The thing about initiatives and organisations is that they are often local but there's nothing preventing them to be replicated in other places. Often it just takes one person who gives it a kick start and if there's one thing I've noticed recently it's that the social networking world has facilitated the process. Most initiatives now have their facebook page and personally I love joining and keeping up with what's happening, you never miss a date for your diary (even if you can't make it) and it's easy to get involved.
Last week I already spoke about the East Kilbride Development Trust and their seed bank initiative. I think it's a fabulous idea and something that could happen anywhere really. The trust also works with local primary schools developing food gardens, something which is close to my heart because I saw the impact it can have and the enthusiasm it can create in a very short period of time.
NVA is a public arts organisation with a focus on urban and rural landscapes and how people can shape them. One of their current projects is SAGE (Sow and Grow Everywhere) which encourages creative uses of places and containers to grow food, culminating in the Glasgow Harvest, a massive public harvest sharing event at Glasgow's Tramway Theatre this Saturday 28th August. The idea is that the rather private experience of gardening is shared collectively, including cooking with the produce and making jams. There's a great Q&A about them here.
The Fife Diet came about in 2007 when consumers signed up for a challenge to eat locally produced food only for a year, and to share how they got on. It's about re-localisation of food, cutting down on food miles but also supporting the local economy. More than that, it's about rethinking food in terms of sustainability, i.e. working towards a future where food may not be as easily transported from across the world and where we may well have to rely on locally sourced food.The Fife Diet can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.
GROW Glasgow is based in the West End of Glasgow and you can follow their activities on their facebook page. They aim
- To encourage and increase production of organic vegetables in the West End
- Facilitate a garden sharing scheme
- Work towards setting up community gardens
- To promote a tangile sense of community through team work and sustainable agricultural development
Urban Roots are based in the Southside of Glasgow. They run a community garden, a food coop, have a woodland area, environmental art projects and food growing courses amongst other things. You can follow their activities on facebook too. A lot of it is done by volunteers, so for instance you can join the Sunday gardening session at the community garden as a volunteer.
All these initiatives/organisations show how with a bit of imagination, you can get lots of people involved in growing food in cities, and spread the goodness of it all.
Now I'd love to hear about your week in urban food growing. If you've blogged about it, or want to share some link you've come across, please use the linky below.