Manchester Organic Gardeners

In recent years when MOG (Manchester Organic Gardeners) have attended various events that promote interest in healthy living and growing food, we have invariably met our friends from the Wythenshawe Real Food Programme. We have been delighted to work with the Real Food team since the project began and have been impressed by the scale of the project and the breadth and depth of what it has been able to achieve since it began.

Over the time that we have been meeting the team at events such as the Wythenshawe Garden City Festival and the Wythenshawe Games, we have seen how the programme has developed following the themes of the project. For example, at the most recent festival, the team were delivering really tasty juices, made as you watched, including fruit and also a selection of the greens that support the recommended “five a day”. One unusual blend included Kale and Pineapple as well as other ingredients, which when sampled proved to be really very tasty and a good way to use fresh fruit and vegetables in a different way.

We have seen the team carry out simple cookery demonstrations encouraging people from the local community to cook from scratch, hopefully using some ingredients that they have helped to grow. Again, having sampled some of the dishes, we can vouch for them being tasty as well as easy to make!

At the same recent show, other members of the team were collecting information from local people to map information about local growing. The plan being that surplus harvested food can be shared amongst the whole community, using a map to add markers to show the locations.

We have been so impressed by the great enthusiasm shown by the members of the Real Food team and have noticed that every time we meet, their displays are always really attractive as well as informative. Owing to the delightful displays as well as the cheerful approach of the team, they attract good numbers of people, of all ages, to their activities and their information stand; spreading the word about the benefits of growing your own food, eating a more healthy diet and the simple ways to cook the produce when it is available.

As with all such schemes, this programme continues to develop and we would be very supportive of their plans to extend funding for the programme when the current period of funding comes to an end.

Jane E Barkess, Hon Secretary
Manchester Organic Gardeners