What have we been up to this year?

We’ve come to the end of another year of the Replenish project! Here’s a look back at some of our highlights this year…

Making the food journey visible

We are increasingly disconnected from the food we eat. It can be hard to know about where our food comes from and how it was produced. The same goes for what happens to the food we waste after we throw it in the bin – and the impact this has on our planet.

Through our work in the community this year, we’ve tried to make the invisible visible.

We help people to reconnect with where their food comes from, how we can avoid wasting it, and how we can deal with our waste responsibly by composting it. We encourage people to get involved in their own food supply chain by having a go at growing their own food!

We’ve been cooking up a storm!

We’ve been working with community groups and volunteers to run cooking workshops that help people cook sustainably and avoid food waste.

At the Down to Earth community café, residents get together to ‘chop and chat’, turning surplus food that would have gone to waste into a feast for their local community. The fabulous facilitator Kate shares her ideas for ways to avoid waste in the kitchen and cut our carbon ‘food’ print through actions like buying locally and having a more plant-based diet.

Who needs a kitchen to cook? At Stonehill Community Garden, residents got together for a series of cooking workshops using a ‘rocket stove’.

Tutor Joanna shared her amazing array of knowledge for ways to get all the goodness out of seasonal produce: from preserving it through methods like drying and pickling, to using scraps (like leek tops and vegetable peels) to make tasty meals and snacks.

Harnessing the power of worms…

Our home composting workshops were one of our biggest hits last year, and this year we ran them again – but with a twist.

We wanted to see how we could make composting even more eco-friendly and affordable by teaching people to make their own composters from scrap materials.

We got hold of old plastic boxes and tubs used for catering and upcycled them into worm farms. We then had a great making session with residents at Oxford City Farm.

Our worms even got a taste of fame when our worm farm was displayed as part of an exhibition at Arts the Old Fire Station in Oxford!

… and taking our work to schools!

We partnered with local charity SOFEA on their Nourish and Flourish programme, embedding nutrition and food citizenship into the primary curriculum.

In our sessions, pupils learned about how waste is recycled in nature by conducting an outdoor soil investigation. They then applied this recycling principle to food waste, by learning about composting and checking out our worm farm composter!

Through this we learned that it wasn’t food ‘waste’ at all – and that compost is a valuable resource that we can use to grow new food… and so the cycle begins again! Many hands got to setting up a growing area, in which we used compost to grow vegetables including courgettes, squash and salad greens.

We’d like to thank Harvest at Home for their donated garden equipment.

A warm welcome to our new project coordinator

After running the Replenish project for four years, our project coordinator Anaïs is handing it over to the new coordinator Jo. With a background in nutrition, Jo is passionate about reducing waste as well as being a keen gardener. It’s good to know the project will be in safe hands! Jo has written a blog post introducing herself here.

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