Another important issue we looked at was growing your own food and the very complicated issue of FOOD MILES. Flying apples from New Zealand whilst we let apples rot on the ground in Hereford -because they do not look as pretty- does seem wrong by anyone's standards. One of the most popular items on our Eco-Code is
"6: Growing our own Fruit and vegetables at home. Promote the benefits of Faitrade and locally produced food."
We saw Kris who showed us his garden to one side of the G24i plot. He supplies the canteen with fresh food and he gets to grow stuff for himself too.
We took turns going inside his simple polytunnel, which reminded several of us of the Eden Project with the heat. Even though it has large vented doors and it's a Welsh Summer it was very hot inside and Kris told us that the Cucumbers, tomatoes and Chillies loved such conditions. Equally good was that slugs and snails shrivelled up in the heat before they got near his plants. There were lots of shrubs and flowers around that Kris kept so that lots of minibeast predators such as ladybird larvae etc would eat any pests such as aphids.
He told us that he particularly like growing different varieties of unusual crops. He has some blue salad potatoes growing outside and lots of different varieties of chillie. Last year he used them to make a 100 chillie sauce. Hr liked growing speciallity superhot chillies too
These are sold at the Riverside Food Market during the summer.
We visited a local producer of tomatoes who uses lots of sustainable practices.
We looked at a list of items and where they came from and then had to work out where it was on a map and how far the fruit and vegetables had to travel and by what methods. Car ship or plane.
As our partner school is in Kenya we are always very interested to learn about produce that comes from there. One of the issues is how crops such as green beans are grown low tech without tractors or lots of pesticides. It was said that a 6 mile trip to the supermarket uses more CO2 that flying the Green Beans to the UK. This is not an arguement against Air Miles or local produce, in fact it should hopefully make you think about the trip to the supermarket. Why not use local shops or the farmers market which will also help rebuild local communities. Use a bike or make sure the car is fuel efficient.
Best of all follow Kris's example and grow your own food.The children love cooking and having grown the food yourself we think makes it tastes even better.
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