The Replenish Project delivered by CAG Oxfordshire and funded by Oxfordshire County Council supports residents of Oxfordshire to grow and cook nutritious food with zero waste.
Here is a round up from Project Coordinator Anaïs on the highlights from the year.
Feed bellies, not bins
Globally, we’re going through a food waste crisis: one-third of all edible food produced across the world never gets eaten (1). This wastage is helping to drive climate change, with food waste being responsible for four times more greenhouse gas emissions than all aeroplane flights put together (2). In the UK, most of this food waste happens at home (3), so we’ve set out to help people make the most of their food and do their bit to protect the planet. We collaborate with community groups, schools and other local organisations to organise events that support people to eat well and waste less.
Transform food waste into living compost
Some food waste is inevitable, but most food that doesn’t get eaten can be transformed into compost at home. Compost is full of life and nutrients that can be added to our soils to support the soil ecosystem and feed our crops – meaning we can literally use waste food to grow more food! By ‘recycling’ our waste at home we also consume less energy and help to protect the environment.
Left: Food scraps getting broken down into compost by bacteria, worms and other organisms. Right: Squash plants in potting soil and nutrient-rich compost.
Get people growing
When we buy food in the supermarket, the time, labour and natural resources that went into getting it from farm to fork are almost invisible to us - which can make it hard to appreciate its full value. We believe that growing some of our own food helps us to connect with where our food comes from and encourages us to make the most of every last bite.
A snapshot of our activities this year: We’ve been running workshops to support people to make the most of food – such as this session on how to ferment vegetables. Participants learned about how fermentation can give wrinkly vegetables a new lease of life and had a go at fermenting vegetables like cucumbers and runner beans.
We’ve worked with a number of community-led groups to organise public events that bring people together and raise awareness around food waste. At a ‘disco soup’ event organised with Abundance Oxford and The Old Fire Station, volunteers fed the public with free soup made from food that would otherwise have gone to waste – all while blasting out disco bangers!
Participants at our 'no dig gardening' workshop learned about how using homemade compost and not digging the soil can support the soil ecosystem. They then had a go at creating a 'no dig' bed. Co-hosted with Oxford City Farm.