Rebuilding the food system: who do we engage with for a just transition?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― Buckminster Fuller This alluring quote from the American inventor and visionary Buckminster Fuller has sat uneasy with me in recent years. In 2017, I went from managing a progressive, community-owned food enterprise… Continue reading Rebuilding the food system: who do we engage with for a just transition?

Climate breakdown, neoliberalism and wild futures for farming

Preamble: this piece contains some disparate threads of thinking going on this week for me, on climate breakdown, capitalism, ferming and farming.  Eco-curmudgeon My recently-departed colleague Iain Watt, who amusingly, possibly accurately, describes himself as “eco-curmudgeon” on twitter, gave a presentation about climate change in our workplace before Christmas. Since then, I keep thinking about… Continue reading Climate breakdown, neoliberalism and wild futures for farming

Part II: Current Action on Feed Sustainability

drained water alga fibers close up - abstract background. extreamly blurry look

This blog is reposted – it was first published on Forum for the Future’s website. This is the second of a three-part blog series on the Path to a Better Animal Feed System. In the last blog, I outlined why action on animal feed sustainability is urgent and gave a sense of the future direction for monogastric and ruminant… Continue reading Part II: Current Action on Feed Sustainability

Behind the Scenes: Creating an Efficient VegBox Scheme

The two most well-known national VegBox schemes in the UK are Riverford and Abel & Cole. Like freckles dotted in between, there are many smaller box schemes1. These are usually associated with small-scale farms and provide the ideal way for local people to access good quality, super local and seasonal produce from farms on their… Continue reading Behind the Scenes: Creating an Efficient VegBox Scheme

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On Trying to Open a Community Farm Shop & Cafe

I recently wrote about my involvement in trying to establish a community-owned ecology park and a community-owned microbrewery. In these projects, I’m working collaboratively with others, aiming to get each project into a position where we can raise investment and employ an experienced manager to drive the project forward. I see my involvement as helping move the project to this… Continue reading On Trying to Open a Community Farm Shop & Cafe

Getting to grips with a “super wicked” problem: the future of food and farming

“Nothing less is required than a redesign of the whole food system to bring sustainability to the fore”. Foresight: The Future of Food and Farming, 2011 The abundance of food lining our supermarket shelves and providing millions of people with an affordable and reliable food source is a small modern-day miracle. However beyond the glistening… Continue reading Getting to grips with a “super wicked” problem: the future of food and farming

Food as a relationship: a reflection on running a community farm

Harvesting courgettes on Sutton Community Farm

For over three years I’ve had the pleasure of managing a beautiful community farm on the edges of south London. It’s been one of the most interesting jobs I’ve had, combining my love of community work with social enterprise. With a heavy heart, I’ve recently decided to leave my job for new pursuits, but before… Continue reading Food as a relationship: a reflection on running a community farm

A year on the farm 2015

What a year it’s been! So much happens on our farm and these are just a few snippets fro mthe year. This was originally posted on the Sutton Community Farm blog: In the final few days of the 2015 we’ve been having a recap of the wonderful year that’s gone and looking forward to the exciting… Continue reading A year on the farm 2015

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Stepping up and looking forward: what next for Sutton Community Farm?

I was recently in an interview pitching for some scale-up funding, when the interviewer asked me “what’s the big vision for the farm?”. She understood perfectly what we do and why we do it, but she was after a sense of our next steps and the scale of our ambitions. So I want to paint… Continue reading Stepping up and looking forward: what next for Sutton Community Farm?

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Are community enterprises easier in the city?

I was recently invited to sit on a panel at an event organised by the Plunkett Foundation, a charity that promotes and supports co-operatives and social enterprises in rural communities. The session explored the similarities and differences of setting up a community enterprise in urban and rural settings and it sparked some interesting dialogue. Presented below… Continue reading Are community enterprises easier in the city?

Does our farm sell the sizzle?

I spent this morning in the offices of sustainability communications agency Futerra, for some media and communications training; one of the perks of being part of the London Leader’s programme .  When I was working as a sustainability consultant at BioRegional, Futerra’s reports on communicating sustainability were like little presents from heaven. They taught me many important lessons about… Continue reading Does our farm sell the sizzle?

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5 minute talk on local food

The London Leaders programme is run by the London Sustainable Development Commission. It’s all about demonstrating the power of leadership and innovation in tackling the sustainability challenges inherent in global cities such as London. I was recently very honoured to be chosen as a London Leader and this programme is supporting me with training and mentoring… Continue reading 5 minute talk on local food

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Passion #1: Local food

I’m starting my new blog by writing about 5 passions in my life. Each one capturing some thoughts on the subject, which will inevitably be shaped as time goes by. This one is all about Local Food: Sitting down with family, friends and neighbours to share a meal cooked with fresh, local ingredients is a… Continue reading Passion #1: Local food

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Inviting nature into our cities

In our climate, the climax vegetation is woodland or forest. This is the natural tendency of land if you allow it to truly express itself. Over time, a field will eventually transform into something vibrant and diverse, with plants working in harmony with a variety of wildlife to create a new balanced ecosystem. Walking through… Continue reading Inviting nature into our cities

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