Monday, 23 June 2008

Growing Communities cont...

It is a little while since I have waxed lyrical about my love for Growing Communities, so I thought I would update you with their message from last week's veg bag. It really struck a chord - their ideals and what they are trying to do is rather refreshing, and even makes me feel hopeful about things.

I hope that GC are able to continue going from strength to strength, and don't suffer under the current problems regarding oil, food and the credit crunch. I hope that people aren't abandoning them in favour of other cheaper alternatives (although I still believe that the service they offer is really quite reasonable), and more importantly I do hope that this represents a new direction in our relationship with food and its production.

"This month's Ecologist features an interview with Julie, our director, on how Growing Communities is trying to re-localise Hackney's food system. "Re-localise" is a hybrid word we know - but it is the best way of describing what we are trying to do - which is to change the way people in Hackney are fed. We want to make sure that people here can buy food which is locally grown and produced in a low-carbon way, and distributed sustainably. As Julie says in the article we're trying to create a system robust enough to withstand both climate change and peak oil. We are getting an increasing number of people from organisations across the UK wanting our help to develop similar projects using GC the model. We do plan to do this - it's always been one of our aims to get other communities across the UK (or even London would be a good first step) to set up their own versions of GC - using our projects and our key principles as a guide. All this is good news, however, given the current climate and a combination of increased food/fuel costs and lower incomes for a lot of people - this is just the time when things could get difficult. We need our members to stay with us. It's possible that the current oil price hike is just a blip - but even so - it's one that gives an indication of what the future is likely to hold. We need people to decide that they want to carry on buying sustainable fruit and veg - and supporting our efforts to set up an alternative to the current system. By belonging to GC you are part of a real force for change. We really can't do it without you."

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