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Spending Time in the Garden or Allotment is Great for your Body and Mind

The Food Partnership supports a huge range of projects based around food growing and community gardening, improving local environments and demonstrating sustainable living. There are over 75 community gardens just in Brighton & Hove, with many more across Sussex, and we maintain our own projects with the help of volunteers, including a vegetable garden in Preston Park, the community garden at Saunders Park and an orchard at Racehill (with Brighton Permaculture Trust). It’s a fantastic way to get outdoors, meet other people, have a cuppa and even go home with some produce (if you’re lucky!).

The benefits of spending time in the garden, to both body and mind, are well known, and what better way to celebrate this than by supporting National Allotment Week (August 13-19th). The week, organised by The National Allotment Society celebrates allotment plots up and down the UK, encouraging everyone to explore what their local community can offer in terms of growing your own.

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This year’s theme is ‘Living and Growing’. It highlights the importance of growing your own food and bringing gardening into your life. Even if you don’t have an allotment, there are lots of things you can still grow with little space such as herbs on a windowsill or tomatoes in pots.

Growing your own has many advantages:

  • Fresher, more nutritious produce
  • Growing organically therefore avoiding the use of harmful chemicals
  • Harvesting the produce at just the right time
  • Spending time outdoors, getting a dose of Vitamin D
  • Sense of achievement and satisfaction (if you manage to grow something edible!)

The consistently warm weather has been challenging for some as the lack of rain has hampered crops but try to beat the heat by eating to keep cool, with lots of vegetables and delicious salads, to accompany a BBQ or simply on their own.

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Eating seasonally is great if you can, so if you find yourself with a glut of something from a local garden here’s what you can do:

Courgettes/Marrows:

The former is a joy to grow and harvest but leave it too long and you are left with the latter. Here are a couple of simple but delicious way to use either up!

http://bhfood.org.uk/recipes/smashed-courgette-paste/

http://bhfood.org.uk/recipes/roasted-tomatoes-and-courgettes/

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Make a Chutney/Jam:

If you have an abundance of berries or surplus veg, making a chutney or jam is a great idea

http://bhfood.org.uk/recipes/carols-summer-vegetable-chutney/

http://bhfood.org.uk/recipes/strawberry-jam/

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Potatoes:

You can’t beat the taste of home grown spuds, so try one of the following recipes:

http://bhfood.org.uk/recipes/new-potato-salad/

http://bhfood.org.uk/recipes/spanish-tortilla/

If you would like to learn more about community gardening projects or local composting schemes, browse the map and listings on the Food Partnership website.

http://bhfood.org.uk/directory-map/

And why not sign up to a cookery course in the brand-new Community Kitchen? Cook, learn new skills and enjoy a meal together!

http://bhfood.org.uk/events/a-taste-of-summer-seasonal-cookery/

www.bhfood.org.uk/events

http://bhfood.org.uk/events/fill-your-freezer-batch-cooking/ http://bhfood.org.uk/events/jamies-ministry-of-food-cookery-course/

 

If you’d like to find out more about healthy eating, please visit The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership at http://bhfood.org.uk/

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