Just Food – Local Food – Session 1
The group offered examples of local food projects they were involved in
- A Community Orchard in Bognor
- An Urban Farm, with young people’s involvement in Milton Keynes.
- Edible Landscapes London, growing plants to give to local growing projects, running Permaculture and Forest Gardening courses, working with local schools and communities. Based in Finsbury Park, London.
- Teaching about food sources on a London council estate.
- Community Allotments in Thanet, encouraging school children and also selling produce.
- Wimbledon, Abudance collect unwanted fruit locally.
- Somerset, a food co-operative farms the walled garden of Dillington House (formerly owned by Rosie Boycott). Produce is sold at a monthly farmers’ market.
- Maidenhead, a school vegetable garden previously RHS. Involves parents, teachers and pupils in reinstating an old garden.
- Oundle, transition town, land for growing vegetables.
Issues and wisdom surrounding local growing
- Mixed growing; perennials in preference to annuals; low energy; permaculture.
- Land usage and access to land. Land is good for getting people together, working on the land has social benefits for children, especially those in urban areas. Do an audit of schools’ use of land, especially voluntary aided or church schools who may have access to land. The RHS has a good program – you only need a small area of land to feed yourself.
- Councils have a legal obligation to provide allotments.
- Doing things from scratch, eg baking bread together, knowing what goes into cooked dishes.
- Links between health and well-being and the food we eat.
- Looking to start a farming co-operative, how many acres of land are needed to make it viable.