Local Food – from seed to fork
Transition Bewdley’s Land Group are hosting a talk on Thursday 7th April at 7.30, in Bewdley Baptist Church, and have invited Richard Billingsley of Sandwell to speak.
Sandwell is a national leader in growing food in urban areas. Sandwell Director of Public Health, Dr. John Middleton, recognised the links between poor health and obesity in the West Midlands and the difficulty that many people in Sandwell have in accessing fresh healthy food. His solution – a scheme to engage local people in growing food locally. This enables people to access fresh food grown on their doorstep and to actually get involved in growing the food themselves, creating employment opportunities and engaging in healthy exercise. Sandwell now has 1,600 allotment plots and a working dairy farm.
The flagship community garden project in Salop Drive, ” has become a beacon for what can be achieved in the inner city reclaiming derelict land, growing healthy food on a modest scale, giving disabled people a chance to play a full part in rewarding and constructive community activity.
With the prospect of global food shortage there is now an urgent need for urban areas to devote more of their land to food growing to create sustainable settlements on a human scale” . Dr John Middleton Director of Public Health Sandwell PCT.
Transition Bewdley Land Group spoke-person Chris Leck said “What Sandwell have set out to achieve, in the most challenging circumstances, is an inspiration for us all. We in Bewdley are very fortunate in that fresh food is available locally yet we can learn from Sandwell how local people can become more involved in growing local food. This will become ever more important as supplies of cheap fossil fuel dwindle. Most of our food production is heavily dependent on oil for transport, farm machinery and fertiliser. We are seeking ways of producing more food in the Bewdley area in ways that are not dependent on fossil fuels and which can be rewarding and fun for people to get involved in.”