Eating locally grown and seasonal food is the best way to reduce your food carbon footprint. Lots of people are growing food in the Winchester District - in their allotments, gardens and window boxes. Each season we highlight a few of those people to inspire others to take up the trowel and get sowing. 

Email us as incredible.edible@winacc.org.uk if you have a food growing project or a bright idea you would like to feature in our e-newsletter or if you would like to receive our e-newsletter. 

St Bede's primary school pumpkin project 

For the last four years, Debbie Lockett has been growing pumpkin plants at her house and her parents’ house for the St Bede primary school summer fair in June.

'I buy the seeds and compost, but ask the garden centres for their old pots which they usually let me retrieve from their skips,' says Debbie, a mother of four. "The pumpkin plants always sell out and make around £200 for the school. The kids, parents and teachers then take them home with simple instructions and plant them out in gardens, allotments or in grow bags. The kids love to watch the plants grow - sometimes up to 9 ft long - and there is much excitement when the first flowers appear". 

In the Autumn, the Home School Association hold a harvest sale where children can bring their pumpkins to sell. They usually get two or three pumpkins per plant so have at least one to keep for Halloween and one to sell. Again, the proceeds go to the school, along with takings from the sale of other allotment and garden produce including jams and chutneys. 

Fruits of Fulflood - feeling fruity

Our rhubarb is ready to harvest, and it won’t be long before we are out picking currants, gooseberries and elderflower. 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. Fruits of Fulflood have been picking, processing and preserving surplus and unwanted fruit, nuts and vegetables donated by local residents. Now in its fourth year the project has saved well over a tonne of produce from the compost heap : crab apples, apples, grapes, quince, rhubarb, plums, blackcurrants, gooseberries, redcurrants, raspberry, damsons, 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 or the Nightshelter; the rest processed into jams, juices and jellies.

In previous years favourite flavours have included rhubarb and ginger, quince, gooseberry and elderflower and of course blackberry and apple. Chutneys are always popular too. The produce is sold at local fairs or you can buy from us direct; all proceeds are donated to local charities – last year over £650 was raised and shared between Winchester Churches Nightshelter and Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group.

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
  • Pick fruit with us – 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 – dates will be on our website (greeningfulflood.org.uk)
  • Send us your favourite jam or chutney recipe to try
  • Donate your prettiest jam jars to be re-used
  • Buy our jam!

To get in contact and see what we are doing please keep an eye on the Greening Fulflood website where you can sign up for the newsletter or email fof@greeningfulflood.org.uk directly.