his progress so we were able to tell him that everyone send love and good wishes.


I am delighted to say that we now have 2 new croppers in the gardening team, Debs and Helen and they have recently been put through training paces by Bev, our previous longstanding and much experienced member of the team, as there is much to learn