Soup-er day at allotments

Norwood Allotments,Herries Road Annula Allotment Soup Day....Greenhouse Gallery..Pictured are Artel Artists from LtoR.Sandria Gilling,Sue Taylor,Lesley Alexander,with their work ' Secret Seasonings'
Norwood Allotments,Herries Road Annula Allotment Soup Day....Greenhouse Gallery..Pictured are Artel Artists from LtoR.Sandria Gilling,Sue Taylor,Lesley Alexander,with their work ' Secret Seasonings'
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AN EVENT held in Sheffield each year to promote the city’s allotments is certainly growing in popularity.

Up to 250 people flocked to the plots at Norwood, off Herries Road, to have a look around, taste the produce and try their hands at environmental-themed artwork.

The Allotment Soup 2011 event was hosted by the Leaf project, whose members are celebrating 10 years since taking on a formerly abandoned section of the Norwood site to use as a community allotment.

In total there were around 20 to 25 artists giving demonstrations including flower sculpting, puppet making and natural dying.

One piece of artwork involved a dome made of tree branches, created by community artist Christine Moon, from Meersbrook, on which people were invited to leave comments on leaf-shaped pieces of paper about the event and environmental issues.

Fellow artist Caroline Gaytor, of Sharrow, was helping people to make flowers using wicker branches, while the trio from Artel Artists - Sandria Gilling, Sue Taylor and Lesley Alexander - had created an artistic display of jams and preserves made from produce from the allotments.

Food and drink on offer ranged from apple juice pressed on-site by Abundance, a project which makes use of unwanted produce from around the city, to pizzas topped with vegetables grown on-site at Norwood including tomatoes and tomatillos - Mexican relatives of tomatoes which are green and sticky, and taste like a tomato crossed with a pepper.

Nick Ward, of the Leaf project, who was making the pizzas, explained how they were being cooked in a clay oven which had only been completed the day before and made from clay excavated as part of a drainage project at the allotments.

He said: “It burns at more than 650C - three times the heat of a normal oven and the pizzas were only taking 90 seconds to cook. I served 35 to 40 of them.”

Other attractions included a compost toilet, made by masters students from the University of Sheffield’s architecture department, which was prefrabricated and assembled on site.

Meanwhile, the university had also donated a pedal-powered smoothie maker to create delicious drinks.

Diane Cocker, project manager at Leaf, said: “We’ve had a really good day and it has exceeded our expectations.”