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Seeding Our Future Autumn Newsletter

November 2020
Dear friend,
We are pleased to report continuing progress with our work on food security for our local community. The two online Round Table consultations were well attended, and generated a lot of valuable feedback. We're starting to plan some pop-up pilot events as a next phase, starting with a stall in Barrack Street on the December 12th Farmers' Market. This will be a joint stall with Bridport Local Food Group and Transition Town Bridport. Please drop by: it's an ideal chance for you to share your views and learn more about future possibilities.
With best wishes,
Alan, Candida, David, Raja
Seeding our Future Core Team
SEEDING OUR FUTURE:  Local Food Security Newsletter Issue 4
Photo by Sabine Simon

Dec 12th Bridport Food Matters Stall

In Barrack Street on Saturday Dec 12th you can find out more about our initiatives, share your views, and see how you could help. We will have a joint stall with Seeding our Future, Bridport Local Food Group and Transition Town Bridport, 9am until 2.30pm.

Bridport Local Food Hub – consultation process and where we are now 

Seeding our Future's consultations with farmers, producers, retailers and community organisations have produced a number of ideas for initiatives which are being summed up under the term “Food Hub”. Such a hub may have several spokes, and not necessarily in one place. Ideas continue to evolve, and whatever is to be taken forward are intended to complement and support the many excellent food-related activities already going on around Bridport, involve and strengthen local producers and retailers, and give producers a fair price, while making their goods more widely available and affordable.

Essentially, this will start small and quite modest, whereby early initiatives will include some pop-up events, some information materials, and some on-line presence.

But also, in view of the challenges ahead – climate change among others – there are also some longer-term ambitions.  From the consultations and opinions gathered so far, there is a lot of support for a physical space of some kind, where people can get together, rather than simply interact on-line. That might host a combination of educational events and activities around food, a place for skills-sharing across the community, some form of affordable community café. An online market could be developed, such as is burgeoning elsewhere.


Read the reports of Round Table discussions with consumers and local community groups on September 23 here, and the discussion with farmers, producers and retail outlets on October 20 here.

SoF is working in partnership with Bridport Local Food Group (BLFG) locally, and with Tamar Grow Local (TGL), who have over ten years’ experience of operating a food hub north of Plymouth to explore ways forward.  

The Dorset Diet: what, why, how?

The basic idea is wonderfully simple: aim for 80% of what you eat and drink to be produced or processed within 25 miles of where you live in Dorset. There have been similar schemes elsewhere, such as the Fife Diet in Scotland, and other counties are exploring the idea too: for more about this, see www.sustainablefoodplaces.org. This is a national movement to promote a healthy, sustainable and more equitable food system across the country. As part of their new programme aimed at Counties, they could potentially help develop food partnerships between the public, private and community sectors in Dorset. 

Seeding our Future commissioned research on how a Dorset Diet could work, and has had an enthusiastic response to the idea from Dorset Food & Drink and Bridport Local Food Group. We are working with them and others, aiming to launch the Dorset Diet in early 2021. Watch this space!.

Down On The Allotments 

Rachel Millson writes: This year I have grown more crops for storage including Pea Bean pulses and Crown Prince squash. I have also been harvesting Amaranth for seed (‘Mixed Grain Amaranth’ from Real Seeds). I am currently trying my hand at winnowing and once again find myself in awe of the peasant farmer whose skills I am some way off attaining!

Photo by Peter Millson
Lin Scrannage writes: The next Bridport Seed Swap will be on Saturday 30 January 2021, 10 - 12pm in the Ropemakers. I have been working hard with the Heritage Seed Library to raise awareness of the importance of growing Heritage varieties for many years now, and am a keen seed saver (for winter food and for free seeds for the following year). 
Anyone who wants to learn what the Co-housing project is doing at Flaxhayes allotments, email Lin to arrange a time for a 1:1 visit (when lockdown finishes).
Julie Penfold writes::Pink Fir Apple, Lady Christl, Desiree, Bergerac, Cara and Kerrs Pink are all characters in the allotment potato drama……Each tuber was dropped into a deep hole made with a bulb planter, covered with compost and, as the shoots appeared, had layers of grass clippings and straw heaped on top. They have all responded well to the no dig rules and there is very little damage from slugs etc as I’m harvesting. 
The advantages of this method for the soil structure are huge as there is little disturbance and the mulch of grass and straw is broken down by worms and microorganisms - less back-ache for me too …!

Sarah Wilberforce from Edible Garden project at St Mary’s Primary school writes: we are purchasing Yacon crowns and Oca seeds from Realseeds. (These plants are hardy and may cope better with the changing climate.)

Other Local News And Information

Bridport Garden Glut - free food stall Thursdays 10am - 1pm.
Following on from the success of the Garden Glut stall held at St Mary’s School during the Summer school holidays by Home and Transition Town Bridport, the Bridport Community Fridge and Bridport Local Food Group have joined forces to continue the initiative. Free food including fresh fruit and vegetables is available from the weekly stall in St Swithun’s Church Car Park North Allington. Anyone can contribute their surplus produce. More information

The Bridport Local Food Group has a host of resources and regular news including a list of food and drink business providing collection and delivery services during lockdown, as well as Bridport’s Garden Glut Recipes for tasty, healthy meals within a variable budget. Visit the website for this and more here

THIS GOOD EARTH film to be released on 21 Jan, 2021 at a (hopefully) live event in Bridport. This documentary is about soil and global warming, landscape and species extinction and farming, the food chain, diet and disease. The epicentre of the film is Bridport but the story is also global. For more info and to see the trailer.

Links of Interest

 
There is growing concern and activity around food security for the UK. To keep informed, join the fortnightly newsletter from www.peoplesfoodpolicy.org, and check out the reform campaign described on www.sustainablefoodtrust.org

We also recommend the work of professor Tim Lang: see him on YouTube, or get his recent book, Feeding Britain.
 
It was a very poor year for conventional crops (wheat, barley, rapeseed) on account of the weather, and many farmers are trying new crops (chickpea, lentils, old grain and pulses varieties).

The Community Farm: Lessons from Lockdown
A collection of articles that explore how COVID-19 affected food, farming and wellness at individual and collective levels by mid-2020

The Food ProgrammeJames Rebanks on The Future of Food - 10 October 2020
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