Local Food & Gardening
- Environmental Sustainability
You can minimise food miles by buying local, seasonal produce. This will also help keep your local economy going. The best way to try to reduce your food miles is to grow some of the food you eat in your own garden or on a nearby allotment.
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Growing your own food can be a very satisfying activity, and can be done even if you only have a limited amount of time or space. If you have never grown vegetables before it is best to start small and easy; try growing salad leaves, tomatoes or courgettes in grow bags and potatoes in pots.
If you have success at home, and want to be more ambitious, you could rent an allotment. In North Norfolk allotments are administered by either town or parish councils. Alternatively you could register that you are looking for a piece of land to grow vegetables on with the Landshare website, which aims to link up those looking for land to people with spare land available.
The National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners website provides advice about allotments.
North Norfolk District Council's Position Statement on Allotments. This outlines the Council's position with regard to allotment provision in the District, including the current legal position, current provision of allotments within the district, and the Council's approach to assisting town or parish councils in responding to a need for allotments.
If you have a garden, composting is a great thing to do. Not only will it reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and the subsequent methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) emissions generated from the landfill site, it will provide free fertility and organic matter for your garden and vegetable patch.
If you buy compost, ensure it is specifically labelled as peat free. Peat bogs are irreplaceable, and as well as providing a habitat for rare plants and animals, they are good at storing carbon, so their existence can help to prevent this carbon being released into the atmosphere as CO2.
You should also seriously consider installing a water butt to help to provide the water that you may need to keep your vegetables and plants growing. They can be purchased at a discounted rate from Anglian Water.
For further information on saving water see our water and resources page.
Gardens provide valuable habitats for wildlife. It is advisable to have regard to your local biodiversity when gardening. Simple steps can be taken to protect and enhance the wildlife in your garden. Doing so could reduce the number of pests you have to contend with, for example hedgehogs will eat slugs!
For information specific to local species visit the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's website.
Another source of CO2 emissions associated with food production is that from the production of artificial fertilisers and pesticides. Therefore Organic Gardening is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact even further.
If you are not able to grow your own you can still made a difference by shopping locally at markets and independent shops and choosing locally produced goods. This will not only reduce your food miles, but will help to support the economy of North Norfolk.
Visit our farmers markets page to find out when and where they are held in the district.
How much of the food you buy ends up going in the bin? How much do you throw away after youíve cooked for your family?
Research by the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign shows that across Norfolk a third of the food we bring home from the supermarket gets binned, costing families £50 per month. Itís not just chicken bones and teabags, but good food that could have been eaten.
Astonishingly, the equivalent of 10 double decker bus loads of bananas and 7 million slices of bread are binned every day in the UK. It all adds up to an expensive recipe destined for landfill sites.
At a time when weíre all tightening our belts, reducing the amount of food we waste could save us around £600 per year.
Here are some simple ways you can slim your waste line.
- Look through your fridge and cupboards, then make a shopping list
- Freeze food before it reaches its use-by date
- Freeze wine, pesto or stock in ice cube trays so they can be used later in recipes
- Donít keep your bread in the fridge
For further tips, money saving ideas and leftover recipes visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.