Slow Food Norwich were approached by Tessa from HUBBUB last spring to see if we would represent Norwich in this year years Pumpkin Rescue project which is being held in cities all across the UK.
Pumpkin Rescue began last year in the city of Oxford where over twenty groups took part in events across the city and with more than 2,000 people attending these varied events, which included workshops, dinners and other food related events on the day.
This year Hubbub has been involved with setting up pumpkin rescue festivals in more than 20 cities which includes our city of Norwich in East Anglia, our region being one of the largest growers of pumpkins in the UK and with that we have a large amount of waste left over after the October celebrations of Halloween.
HUBBUB has been very supportive of groups across the UK to help promote this festival this year and they hope that this will grow both in size and importance over the coming years, and already a city in the US has joined in this years activities.
The Pumpkin rescue is an example of where Slow Food in Norwich and also across the UK can be involved on the ground with important environmental projects, our ethos at Slow Food Norwich is to both protect good clean local foods and also promote responsible sustainable initiatives in the city and Norfolk.
One of the Slow Food Anglia Approved members the FirePitCamp are also playing a active part in the promotion of the Pumpkin Rescue festival, they are holding a special Halloween event at their great venue which is just outside of Norwich and they will be active in promoting the festival aims of reducing waste during this time of year.
We hope to hold our first dedicated Slow Food festival in Norwich in 2016 with the backing of Slow Food Anglia and Slow Food England, this will be similar to the festival held by Slow Food Anglia in Colchester in September.
Slow Food Norwich is now working on various ideas to bring to the notice of the public in both Norwich and Norfolk the waste problem that arises from the huge amount of pumpkins that are either consumed or used as part of the Halloween festivities.
Norwich City Council approached us to see what part they could play in this years events and they will be sending press releases out across the city about the festival, in 2016 they plan to play a much larger role in waste management promotion with Slow food Norwich during the Halloween festivities in the city.
The Pumpkin rescue festival is of course more than just aimed at the waste that is left after Halloween, it is part of the further education of the public about the large food waste problem that is created every day across the whole country and how we can all play a part in countering this every growing problem.
We hope to include local voluntary groups across the city as well as our Slow Food members in playing an active role in promoting the best ways to dispose of the pumpkin waste and we will be updating this blog in the weeks before Halloween.