The Carbon Footprint Of Food
The carbon footprint of food is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food we eat. Throughout any food’s lifecycle different greenhouse gases may be emitted, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, each with a greater or lesser ability to trap heat in the atmosphere. Carbon emissions from food account for as much as a quarter of all human carbon emissions. If the effect of deforestation to make space for farmland is included, food contributes over 30% to our individual carbon footprint. In the UK just under half of our food carbon footprint comes from producing food, about 25% from processing, 20% from transport and 10% from packaging. We can achieve big reductions in our personal carbon footprint by changing our diet, while helping to reduce pollution, preserve the environment and slow global warming. Many of these changes will also save money, improve our health and even keep us fit! Click for more information and ten tips on how to reduce the carbon emissions associated with your diet.
Food1Grower’s Market
Too Many Beans? Fancy swapping or selling some of your surplus produce or simply buying very fresh local veg?  The Growers’ Market started some years ago as a stall selling home grown produce during the growing season (May – October). It is located on the Wynd on the SECOND Saturday of the month from 9am to 1pm. We are hoping the stall timing will align with the volunteer sessions and a children’s gardening club at the Wynd community garden, which the team will be helping to facilitate.

In addition to fruit and veg, the Grower’s Market stall also accepts home produced eggs, jams, chutney and honey.  Seedlings are also welcome and we accept home baking if it contains a home grown ingredient. Please wrap any offerings (in greaseproof paper or in recycled plastic boxes) and provide a list of ingredients. If you don’t see anything you’d like on the stall you can take a voucher for future use.

The Growers’ Market limits food miles and reduces waste by providing a way to distribute surplus home grown fruit and vegetables.  It also encourages people to try growing their own by demonstrating how easy it is to produce fresh food in your own garden.

Apple Pressing
Letchworth has hundreds of apple trees and in a bid to use as much of the fruit as possible TTL has run apple pressing days in Autumn for the last few years. Everyone is invited to bring apples they’ve picked from their garden or from wild trees and get involved in scratting, pressing and bottling. We advise attendees to bring some clean bottles to take juice home in.  Some have even been known to bring kegs to fill for cider-making!  Kids big and small enjoy this one and the juice is like nothing you’ve ever bought from a shop.  Keep an eye on our calendar for this year’s dates.

Woolgrove Allotment Project
TTL’s new project is a family learning allotment. NHDC have kindly donated the use of an allotment on the Woolgrove site which is intended as a learning space for families who live on the estate to come together to learn how to grow vegetables and fruit on their own raised bed. Tuition will be given weekly by TTL volunteers. LGCHF have granted us money to buy a shed and other essentials.

Food2LOG (Letchworth and district Organic Gardeners)
TTL was involved in forming the local group of Garden Organic. This group now runs independently of TTL with a membership fee of £3 a year. For this you will get all the benefits that go with Garden Organic membership. TTL can put you in touch with the group co-ordinator. LOG is a support and social group for people growing their own produce. It meets most months for talks, visits to places of interest or social meetings at members houses , to swap ideas, seeds and share a cup of tea and a slice of cake.  The members of LOG are of mixed age and ability – anyone with an interest in growing food is welcome, whether you’re a beginner or an old hand.


The joys of GIY – Grow It Yourself

The ongoing pandemic has made us think about food security. Over the coming months social distancing may require many of us to spend more time at home. Given that the timing aligns with the start of the growing season, why not use this time to help repair the climate by starting to grow some of your own food? One of the most exciting aspects of gardening, for me, is the watching and waiting and finally the appearance, of plants from seeds I have sown. It’s magic! The other is harvesting the crop—especially potatoes. Since I was about nine years old … more

Lifestyle changes to limit Covid-19 also help to repair our climate

We are in the grip of the Covid-19 crisis. It is restricting us in all areas of life, and causes so much suffering. But we know it will pass, and afterwards we will re-orient ourselves. Other topics will re-emerge, one of which will certainly be climate change. How will we look back and reflect then? Here a few numbers on our carbon footprints, and what effect the current restrictions have on it. Taking into account UK production and import of goods, the average person in the UK produces 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per year. To gradually achieve … more

Support Given To Start An Educational Allotment for Letchworth Families

Transition Town Letchworth have received support from Letchworth Heritage Foundation and North Herts District Council to set up an educational allotment on the Woolgrove Allotment Site. NHDC are providing the allotment and the Heritage Foundation have provided a grant which will fund a small shed, tools and raised beds for the allotment. The project team are also monitoring Freecycle, looking for items like unwanted garden tools and paving slabs so the project can be delivered with as lower carbon footprint as possible. Diane Ketcher and Hilary Howell from Letchworth Organic Gardening group will be leading the project. Diane explained that “our aim … more

Transition Town Letchworth response to NHDC declaration of a ‘Climate Emergency’

North Herts District Council declared a Climate Emergency at its meeting on 21 May 2019. Transition Town Letchworth (TTL) formed in 2008 and have been undertaking activities to tackle climate change with a local perspective. TTL activities range from helping individuals make lifestyle changes through to strategic activities, like producing a proposal for a cycle network. TTL are keen to work with the council on projects to address climate change going forward, as TTL have done in the recent past with the Plastic Free Letchworth project and the project to install additional cycle parking at community venues and schools across the town. The council … more

Tackling Climate Change One Milk Carton At A Time

Recently we have seen high profile public campaigns seeking to persuade those in office to take action to address climate change. As individuals we regularly feel disempowered. But sometimes there are some politically difficult problems that individuals can get on with solving, leading by example. As part of the Plastic Free Letchworth team we have been talking to local schools about switching from milk in cartons with straws to bottles of milk and reusable beakers. Cool Milk, our local school milk provider, are implementing solutions that will reduce the overall volume of plastic waste associated with school milk. Some schools … more

Letchworth’s and districts Organic Gardening Group Spring Event

On Saturday April 27th, LOG ( formerly GIYO) held its 4th annual fundraising Spring event at the Free Church Hall in Letchworth. As on previous occasions the cafe kitchen did a spendid job and our Growers market plant stall had a huge array of edible plants for sale. The Hitchin branch of Friends of the Earth had a stall explaining what they are currently doing . This year we missed the LDGA stall which is always a great display, as they were busy doing other things. Our speaker was Geoff Hodge, broadcaster and author, speaking about pests and diseases. He … more


The GIYO group began due to people coming to the Growers’ Market stall to ask for advice about starting a veg plot. Having helped several people to get started by visiting their plots/gardens, it was decided that a support group would help. That is the GIYO group we now have. Spreading the word is a key element of the work of both Garden Organic and Transition Town Letchworth of which GIYO are a sub group. A review of the 2018 GIYO programme revealed that the most attended meetings were at the beginning and end of the year and one roughly in … more

Chris Collins delivers the Letchworth’s Grow It Yourself Organic Spring Talk  

As we see the first small glimmers of spring, Letchworth’s Grow It Yourself Organic group invited members of the public to join them at their Spring Talk. The speaker this year was Chris Collins, the Head of Horticulture at Garden Organics. Chris regularly appears on television gardening shows and is busy preparing a display garden for the Chelsea Flower Show. It was great to see a packed hall for the talk, all we need now is warmer weather so we can get out into our gardens Chris talked about his time as Westminster Abbey’s Head Gardener. He explained how he … more