“Every year over a quarter of all Halloween pumpkins end up in landfill – that’s 18,000 tonnes of food waste. Many more pumpkins go straight to the food waste bin or composting without being eaten
“Good Food Oxford are urging Oxford pumpkin carvers to join the biggest #PumpkinRescue yet,” Nina Osswald of Good Food Oxford explains, “because every pumpkin eaten is a step towards tackling the 7.1 million tonnes of food and drink that is thrown away from UK homes every year.”
The sixth Oxford Pumpkin Festival aims to change this by rescuing thousands of pumpkins from going to waste with a packed programme of fun events, meals and recipes we can all get involved with.
“This annual event is a celebration of food: creatively encouraging people to think about the food they throw away, challenging preconceptions and teaching new skills. November usually starts with a flood of pumpkins being wasted, but Good Food Oxford member organisations are encouraging people to“squash food waste” and eat –rather than discard –the flesh of their Halloween pumpkins,” Nina adds.
“The message is simple: Carve it, Cook it, Eat it –Don’t bin it!”
The festival is packed full of events from start to finish. There is something for everyone, with activities including pumpkin-themed market stalls, surplus food cook-ups, community events and specials at some of Oxford’s best cafés and eateries.
One highlight is the tour arranged by Oxfordshire Recycles at the Cassington Anaerobic Digestion Plant – where visitors will be able to see exactly where pumpkins and other food scraps go after they are put in the food recycling caddy. The tour is on Wednesday October 30 at 10am. Details for registration can be found in the pumpkin festival programme at https://goodfoodoxford.org/oxford-pumpkin-festival.
Sandy Lane Farm is offering a two-day squash and pumpkin celebration with barbecue, farm shop and more, today and tomorrow (October 26-27). Locally grown pumpkins are also available for sale at Oxford City Farm today Saturday, at community markets around Oxford (East, South, Wolvercote, Headington and North Parade Markets, and Talking Shop), Cultivate Oxford and Cultivate Online Shop, 2 North Parade, Wild Honey, Organic Deli and Bonners in the Covered Market.
Thos who want to eat out should try the menu at The White Hart Fyfield which features pumpkin specials using the pumpkins grown in their own kitchen garden.
HER IS OUR ARTICLE ABOUT THE PUMKIN MENU AT THE WHITE HART FYFIELD: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/its-pumpkin-mad-at-the-white-hart-in-fyfield-for-halloween-week/
To promote reducing pumpkin waste, the gastropub will also be handing out pumpkin recipes to its customers.
The festival will end with a huge Disco Soup event in Bonn Square on Saturday November 3 from 11am to 3pm. The event will provide the opportunity for members of the public to chop, dance, celebrate & eat pumpkin soup to the beat of the music.
“People can find out just how much edible delicious food is being wasted, whilst having a good time and helping make sure some of it gets into hungry bellies. The event will be completely free and accessible to all,” Nina explains.
Marta Lomza from the Replenish Project says: “When you buy something edible and then put it in the bin, you’re literally throwing your money away. Pumpkin Festival events will help you learn more ways to eat pumpkins, and you’ll save money in the process.”
And with a glut of pumpkins on Oxfordshire farms this year after the hot summer, it’s more important than ever.
Full festival programme with all event details: goodfoodoxford.org/oxford-pumpkin-festival and keep an eye on #PumpkinRescue on Twitter
All events promote seasonal eating and not wasting food, accompanied by recipe cards with easy tips to reduce food waste.