During Food Justice Fortnight, run by our friends at Feeding Bristol, we held an evening of food and conversation based around soil, access to soil/land for growing and social justice.
At EdibleBristol we believe that everyone should have the right to grow some of their own food if they wish to, and we know also that those most at risk of food inequality are those who feel lest able to access that. Our conversation began with our founder, Sara, talking about horticulture and agriculture, and how access to land for anyone was a struggle despite land being all around us. Food justice comes from grassroots activism that begins on the land and we have seen over and again how communities in deep need will take what land they need to grow food when people are hungry. Cuba, Detroit, and others all grew themselves out of hunger using lost, unloved and unused land. Not asking for permission but asking for foregiveness if needed!
As a wealthy city Bristol’s food inequality figures are startling. 1 in 20 Bristolians are at risk every day and that become 1 in 7 in the disabled community. Whilst no one should be expected to become self sufficient overnight, local communities can support each other where land is available. And support both climate and biodiversity crises at the same time.
There were lots of thoughts, but the general take away points seemed to us to be……
Access to allotments isn’t accessible and we need more.
We need a pesticide free future for our city.
That there is a new policy/planning commitment that developments of over 60 homes should have allotment space allocated within them, and that perhaps this ought to look like community outdoor space rather than individual plots.
That sadly allotments rarely foster a sense of community although there are exceptions.
These are all things we will begin wider conversations around!