This year our gardening volunteers have created a high street flower bed at the Vennel with the message ‘Healthy Eating, Healthy Planet’. Food accounts for about a third of our carbon footprint, so it’s really important to consider what we eat and where it comes from, and also to save money by not wasting it.
Our bodies are healthier when we eat lots of fruit & vegetables, and reduce meat consumption. This diet is also better for the planet, as fruit & veg require less resources to be produced, and we can grow a wide range locally, cutting down on transport and packaging. Organic food is better for us, and better for the environment: it avoids the use of chemicals, has higher animal welfare standards, and is nutritionally better.
The flower bed is designed in segments which radiate out from the centre: fruit, fish, vegetables, meat & dairy. The fruit segment includes strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and an apple tree. The ‘fish’ section features an abstract fish shape, represented with silver plants, with a watery blue background. The vegetable segment combines potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, chard, kale, kohl rabi, peas, beans – plus seeds which we hope will germinate over the summer! Meat is represented with succulent red begonias. The dairy section incorporates milk spilling out of a pail (which a naughty chicken has knocked over) as well as cheese segments.
We have kept the environmental impacts of our display to a minimum by growing many of the plants ourselves (reducing transport) in peat-free compost (peat bogs store carbon as well as being good for wildlife), and using recycled materials such as wire for the funky chickens and plants from our own gardens. We have also included flowers to attract pollinators – and the attention of passers-by!
We hope you enjoy the display as it grows over the summer months – our volunteers will be there every week, so please feel free to come and have a chat.