Blog by Lauren Goldberg, Feeding the 5000
Hello Pumpkin Festival Friends!
The inaugural Oxford Pumpkin Festival will guide us into autumn and winter, usher in new seasons, and showcase the bounty (and waste) of the wondrous squash.
During this time, the mighty pumpkin proliferates, and we are lucky to have such hearty, long-lasting nutritious veg to embrace us through the cooling days of winter. Pumpkins’ preserving outer layer helps them store in cool, dry places, so we can stock up on them during Halloween time and enjoy eating them for months!
The abundance of this precious cucurbit is a delicious tool for the Pumpkin Festival to use to highlight the catastrophe of food waste.
As you know, more than a third of the world’s food is wasted, contributing to global warming, food price rises and hunger. Meanwhile forests are being destroyed to grow more food and nearly a billion people go hungry. Avoiding food waste at events like the Oxford Pumpkin Festival is a simple and scrumptious way of contributing to the solution to these problems.
Another delectable option is gleaning. Last year, Gleaning Network UK harvested over eleven tonnes of pumpkins that would otherwise have been ploughed back into the field. We then hosted an epic pumping pumpkin peeling party set to music, inspired by our friends from Disco Soup. We chopped over a tonne of pumpkins and donated the whole lot to over five food rescue groups.
Before it was a staple on our Halloween carving calendars, pumpkins were used as lanterns, as well as to ward off evil spirits. Many uses for the monstrous pumpkin! When carving your lantern this year, you can save the pulp and seeds inside, and they can be turned into yummy treats. These and other food-waste prevention activities are part of the cooking workshops at the inaugural Pumpkin Festival!