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Here in Fulflood in Winchester, Hampshire UK we are gathering support from the community to work together to reduce our carbon footprint and save money. We were set up as part of the Greening Campaign established by Terena Plowright that supports similar campaigns around the country.

Every year is different

The joy of Fruits of Fulflood is that each season is different from the last. The prolonged heat this year has been good for some (tomatoes, quinces, currants, early blackberries) but not for others (rhubarb, eating apples, raspberries).

A Bumper Crop of Tomatoes..
We have had the most wonderful crop of tomatoes both at home and at the allotment. One self-seeded plant became a monster tomato plant and produced over 10kgs of tomatoes. We still have one large bowl of ripening tomatoes in the kitchen.

So inevitably with such a harvest there have also been a number of green tomatoes to make lovely Green Tomato Chutney.

..and beautiful Quinces
We have been very lucky to be given a large number of absolutely beautiful, fragrant and ENORMOUS quinces. The largest were 400g. With these we made Paradise Chutney – beautiful pink chutney with quince and cranberries; and Membrillo – quince cheese, traditional in Spain and Portugal. A Portuguese customer at the Harvest Festival in October pronounced our membrillo as good as his grandmother’s – praise indeed!

Jamming Autumn 2017

We have lots of produce available for this year. I hope you will be interested in buying some. If you are, just send us a quick note on fof@greeningfulflood.org.uk.

Prices are:
Jam: £3 per jar or 4 for £10
Chutney: £3.50 per jar or 3 for £10

This is what we have available

Jams & Jellies

  • Blackberry & Apple Jam
  • Crab Apple Jelly
  • Plum Jam
  • Redcurrant Jelly
  • Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
  • Quince Jelly

Chutneys

  • Courgette Chutney
  • Spiced Plum Chutney

Jams available to buy

The gang have been very busy over the past few weeks. They have made lots of jams, jellies and chutneys to sell with all profits going to the Nightshelter.

I hope you will be interested in buying some. If you are, just send us a quick note on fof@greeningfulflood.org.uk.

Prices are £2.50 per jar of jam and £3 for chutney. Any three jars for £7.

Jams & Jellies

  • Blackcurrant Jam ** New **
  • Crab Apple Jelly
  • Plum Jam
  • Raspberry Jam ** Sold Out **
  • Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
  • Quince Jelly

Chutneys

  • Green Tomato Chutney
  • Rhubarb Chutney
  • Runner Bean Chutney (really good)
  • Spiced Plum Chutney ** Sold Out **

There is also Membrillo available. It is a Quince paste eaten with cheese (specifically manchego) priced between £1.50 and £3.

Feeling Fruity

FOF JamsBy the time you read this, Fruits of Fulflood will once again be in full swing happily diverting some of Fulflood’s unwanted fruit and veg from the compost heap. That can only mean one thing : time to make jam!

Three years ago in a particularly glut year, we noticed lots of apples were being left to rot on trees, ultimately dropping off and being wasted. Surely they could be put to better use? Out of this Fruits of Fulflood was born. Produce that would otherwise lie in gardens and on pavements is cooked up into delicious home-made jam, jelly and chutney. Now in its fourth year the project has saved well over a tonne of crab apples, apples, grapes, quince, rhubarb, plum, blackcurrant, gooseberry, redcurrant, raspberry, damson, japonica quince and even marrows and runner beans.

Some of the produce is good enough to be eaten so is donated whole to the Basics Bank and the Nightshelter and the rest processed into at least 12 different flavoured jams, juices and jellies. We also make some very popular chutneys. Last year we even made an experimental batch of marmalade with the St Paul’s Christingle oranges – if you would like to try a free jar do get in touch!

So far over 290 jars have been produced and sold at local autumn and Christmas fairs or direct to you, with all proceeds donated to local charities – Last year over £650 was raised and shared between Winchester Churches Nightshelter and the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group.

In an effort to support some of the more unusual flavours that go into the recipes we planted a long fruiting hedgerow at Western Primary School, provided by the Tree Council. In a year or two we should have a regular supply of elderflower, rose hips, sloes and mirabelle plum. We would like to plant more fruit trees and bushes in and around Fulflood – if you know of a suitable public space to plant a small bush or even a tree do let us know.

This year we are also planning our first Fulflood Apple Day in October, celebrating all things appley. The idea is to encourage you to bring along your own apples and juice them, or together we could try to make our first batch of Fulflood cider! Date and venue to be confirmed when we have a better idea of how good the apple harvest will be.

