Tuesday, 15 October 2013

One Person's Compost Is Another Person's Food Wrapping

The team very much enjoy talking to the many visitors that come to see the college gardens. Occasionally the conversations that they have take on a surprising turn, Ali had one such conversation today.
This week the team have started to take the tender plants back into the greenhouse for winter storage, and, to get the banana plants into greenhouse, their tops have to be cut off. Whilst taking the huge banana leaves to the compost heap, she was stopped by two visitors and asked where the leaves were being taken? One of the visitors, it turned out, was from Burma and she hadn't seen a banana leaf since she had left the country. She asked if she could have one of the leaves, but not the whole leaf, just small squares, which she duly tore off. Excitedly she explained that these pieces would be used as a food wrapping! Apparently in Burma, the leaves are used to serve food on and to wrap food up in, the perfect biodegradable food packaging. This was a conversation Ali could never have imagined having whilst working in the college gardens, the use of banana leaves in different cultures, one person's compost turned out to be another person's food wrapping.

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