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"On my recent trip to France looking at incubator farms and access to land, I was discussing with Veronique, one of our hosts from Terre de Liens, the potential of transferring their model to the UK. Veronique, very sympathetically, pointed out that we have a real challenge on our hands here and that she struggles to think of another country where food culture is so lacking.
Our Helen recently attended the Lush Spring Prize event, where Kindling was shortlisted for an award.
"After what happened here in Manchester last Monday, it’s hard to know how to start a piece about the event that I was at the time. But it also feels in some way like the right way to respond - both to what happened in Manchester and to the madness of the global shift to the right - with stories of hope and of incredible and inspirational people struggling against all odds to create a fairer, more just world.
Helen, one of Kindling’s founders, sets out the story behind the family of Kindling enterprises.
Our farming population is aging, and it’s a not an easy career to move into. Our FarmStart programme was the UK’s very first incubator and training initiative for organic growers. FarmStarters at our Woodbank site in Stockport undergo a year-long training scheme, led by experienced grower and trainer Helen Dodd. This year, sports coach and RHS student Belinda is one of them:
In March, Kindling’s co-founder and co-ordinator Helen was lucky enough to join groups from all over Europe on a fact-finding mission to a number of French 'incubator farms' in the southern region of Montpelier.
...testing the effectiveness of prescribing more than just medicine.
We were delighted to get news that James Powell, who participated in our Commercial Growers Course last autumn, has completed his land purchase near his home in Milton Keynes. After 15 years of allotment-eering and providing a seasonal veg box to 28 local families, he's ready to scale up production to a more commercial scale, and hopes to eventually transition from his day job...
It's kickstarted community projects all over the world already...what will you do after seeing it?!
Wednesday 26th April, 6.30pm at the International Anthony Burgesss Foundation, M1 5BY
The mission of the Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC) is the creation of residential smallholdings aimed at new entrants to horticulture and mixed farming, protected for ecological agricultural use in perpetuity. A dream for many, but one for which the barriers are high. Leading a land-based livelihood can be a tough path, which we know all too well about.