The Future of our Food

May’s Monthly Gathering was packed last night as we explored and celebrated the future of small farming with the exquisite film In Our Hands.

Thanks for coming, thanks for bringing energy and ideas to the room and for your ‘what next’ thoughts. Thanks also to The Bookshop for hosting and for Holland for her fantastic food, all from local producers.

…which brings us to the first of three actions…

Eat Local Food!

Mentioned last night was Big Barn – it’s a perfect resource to find local food producers and outlets but it could definitely do with more info about our area! If you’re a producer – please add yourself – and encourage other outlets to mention you if they sell your stock!

If you know a great producer who’s not on there – get them to add themselves! It does have a cost – £40 a year but with more Herefordshire producers, we the network can embed this in our site and encourage others to do the same. If you are a small producer but sell at the Farmer’s Market – they can mention you there. Let’s fill that map with our amazing producers.

Get the Film Seen!

Next local opportunity will be Saturday July 14th at Leominster Community Centre. Email beth@greenschoolsproject.org.uk if you’d like to supply produce, or help make it happen.   It would also be great to have a good Green Network presence there so email  events@hgnetwork.org if you’d like to volunteer.

Each of the stories in the film has their own website to explore… including a beautifully written grower’s blog from Ru Litherland… And you can read more about the huge international movement of small farmers mentioned in the film; we are in good company…

If you are a small farmer – consider joining the Landworker’s Alliance to be part of this global network pushing for better farming,

Take Local and National Action

Linking into the discussions about schools’ procurement… here is the People’s Food Policy that we could use as a starting point for developing something more local.  Also mentioned last night was Herefordshire Food Link – any more information or updates on that please get in touch and perhaps these things can work together and build what’s already been started…

Tell our decision makers – the benefits of small farms ahead of the discussion on a new bill in the Autumn.  Email events@hgnetwork.org to be part of group action around this.

 

Thanks again for coming – see you at June’s gathering (20th June) where we will be checking in with the Plastics Action Here team, the Divest Parliament team and we’ll have a workshop on Sociocracy too.

Thanks!

 

One comment

  • Rob Milne

    Yes we should all buy local, seasonal food but, with vegetables and fruit, it’s even better to grow what we can ourselves. Not everyone has the space but I think it should be as socially unacceptable to have a garden and not fill it with vegetables and fruit as it now is to light a fag in a non-smoker’s house or torment bears for entertainment. It’s also important to give children the opportunity to learn how to grow veg and fruit. I’ve worked with schools and found all children very keen to do all the hard work involved – they loved it. Feedback from teachers was that gardening had a beneficial effect on classwork. Sadly, the project was only funded for 2 years, 2002-3.

    In recent years thousands of schools have taken up gardening but it has had to be extracurricular and it’s not been given the time and priority needed. All the school gardens I’ve seen were very small and very poor quality. If gardening were in the curriculum as an academic as well as practical subject and if teachers were given proper training, I believe it’s no exaggeration to say that education would be transformed. I’ve been campaigning for gardening in schools for over 20 years and there have been at least 2 well-researched reports recommending the subject, but successive education ministers have not seen the light.

    Why wait for glacial government? Is there enough interest, enthusiasm and energy amongst H Green Network to help set up and manage an exemplary veg and fruit garden that would be used as a training resource for teachers? About 4 volunteers would be enough. We could then look for a school willing to host such a wonderful thing (surely they’ll be queuing up!) If there’s interest amongst teachers, some will be willing to help with the year-round work. Of course, all those who do the work would share the produce.

    I have a programme that I’ve used for intensive 2 day courses. This material could be spread over a dozen evening sessions. Despite the statement in the film that there’s enough food to feed everyone in the world, climate change could change all that. Knowing how to grow some of your own food could become more of a necessity than mere lifestyle choice. Finally, Brexit could result in increased prices.

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