January is a particularly exciting time of year for us as we welcome a new influx of people on the FarmStart growing training programme hosted at Woodbank Community Food Hub. This year we have a number of people looking to follow on from the growers of years past, expanding the growing area and supplying Manchester Veg People as well as the quickly growing Veg Box People. Andrew (left), Nick C (centre), Nick G (right) and our fourth FarmStarter answer some questions to get to know them better...
"I saw something pop up on Facebook early last year and signed up to volunteer with the Land Army at Woodbank. It was a number of months before I was able to attend my first one but once I did I was hooked. I volunteered with the Land Army almost every other weekend and sometimes during the week after that. After talking to Chris and Helen about the future plans for the community farm I knew I wanted to be more involved and felt that I had something to offer to support the development of that plan.
Among national chaos and frustration, 2019 actually started for us in celebration, of the 10th Anniversary of the Oxford Real Farming Conference. Over 10 years ORFC has grown from 3 pioneers in a café wanting to bring people together to ‘talk seriously about food and farming’ to 1000 farmers, scientists campaigners and anyone serious about food, taking over Oxford town hall and surrounding buildings! Chris and Helen had the honour of attending this seminal food and farming conference (their 7th) in early January.
We spoke to Corrina Low who is involved in the community engagement on site (at Woodbank Community Food Hub): supporting volunteers, community groups, community gardeners and social prescribing projects over the year.
How has the community gardening group developed over the past year?
There are lots more people attending, the groups we have in are coming every week, whereas to begin with it was only a few people sporadically.
Author of the book cited as kicking off the Organic Farming Revolution, is coming to Manchester on January 8
We are seeking a highly motivated and driven individual, with experience of community engagement and project development, to work with the existing team at Woodbank, on this innovative and ambitious project.
Glasgow Community Food Network's campaign 'Veg Cities' has enjoyed a successful few weeks!
The 10th October saw the final of the first ever Chef's Challenge, which took place at Glasgow City College and was judged by Scotland's National Chef Gary MacLean, Food Journalist Cate Devine, and Jan MacDonald – Chair of Glasgow Allotments Forum.