We’ve been getting our teeth into a mountain of mouthwatering vegetables – thanks to the fantastic work of patient Julie Lowe.
She helps runs the The Big Red Food Shed social enterprise project in Brimington, near Chesterfield, which grows food for the local community using innovative methods to produce high yields from small spaces.
These include Wicking Beds, Kratky Beds, Vertical Crops, Aquaponics and tunnels and the results are amazing. Alongside traditional fruit and vegetables ‘The Big Red’ produces a wide range of unusual varieties such as tromboncino (The Sicilian) courgettes and lemon cucumbers.
And After hearing about a glut of gorgeous vegetables that the project was unable to sell or donate, the one80dental team happily accepted some surplus stock.
“We have had some amazing and colourful vegetables which we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed finding out about, cooking and eating,” said one80dental Practice Manager Zoe Rosenbaum.
“It would have been criminal to have let such beautiful produce go to waste and the work that Julie and the team at The Big Red do is just so fantastic, we were really happy to make a donation too.”
The Big Red was set up four years ago and provides about 5,500 hours of voluntary work a year for the unemployed, people with learning disabilities, mental and physical health problems and those on probation and in recovery.
Food that is not sold to the local community or bought through our VegBags scheme is donated to a range of local groups including The Senior Citizens Lunch Club in Brimington, Grub Trade, St Marys Café for Homeless People, The Lighthouse Community and Sheffield Food Banks.
Julie, a former Chesterfield councilor, said: “We want to help change social inequality by feeding the community with the best food we can in an environment which in itself helps people to change their lifestyles for the better.
“We provide a safe space for developing confidence and improving health and well-being through gardening and growing food for the community we serve.
“It was great that Zoe and the team at one80dental accepted some of our surplus and it was really rewarding for our people to hear just how much the food they’d grown was enjoyed.”