Monday 26 October 2009
A local food group in Edinburgh is offering a prize for the best turnip lantern in its neighbourhood.
As Hallowe’en looms, the Shandon Local Food Group in the west of the city says that it wants to encourage children to see the native turnip, rather than the American pumpkin as the natural type of lantern.
The Group, which was set up in early 2009 to promote local, organic and seasonal produce in its community, says that it wants to help children and parents think about native produce in new and fun ways.
Chair of Shandon Local Food Group, Gavin Corbett, said:
“A generation ago, when I was going door to door at Hallowe’en, everyone had turnip lanterns. Now, it seems the USA’s tradition of using pumpkin has all but taken over. It is almost impossible to get large enough turnips in the shops but pumpkins are everywhere for sale.”
“Of course, this is all a bit of fun. Pumpkin and turnip lantern bearers will be equally welcome at our house. But we also thought it would be nice if the turnip lanterns could make a comeback. That is why we are offering a prize to anyone who comes with a turnip lantern, with a special prize for the best.
“But there is a serious point as well. Over the last two to three years local food projects have really taken off across Scotland. There are now serious questions being posed about the “world is my larder” kind of approach to food. Food accounts for at least 20% of our carbon emissions so if we are serious about reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 we need to look at what is on the table.”