Gaia’s Harvest: Recipes + More!

On Saturday, we donned our raincoats and wellies and headed down to the Old Print Works in Balsall Heath to celebrate Gaia’s Harvest in the rain!

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Over the past six months or so, the community garden has been transformed from a neglected courtyard to a blossoming garden bursting with an abundance of fruit, veggies and useful plants, planted and nurtured by an amazing team of dedicated volunteers since it’s opening back in May.

 

Despite the *very* wet weather on Saturday (it wouldn’t be England if it didn’t chuck it down, would it?!) we had an awesome day celebrating the changing seasons and everything that the team have achieved in the garden, using the home grown produce to create an incredible community feast.

 

On the menu of tasty treats rustled up on the day were pudina pickle potatoes, pea and parsley soup, lentil and marrow bake, vegan pesto pasta bake, and cheese, chive and sweetcorn and muffins, to name just a few, and all washed down with our homemade raspberry and rhubarb squash – yum!

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If you fancy having a go at the delicious dishes we made on Saturday, check out the recipes we followed below!

 

Pudina Pickle Potatoes. – This pickle is a great way to use loads of mint, which grows like wildfire in Gaia’s Garden, and is really great for your digestion. You can use it as a curry paste and cook up meat or fish in it, although we went for some home grown potatoes. To tone down the flavour if it’s too strong for you, add a tin of coconut milk when simmering the curry down. Delicious!

Pea and Parsley Soup – A classic bit of Nigel Slater! Just remember not to let the soup boil – if you heat it more gently you’ll preserve more of the nutrients. Parlsey is high in vitamins A, C and K, and it’s really easy to grow, so get some in your diet!

Lentil and Marrow Bake – We made a veggie version of this, but you can see why bacon would really complement the mild flavour of marrow.

Cheese, Chive and sweetcorn muffins – Using Gaia’s Garden homegrown sweetcorn and chives, these are a yummy savoury breakfast treat, and really easy to make.

 

Amongst the other dishes served up, we threw together a really simple vegan pesto, with rocket and sorrel from the garden, along with olive oil, cashew nuts, salt, pepper and some lemon juice to loosen it up. We combined this with tomatoes, sweetcorn and runner beans, all from the harvest, along with some penne pasta.
And to wash it all down, we also made raspberry and rhubarb squash, simply by simmering loads of these fruits up with sugar to taste, then straining it. Just add water, ice and a cheeky slice of lemon and you are good to go! So refreshing!

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A huge thank you to everyone who came along to visit us on the day, Tessa Lowe for the tea runs, Ria Moeyens for all of the delicious breads and energy bars, and Elaine Ring for the chocolate cornflake cakes! AND, of course, thank you to all of the volunteers who have popped along over the last six months to get your fingers green in Gaia’s Garden! Whether you came by just once or twice or got involved every week – we couldn’t have transformed the garden in to the beautiful, blossoming space without you all!

Old Print Works Open Day

It’s shaping up to be an exciting weekend at the Old Print Works! Not only have we got Gaia’s Harvest to look forward to on Saturday 10th September (find out more about that here) but it just so happens to be Old Print Works Open Day, too! Amongst the programme of activity, all of this week MAK! studio have been holding a Makers Workshops to build two new bars for the Old Print Works, and members of the community have got involved to help out! On Saturday, there will be film screenings, live music, DJ’s and street art from 2pm – 10pm, and of course, a delicious homegrown feast courtesy of the green-fingered folk at Gaia’s Garden! Not familiar with the Old Print Works? We asked the team there a few questions to find out more…

-What is the Old Print Works?

The Old Print Works is an old factory on the Moseley Road in Birmingham that used to design and print transfers for branding items from steam engines to tennis rackets as well as many others in Britain’s then large manufacturing industry, instrumental in introducing colour into branding in the UK. The Old Print Works is now a thriving maker and creative community.

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-What is the Old Print Works mission?

We are a diverse and welcoming community that believes in the transformative power of making and creativity. Through mutual skill sharing we are building a resilient, sustainable and cooperative future. The Old Print Works is run by a charitable company, Make It Sustainable, with collaboration from diverse partners.

What sort of events and activities is the Old Print Works home to?

We host makers and artists in studios and workshops; we act as a platform for community-focused groups such as Sundragon Pottery and Ort Gallery. We host the amazing Ort Café and a range of events from music, theatre to art.

How does the Old Print Works benefit and work with the local community?

We host community-focused partners and events, providing opportunities and spaces for collaboration. We have shared makerspaces where local people get the chance to be creative, explore materials and processes and learn new skills.

How does this tie in with Brum Spirit’s theme of We’re In This Together? We share a value of inclusion.  We want to make a difference to our local community.  We believe everyone has something to learn and something to teach.  A sharing community is a stronger, better and more welcoming community.

What other community events has the Old Print Works been involved in?

The Old Print Works is a platform for people to make things happen; an enabler and a safe haven for makers, artists and musicians to engage with the local and wider community.  We have hosted open days, taster sessions, and celebrations and are regularly open to the community for a variety of activities.

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What does the future hold for the Old Print Works?

The Old Print Works is going from strength to strength, in partnership with a strong and growing community of creatives that share our vision.  Purchase of our building will cement our business model and our sustainability largely without grant support.

-Where can we find out more about the Old Print Works?

Take a look at our website www.oldprintworks.org.

Head to their Facebook event page here for more on the Open Day.