It Must Be Courgette Season Again!

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We had a bumper crop of courgettes at Plasnewydd Community Garden this weekend:

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After what felt like weeks of eating only courgettes last summer, I didn’t think I could come up with a new recipe involving them. However, using some vegan pesto, mushrooms, olives and gnocchi, ta daaaaaa…

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Plant-Based Pause No 42: Get Involved in Your Local Community

In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.

‘In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.’ – Albert Schweitzer

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As we already know by now, living plant-based is about much more than personal nutrition and health. The food that we choose to put in our mouths affects every other being on the planet. Since I chose to stop eating animal protein, so many other parts of my life have been affected as a result. I am constantly finding more ways that I can live more ethically and environmentally friendly. Which has led me to my very own doorstep.

Nowadays, not only do I shop local but I try to get involved with local activities as much as possible. The more we can look after ourselves from within our own communities, the less we have to rely on the Earth’s resources and the less of an impact we have on the planet.

I’m very lucky in the neighbourhood where I live. We have great local farmers’ markets, craft fairs, skills swaps workshops, groups and initiatives to improve the local area and opportunities to learn new skills from pottery to plumbing. We even have our own arts festival every year where the whole neighbourhood gets involved to showcase our local talent and share a fun-filled week of exhibitions, film showings and workshops.

My favourite local activity is the community garden where I volunteer. We have a few community gardens in the area, each with their own goals and visions, and ours is a great place to work alongside other volunteers, meet new people and learn about growing flowers and vegetables. As an added bonus, I get free fresh vegetables that I picked from the ground with my own hands (all the vegetables in the above photo came from the garden).

I know that I am fortunate. There are many more neighbourhoods out there that do not have these opportunities. That doesn’t mean you can’t start your own community activities and groups, though. Even something as small as a monthly book club can make a huge difference. I’d love to hear what activities you all have in your local communities. You might even give me some new ideas for my neighbourhood.

Travel theme: Bountiful

When I read that Ailsa’s travel theme this week is Bountiful, I immediately thought of our little community garden. OK, we may not be feeding the entire neighbourhood just yet, but we have seen some pretty good harvests for a previous piece of waste ground run by volunteers.

Click here to see more entries from this week’s travel theme.

Travel theme: Gardens

I couldn’t let this week’s travel theme go by without sharing some photos of the community garden where I volunteer here in Cardiff. It may not be the prettiest garden in the city, or the most organised. We’re not even sure what everything is that grows there. But it’s our little piece of paradise…

Click here to see more entries from this week’s travel theme.

Rainy Sunday

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One of my big things this year is to do more. I don’t want to run myself into the ground, but I do want to get involved in as many community activities as possible. I’ve got lots of exciting events coming up over the next few weeks that I can’t wait to tell you about.

Yesterday, I ventured into a Cardiff neighbourhood that I hadn’t really been to before and visited one of our local community gardens. Projects like the community garden are perfect for people like me. I really want to learn about growing my own food, but no plant will live longer than a few days in my damp, mouldy, one-bedroom apartment. Yesterday I helped to plant some daffodils, which will hopefully be blooming ready for St Davids Day at the beginning of March, but generally there isn’t too much to be done in the garden at the moment. I’m really looking forward to when the weather gets nicer and I can get stuck in to some of the fantastic projects they have planned.