Making a pledge for more veg!
As a nation, why don’t we eat enough fruit and veg?
Perhaps you remember school cabbage, overcooked Brussels sprouts or even tinned carrots… yuck! Maybe it is too expensive. Or maybe you don’t know what to do with them. Maybe it’s because they taste different every time you eat them? A strawberry in December tastes nothing like a strawberry in the height of summer!
I get all that, but fruit and vegetables are so good for you. So what can we do to encourage reluctant veg eaters?
Times are changing with the advent of the Food Foundation’s Veg Advocates. This is an army of people actively working together to encourage the public to eat more veg… not an easy task! I signed up to become a Veg Advocate before lockdown. I wanted to explore different ways of promoting vegetables and work with other like-minded people who wanted to make a difference.
The five-a-day message has been around for years but we still can’t manage to achieve that. So looking at different ways to engage, encourage and get people to eat more veg is critical.
Sow and Grow
This is where Peas Please comes into the story. Peas Please is a group of committed Veg Advocates working with supermarkets, local shops, educators and anyone else who will listen! Our aim is to encourage the nation to eat just one more vegetable each day – easy peasy! I was fortunate to get a small amount of money from Peas Please to work with a group of people attending a Smart Cooking class at Greener Kirkcaldy.
We started our Sow and Grow programme – nurturing seeds into lovely home grown veg. We gave the group everything they needed to plant and look after their seeds. To get started all we needed was seeds, soil, containers, sunshine and water. We didn’t even need plant pots, we improvised with empty yoghurt pots.
Growing peas reminded me of my childhood shelling peas sitting on my Granny’s doorstep, where more went into my mouth than the pan! We had some successes and some failures, but overall the group enjoyed themselves.
“ I was really inspired by Lyndsay taking the time to show us simple ways to grow vegetables from seed, using pots or containers that could fit into any small garden. I have enjoyed my crop of fresh peas, rocket, lettuce leaves and radishes this summer. I would like to keep this habit going and get the benefit of fresh vegetables throughout the year.”
“I think it has been good for families to plant seeds with kids so they can see where their veg comes from.”
At the end of the day, I don’t think we will put Birds Eye out of business! But we learned where our veg comes from. We didn’t need to go to the shops for it and we didn’t need packaging. And it was very cheap. For just the price of a packet of seeds we were able to enjoy some delicious fresh veg.
Why not try growing your own vegetables? You might be pleasantly surprised with your results!
Lyndsay Clark, Community Food Volunteer
Greener Kirkcaldy runs regular cooking and growing workshops throughout the year. Check our events page for details of upcoming workshops.