Over the last half decade our work has simmered away in the corners of council estates, it has outreached to work with serious long term offenders, ran a mental health gardening and well being project, set up community growing Hubs in three areas of Bolton, and held gardening advice and guidance sessions throughout the growing seasons.
Grow it – Sell it – Swap it – Trade it The next phase of our work will be to combine elements of horticulture, social enterprise, training, and the development and support of hyper local micro businesses in areas of economic and social deprivation around the town. As I have touched open in earlier posts the underpinning of our work is rooted in permaculture ethics and principles, and as a physical end goal we would like to see people in urban settings generating incomes from home and community grown produce as means of addressing the multiple issues of economic mobility, health and well being.
Social justice through resilient local micro economies Without meaning to offend this isn’t some gastro foody project in some up and coming area, this is about providing the opportunity for a little economic mobility and access to cleanly grown food for those who cannot afford it because of ideologically imposted austerity Policies and low pay. If there is to be any food revolution it emphatically needs to include the people who have limited access to food in their everyday lives.
If it doesn’t work, replace it with something that does Our economic model, for want of a better name is not suited for purpose, it exists only to support corporations, Banks and billionaires, it does not serve the people, and it needs to go as soon as possible. And this is where our local food economy can step in, it doesn’t take years to grow food as it does setting up businesses, its start up costs are low, and as it is one of the main inputs that keeps us alive, it is something that people will always buy and sell/trade, and something that we can do on a local level right now.
Interested parties Within the last three months I have spoken to a number of people in Bolton who are willing to buy Bolton grown produce. One person I spoke to has four Pubs in the town, he would like to serve up locally grown to his customers, I have also spoken to three other businesses, and one that is currently being set up as I type who all want to buy fruit and vegetables that are grown in Bolton, even at a rough estimation we are talking of thousands of pounds worth of produce on a regular basis, and this is just from the few businesses that I have spoken to. The Bolton Food Economy is there if we want it, we will certainly be doing our best in our own small way this year to make this happen in which ever ways we are able to.