By Lu Jones, one of our INCREDIBLES 🥕
I heard about the Reading Red Kitchen and Care4Calais Christmas Party via our WhatsApp chat and started thinking about ways to contribute. I used to be a coordinator for Reading Red Kitchen, I stay in the chats in case I can help with any of the call outs etc.
My friend, Omera Waheed, mentioned that she’s been growing food from scraps and how brilliant it was all going. It’s inspired her to share the gardening love for folks dropping into Green Ways, which provides a Waste Not Free shop in Reading.
I said we'd had similar feedback about an Incredible Edible Reading community collaboration from our October 2023 event. I talked about bulbs and compost at the Christmas party, thinking about how these could be shared. I then took action and sent an email the Incredible Edible Reading Team to ask how it could happen! Beth suggested large pots for the outside area where Reading Red Kitchen & Care4Calais hold sessions for refugees. A plan was formed!
I suggested to Reading Red Kitchen and Care4Calais that we could ‘lasagne’ the bulbs in the two pots. ‘A lovely idea’ was the feedback 😀.
Kath, another one of our INCREDIBLES, dropped the new shiny Incredible Edible stamp, stickers and seed envelopes to me. I played with the stamp and did 20 labels for the pots, made up with compost, pea shoots and instructions. In hindsight, I'd wished I'd printed instructions for growing the peas beforehand!
Omera kindly collected me, 20L compost, pots, trowels, a potting mat, children’s gardening gloves, bulbs and pea shoots. It was a flurry of activity when we arrived setting everything up. 60-70 people were expected! Reading Red Kitchen volunteers set up the foodbank bags. Care4Calais volunteers sorted out some cakes and refreshments Tables and chairs
It was lovely to catch up with the Reading Red Kitchen volunteers and a few were interested in learning how to grow pea shoots. There was also a craft table, face painting, games and lots of activities.
When people started arriving, a few children were interested in the pea shoots, so I showed them how to make up the pots with peas and we were off!
I was hoping to get interest in putting together the large pots, but this didn’t really come together. In hindsight, I should have asked the people to add bulbs and compost when they came over to fill a pea pot. Next time! And there will be a next time! Having a few pots of pea shoots growing was helpful to show the result.
The proper pots over the paper cups or the recycled plastic bottle ends were more popular.
There were a few pea pots left at the end which went to volunteers. It was an INCREDIBLE community event, with everything being donated and run by volunteers. 💚
Are you interested in running a similar event? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org