Sunday, February 3, 2013

According to our liason Joseph Lombard from Transition Staunton, Local foods are one of the hot-button items --with a Local Foods Task Force, which Joseph attends.  Hopefully he will be adding his own blog entries here on our site as well.  In the mean time, it seems appropriate to glance at where some of the more developed Transition Towns are on this topic. 

Although Roanoke College has done its February Boarshead Meal, and various 30-mile and Harvest Dinners for nearly a decade now, so far this year there has been no organization among the envi majors yet to make one happen this semester.  Perhaps this information below will inspire either Earthbound or Envi majors to put something together before we miss this spring entirely....

I will try to find some photos from earlier meals we have done for posting here in a bit. 
Transition Cities Somerset (UK)

"Food is often where Transition initiatives start, and it offers a great way of finding common ground, given that everyone interacts with food on a daily basis! Here is a taster (pardon the pun) of some of the varied projects under way. Some start by planting productive trees in urban spaces. Transition Town Finsbury Park planted fruit trees around their local train station, and Taunton Transition Town developed their ‘Tasty Borough’ scheme with the local council, planting traditional apple varieties around the town (leading to a dreadful pun on their website about wanting to ‘put Taunton Deane at the core of the apple country’). Transition City Lancaster’s urban tree-growing project is called ‘Fruity Corners’.

Transition Town Tooting’s annual Foodival is a great way of reaching people and bridging cultural divides. Growers from across the area bring their surplus produce, which is cooked by a range of local cooks in different ethnic styles. One of the intentions of the Foodival is to create new traditions, which was apparent at the 2010 event when two local people were overheard having a conversation: “Has this happened before?” The reply was, “Oh they do it every year”, in spite of its being only in its third year!

Some Transition initiatives, such as Tunbridge Wells, Bramcote and Wollaton, Ashtead and Forest Row, are creating community allotments, where people for whom a whole plot feels daunting get together and share one. One of the earliest incarnations of this idea was in Transition Canterbury, where they also keep a very informative blog about what they are learning and how it is progressing.

Other Transition communities, such as Wandsworth in London, Louth and Ashburton, have set up community gardens, where people learn to grow food together and support each other. Inspired by the Fife Diet, some places are experimenting with eating a seasonal and local diet. Transition groups in North Cornwall and in the New Forest are exploring the practicalities of eating a more local diet, and what this can teach us about food relocalisation.

Some places are setting up their own community-supported farms, for example Glastonbury, Matlock, Stroud and Kippax (near Leeds). Here the community owns shares in the farm and is involved in what it grows. Transition Town Kinsale set up a community supported agriculture scheme (CSA) with a local farmer to produce potatoes and oats for its members. Transition Town Dorchester are creating a two-acre community farm on land made available by the Duchy of Cornwall for a peppercorn rent. Many places produce a local food directory to help people source local produce: Forest Row, Glastonbury, South Kerrier in Cornwall and High Wycombe have done so, and Transition Cheltenham is going for an online rather than a printed version."

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