VegFest 2019 was a huge success – the grand finale to our year-long Veg Cities campaign, funded by the Cambridge City Council and Sustainable Food Cities.
Currently 80% of children and adults and 95% of teenagers are not eating the recommended 3.5 daily portions of vegetables. Increasing the availability of vegetables and encouraging people to consume more is necessary and has been the focus of this campaign.
However, adding more vegetables to your diet isn’t just good for your own health, but also good for the planet. Switching to a vegetarian diet or even reducing your dairy and meat intake could help to reduce GHG emissions by up to 29%. That’s a huge amount! So why not add more veggies to your diet?
We kick-started the week with a tasty allotment cookery tour, visiting Victoria Homes, Whitehill Cyrenians and Rock allotments to sample some delicious, freshly picked plant-based dishes. Sam Dyer and Alex Collis cooked up a beetroot salad and home-made gnocchi with fresh greens, whilst Tristan Welch treated us to crushed broad beans on toast with rhubarb and cider vinegar dressing and edible flowers. It was a great day learning all about allotments, growing your own veggies and how to make delicious food from fresh ingredients.
Throughout the week, many exciting events happened around the city. From an open morning at Rock allotments, to trying our hands at being organic farmers for the day thanks to CropShare, to community meals at The Edge Cafe, FoodCycle, Clay Farm Community Garden and Empty Common Community Garden and to The After School Club growing a Mini Mobile Vegetable Garden, there was vegetable fun for all.
Also, a special thank you to The Three Horseshoes, The Waterman, The Old Bicycle Shop, The Petersfield, The Cambridge BrewHouse, The Wandering Yak, Kura Kura, Nanna Mexico and Stem + Glory for creating veggie-inspired menus and dishes, showcasing the diversity of vegetables.
And finally, we had a fantastic day at the newly revamped Cambridge Museum of Technology and Othersyde, celebrating the final day of VegFest and Cambridge’s diverse food scene. We held a farmers’ market showcasing the best local food growers, makers and bakers in Cambridgeshire and a free town meal with dishes from around the world.
There was a full house for our free town lunch. With food from Rosie Sykes, Smithfield gastro-pub entrepreneur, cooking Fideua; Catalan pasta/paella, from Luthfa, who cooks for the City Council’s Holiday Lunches, cooking traditional Bangladeshi dishes; kidney-bean, chickpea, new potato curry rice and bhajis and from Abdul of Al-Amin Stores, Mill Road’s local emporium, making fresh falafel, pitta, salad and sauces. Absolutely divine food.
From getting creative thanks to Oblique Arts’ ‘Veg-Head’ art installation to competing in our very own Veg Olympead - carrot javelin, beetroot bowls and turnip shot-put were the events for the day - it was a great day out. The pictures say it all - lots of fun had by everyone.
Thank you to everyone involved and to those who came along and supported our events, celebrating all things vegetables! We hope you have been inspired to grow, cook and eat more vegetables. It’s better for your health and the environment - what’s not to love?