• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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How a Teesside community project is tackling the vegetable shortage

Groundwork North East & Cumbria is helping the people of Tees Valley tackle the fresh fruit and vegetable shortage.

Poor weather across Europe’s farming areas has seen a poor year for tomatoes, lettuces, peppers and celery, meaning there is a shortage and higher prices expected to last for months.

Groundwork North East & Cumbria’s Street Eats project is food growing initiative, teaching Teessiders how to eat healthily on a budget by growing their own fruit and vegetables anywhere they can, including side streets and windowsills, alongside the traditional places, such as allotments and gardens.

Participants are given hands-on training to help them learn how to grow and cook vegetables and fruits from potatoes and carrots to strawberries and gooseberries. It also encourages people to share their produce to increase communitycohesion.

Everyone taking part is provided with all the tools, materials, plants and seeds they need to make the project a success.

Venues include social housing provider Coast & Country’s Westfield Farm, with all produce, grown on site, offered to those who take part in the activities, with the surplus being sold at a low prices to residents or given to local food banks.

Laura Ince-Henry, Street Eats Project Officer, said: “Street Eats aims to ensure that everyone has access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and knows how to make the most of them with delicious, easy to cook recipes.

“You don’t need to have a garden or allotment to take part, if you have a windowsill or a back yard you can grow delicious and healthy herbs, fruit and vegetables. Even if you don’t a space to use, you can skill come along and learn the skills, which will stand you in good stead for the future, plus we share what we grow with participants with the rest sold locally or given to foodbanks.”

Anyone interested in joining the Street Eats project should contact Laura Ince-Henry at Groundwork on 01642 815663 Ex.230 or email laura.Ince-Henry@groundwork.org.uk for an expression of interest form.