A tweet from Cultivate, the Oxford-based local food growing and sell-from-veg-van-co-op, a couple of days ago calling for rhubarb:
I get back to them and all of a sudden find that I’m a supplier. From today my allotment rhubarb glut will be put to good use and earn cash too. First delivery was 5kg. Wholesale price £2 per kg. As Mr Mickawber might have said “Result – happiness”.
The Garden Organic AGM at their magical demonstration organic garden site at Ryton-on-Dunsmore. President, Tim Lang is speaking. His riff is on why public health professionals are getting interested in growing. It’s the rise in the epidemic of non-communicable diseases: obesity, heart disease, cancer.
While 900 million people worldwide are hungry, 1.4 billion are obese. He wants to correct the relationship between people and food to promote health; a cultural issue. And he then goes on to name-check me for the “slightly quirky, crazy approach” I “pioneered at Warwickshire County Council by introducing the master composting and master gardening programmes.” Flattering, but I didn’t really have quite such vaulting ambition. More a case of reducing waste to landfill as part of our waste management programme.
What was really interesting though was the lady who stood up in the audience and told a story about how she was taking blood pressure tablets and suffering from diabetes until her GP told her to get an allotment three seasons ago. Since then she has lost 5 1/2 stone and no longer takes the tablets. And she looked healthy.
I’m starting this blog and the title is inspired by receiving an invitation to a Garden Party at the Palace, all thick card and gold edging for a date later in the month. It’s for my work with Garden Organic. Composting and all that. ‘We will have to go as Lord and Lady Muck then’ says my partner, from now on, Lady Muck. How right. A blog is born.