Food Durham led a Pumpkin Rescue this Autumn as part of its VegCities campaign, aiming to reduce food waste and raise awareness of local food production. We worked with a local farm and groups to promote local produce and help people turn leftover pumpkins into delicious meals.

Lots of us love to carve lanterns at Halloween events, but an estimated 8m pumpkins each year go straight to landfill in the UK because people don’t think of them as food.  We’ve joined HUBBUB’s Pumpkin Rescue campaign, working with groups in Pelton, Ushaw Moor, Bishop Auckland, Houghton le Spring, Gilesgate and Frosterley to spread the word about pumpkin waste and food waste in general, and share recipes to help make the most of this seasonal veg.

We also teamed up with the only pick-your-own pumpkin farmer in the County.  East Grange farm grew pumpkins for the first time this year – they hadn’t really thought about the link to food waste but were keen to get on board and share messages and recipes with customers.  We were delighted to be able to promote a local producer through our social media and help local groups to visit during half term to see how pumpkins were grown.  Although we’d organized for volunteers from Durham University to glean any leftovers after the 31st October, the pumpkins were so popular there were hardly any left!