A Recipe for a Rainy Day

12th Apr 19 by Josephine Payne, Gleaning Coordinator for the North West

Our team in the North West know how to spend a rainy day. Follow the below steps for a great way to spend a wet weekend, with recipe cards!

Best laid plans and all that. Here at Team North we’re used to coping with adverse weather but we had to go to Plan B for our planned day of gleaning with a team of volunteers from Liverpool.

The Regional Food Economy NW project looks at ways to change our food system for the better, creating a circular food economy that links enterprise, education and advocacy to help build and nurture a local food economy that feeds everyone fairly and sustainability. Our new social enterprise Alchemic Kitchen is all about the transformation, both of food and people – taking surplus food and using a little alchemy to create delicious new products, while training local people in food and kitchen skills.

So when our planned day of kale gleaning and pizza making was a wash-out, what did we do?

Faced with 40 miles per hour winds, farmer Chris Molyneux advised against a trip to his kale fields – but thankfully plan B, involving keen volunteers, some serious waterproofs and of course delicious food, didn’t disappoint.

Shifting from the open brassica fields of Ormskirk to a slightly more sheltered community garden in Manchester, we cracked on helping Platt Fields Market Garden with some major tasks whilst our unphased chef for the day, Michelle O’Dwyer from BayTree Catering, prepared our delicious lunch, using wonky veg, ricotta-ish cheese made from short date dairy, roasted squishy tomatoes and foraged wild garlic and kale pesto. If that’s making your mouth water, check out our recipe for a great day out – and our no waste feast recipe cards.

No. 1 Ignore the rain!

No. 2 Keep on smiling

No. 3 Recruit around 20 volunteers from Tom Harrison House to help.

Tom Harrison House is a Liverpool based specialist facility that provides a recovery programme exclusively to military veterans, reservists, emergency personnel and their families that incorporates a sensory and wellbeing model of care, support, therapy and education. Digging a community garden and making food as a team helps reinforce the healing, and is part of our long term aim to get disadvantaged people reconnected with food and learning new skills.

No. 4 Fuel your friends!

Provide a delicious hot lunch made from beautiful food saved from going to waste! This is our excellent no waste pizza with squishy tomato sauce, ricotta-ish cheese and kale pesto.

No. 5 Warm up with brews and cake.

Especially when that cake is made with the leftover whey from your ricotta cheese making! And a good opportunity to taste test our recipe.

No. 6 Keep warm with some digging.


We created several large no-dig style grow beds, which Platt Fields Community Market Garden can plant with fruit and vegetables to help feed the local community.

No. 7

Mix em’ all together and you’ve got yourself a smug little Saturday, new friends and a good night’s sleep!

On the menu were:

Up-cycled pizza with kale and wild garlic pesto, past their best tomatoes, home-made ricotta-ish, No-Whey cakes, Lentil and Chickpea Dahl. You can find some of the recipes below:

How to make ‘Ricotta-ish’

No-Whey Cake

Lentil and Chickpea Dahl


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