During the fruit season (June to November) all offers of help are gratefully accepted – there are lots of different ways to join in the fun :

  • Donate your surplus fruit – we will come and pick it or collect it from you
  • Come pick fruit one afternoon – we tend to spend a couple of hours a week picking during the autumn
  • Join us for an afternoon of jam-making – usually a Sunday afternoon
  • Send us your favourite jam or chutney recipe to try
  • Donate your prettiest jam jars to be re-used
  • Buy our jam!

All events will be advertised on the Greening Fulflood website where you can sign up for the newsletter or email fof@greeningfulflood.org.uk directly.

Giles Gooding

Walk for Winchester

feet-first-logo-low-resWinchester City Council’s new corporate campaign for 2016/17 is Feet First, a campaign to promote walking instead of driving for short journeys.

It is not yet clear what the campaign will consist of, but we all know walking instead of driving has numerous health benefits. It also helps cut pollution from transport, thus improving air quality. Currently it is estimated there are 40,000 early deaths from air pollution every year in the UK.

The UK exceeds EU pollution limits in many towns and cities across the country including Winchester. The limit for NO2 is 40gm3 and is broken on all the major arteries of the city with it being worst in St George’s Street (62), Jewry Street (52) and Romsey Road (64). Closer to home on Stockbridge Road the levels are lower at 27gm3 which doesn’t exceed the limit but is still quite high. A major source of NO2 is known to be exhaust emissions and although I can’t detect NO2 myself I can certainly smell high concentrations of exhaust fumes when I walk down towards the tunnel.

For us living in Fulflood, going into town is just one example of a short journey. To walk into the city centre takes about 15/20 mins, cycling is even quicker. There is also a regular daytime bus service. Driving in at most times during the day will take longer than walking if you allow for time to park your car and congestion.

Cars cost much more to run than most people realise, especially second cars that are not used as often. It could even be cheaper to rent a car for the few times you really need one than owning a second car. This might make you think twice about driving those short distances.

But there are times when you still need to travel longer distances and a car would be the most convenient. Perhaps one answer is to join a Car Club instead? Eastleigh has a successful scheme with 4 cars available to use around the town. It works because of business buy-in and is cheaper and easier to use for members than renting. It has been tried before in Winchester, but with better planning perhaps it could work this time.

Society puts many pressures on us and it is a shame that time is so short that we feel we need to rush around. Cars have allowed us to maintain this pressure at, I would say, the detriment to the community. But spring has sprung and the weather is getting better. What better time to get outside. Why not pledge to support the Council’s initiative and walk all small journeys and get to know the people around you even more.

Winchester City Council – Feet First

Giles Gooding

The Great Waste

tgw

 

 

 

What are the five things that go in the Green Recycling bin? Take a moment to answer the question and read on to see if you are right.

I hope you have heard of The Great Waste. Winchester City Council chose it as its corporate campaign for 2015/16 and partnered WinACC on a project to reduce waste and increase recycling in the district. They have run a number of interesting events over the year designed to extend the life of our possessions, increase recycling and reduce contamination.

We won’t know until April how effective it has been but even just walking down my street on a recycling collection day, I see recycle bins with incorrect items in them. This is a consequence of Local Authorities around the country recycling different things making it confusing for people that move to different areas.

Recycling in Hampshire dates back to the 1980s when the reduction in land fill use was urgent. They analysed what was in our black bins and created a recycling process that collected:  tins and cans; aerosols; paper; card and plastic bottles (no other plastic). How many did you get? All the other waste went for incineration and energy recovery. Since then, other than garden waste, no other waste streams were added.

So what are the contaminants and what happens to them? The main contaminant in our green bins is plastic containers (meat trays, yogurt pots, margarine tubs, ice cream tubs etc). We only recycle one type of plastic which is used in drink bottles. Even though other plastic items may have the recycling symbol on them, we can’t recycle them in Hampshire. The bottle top is the wrong plastic too and should be put in the black bin!

Plastic bags are another problem, particularly when full of recycling. The sorting process starts with pickers manually taking out unwanted items and if they come across a bag it is removed without opening it and sent for incineration. They used to open them until they found some unsavoury items and in one case a snake!

Residents in the St Pauls ward are part of the bin collection round with the highest contamination rates in the district. We could do better and perhaps we need to do a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall style street spot check to raise awareness. Any volunteers?

The Winchester district is above average in terms of recycling in Hampshire with more than 35% being recycled but this has largely stagnated since 2007 when slightly more was recycled. We are well below the best recycler South Oxfordshire at 67% but they collect other materials in their recycling bin. I guess this is the only way Winchester will improve rates significantly so contact your local councillor and express your views. Until then we can still improve and I hope to report later in the year that The Great Waste has made a difference.

Giles Gooding

http://www.thegreatwaste.org/