December 2020

Environmentally ugly, bad and good of 2020

A few years ago, at a social function with a fish and chip dinner, I remarked to a friend of my eldest offspring about the evils of using our plastic knives and forks.

Plastic – so useful and adaptable for many things – was humanity’s scourge, I started. It never breaks down fully, I ventured, becoming microplastics. Much of it ended up in our waterways and ultimately in our seas, I added. (The statistic that the plastic in our seas could outweigh the fish by 2050 if we continue to use it at the same rate is still a well floated one. Source: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.)

I told my captivated, shocked, listener that plastics – microplastics – end up in the very bottom of our seabed, nibbled on by plankton. If not the larger fish before that. So it could well be in our food chain already. (And last week a published study found microplastics in placentas – we’ll come to that).

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Pomelo, artichoke, fennel and passion fruit

Unusual fruit salad and other Oddbox wonders

The joy of finding something new and environmentally beneficial at the end of a troublesome year brings hope, enlightenment and a sense of fresh beginnings. And it has been very timely indeed.

I have mentioned Oddbox before. My first delivery was fascinating. I knew this home delivered (in the dead of night no less) fruit and vegetable package to be rescuing food that would otherwise fall out of the supply chain. Items are rescued from the UK and abroad. 

I wouldn’t have bought beetroot or melon at this time of year. I was certainly pleasantly surprised by purple carrots!

Oddbox doesn’t allow you to choose what arrives. What they can deliver entirely depends on what is available – that would be going to waste. But the choices of boxes do say how many types of vegetable or fruit will be contained within.

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SweetPotatoes

Sweet potato experiment: results you’ve all awaited

How did the sweet potatoes go this year, I hear you ask? I’ve been flooded with enquiries. You’ll remember I planted them as this year’s experiment in the garden, to expand the range of what I knew how to grow.

Those sweet looking plants arrived with beard-looking roots back in May. I planted them variously. A few in growbags, like the pictures from Marshalls suggested would be an idea. I downloaded and printed off a set of reasonably specific instructions from the RHS website.

They seemed like a great source. They train people in how to garden. And my cousin also uses them as his “go to” for advice. He’d decided to join me in growing these, although I think he started much later and decided to nurture something tangible for next year.

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