Recently I shared my experience at the first local food forum we attended earlier this year – you can find it here if you haven’t already had a read.
We reconnected recently with Council and the local community to further discuss improving the community’s access to sourcing quality local food. We also discussed ‘where to next’ in putting the findings from our last session into practice and implementing some new ideas for the common good of the local community. We had people return to the discussion and new people join us. The attendees were of varying ages from mid twenties to 80+ – all willing to work together and learn from each other!
Starting something new can be hard, generally because of the lack of knowledge and skill and determining where to start. However, when you have people willing to share and participate, it gives an incredible energy to what you are wanting to do and achieve. Everyone has something valuable to offer and the local food forum is about offering valuable information, sharing ideas and creating conversation. People’s passion and enthusiasm for the topic is energising – the fact that everyone wants to make a difference and contribute in some way is what gets things happening!
So this session was about making decisions on the projects we really wanted to put effort into, to see them get up and running. The top 3 hits were:
A Local Produce Directory – It was suggested that this directory also include people with relevant skills that want to impart their knowledge on how to cultivate fresh produce and where/how to source it. In this way people can find local produce but also learn and expand on their own skills and knowledge.
A Community Garden – Our local ‘Men’s Shed’ building has been approved and given council land and discussions indicated that this may be a possible place for a community garden. The men that are part of the Men’s Shed were very keen to help create and maintain new garden plots. We identified that our main obstacle for this project will be sourcing water for the garden and so our next mission is to find solutions to this potential problem.
Community Harvest Festival – The Festival would create space for local producers to showcase and sell their produce and educate people on what ‘real food’ is all about. An extension of this idea included local restaurants using local produce to allow locals to ‘taste the difference’ in quality local produce.
Groups were formed depending on which topic they were most passionate about and each group had a brainstorming session on where to go next to make these projects a reality. We planned to meet again in a months time. Each of us has a little homework to do – mainly finding out information. We’re very thankful that the Council have been very generous with their support in helping us do this!
Everyone knows that it is not easy to make big change happen. We realise that we all have to pull together to make progress but the beauty of that is seeing how truly wonderful the community spirit is. People value their food supply and are passionate about changing the current state of our ‘food system.’
Stay tuned for further developments – I look forward to bringing them to you!