Food, Glorious Food!
Never in the life time of most of us has the entire population had cause to think so much about our food supply: where it comes from, where we get it from and how we deliver it to the most vulnerable. The scenes after lockdown in the supermarkets were shocking as people understandably rushed to stock up and the “just in time” supply lines that we have become so accustomed to (“there will always be strawberries when I want them”) were overwhelmed. This set us thinking about how as a community we could build more resilience into our food supply to help us deal with future shocks like this. We thought about growing our own, local suppliers, and, in the interests of the climate, Meat free Monday.
Wilmslow Grows its Own:
In Rob Hopkins’s inspirational book “What If” he gives the example of Liege, where their one community garden was such a success that now the town is encircled with community gardens and 90% of the fruit and veg eaten in the town’s schools are supplied locally. Our community garden is a lovely example of how you get people engaged in growing vegetables, but it is only one, and at a very small scale. Our food group met last week and we thought that during lockdown, all we could really do was to encourage people to grow their own as much as possible; and to that end Garry Olson is now posting a daily veg gardening tip on Instagram (check out garryolsonfurniture)…we are anticipating that he’ll become an Insta sensation!
Perhaps when lockdown is over and we can safely swap things we could build on the individual road corona support WhatsApp groups to offer seed and seedling swaps?
Why not share your gardening pictures on insta or twitter and tag garry or transition wilmslow and we could build up some enthusiasm!
A massive shout out to everyone who supplies our food…..the supermarket staff, butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, milkmen, delivery drivers, farmers, pickers, growers, distributors…..what a couple of weeks they have had and a big thank you from all of us. We have all realised not only how much we depend on the supermarkets but also on the delivery companies who have seen a massive increase in orders. Teo and Andrew have put together a list of people they know of locally who are able to deliver….if you have any to add to the list then please let us know! They are listed on the food page www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk/food It would be great to think that even when this crisis is over that support for local suppliers continues. If you would like to order from Flo’s Suma deliveries (dried goods) contact us by email.
Meat Free Monday:
No real connection to corona but the climate crisis hasn’t gone away and in any case you may be needing to think more imaginatively about your cooking at the moment and might like to think about cooking meat free…on a Monday or any other day. After Sarah Bridle’s recent talk demonstrating the impact of our dietary choices on greenhouse gas emissions, there’s a move to develop a Meat Free Monday in Wilmslow; Wilmslow Academy have already adopted this. A number of us met (virtually!) Esther McVey MP to talk about community resilience and meat free Monday came up. It turns out that Esther often cooks meat free, and indeed she promises to share her recipe for a vegan cottage pie with us! Details of our meeting are posted on the website www.transitionwilmslow.co.uk/consultationresponses
All our meetings are now virtual. If you’d like to join future tree, food or energy meetings please do let us know.
Please keep safe and well at this very difficult time. If you are able to, give a thought to people who can’t afford food easily; food banks have seen a massive drop in donations. You can contact the Wilmslow food bank via email@example.com or support the Trussell Trust.
What will Wilmslow be like in 2060 for today’s 10 year olds when they get to 50? What will their lives look like if the world’s governments do not deal with the problem of climate change? What could life be like if they did? Will our children and grandchildren think we cared enough about their future?
On Thursday 19thMarch, 7.30 pm at Wilmslow Quaker Meeting House (Bourne Street SK9 5HD), come and join the conversation as we hear from three expert speakers about what the future might hold, how we can avoid some of the problems we might face and how we could adapt to a changing world.
What will our houses be like? What will the streets be like? The shops? The fields and woods around the town? How will we get to work? What will we be eating? Or will nothing have changed?
Want to take part in the City Nature Challenge this year? Sara from the NT Riverlands project is keen we all join in if we can…a challenge to find (and hopefully identify!) as many species in Nature as we can. Find wildlife, take a photo and load it onto as easy app (iNaturalist) and do your own bit of citizen science! all details at https://citynaturechallenge.org
We put an application into the Climate Action Fund and were not shortlisted. The feedback that we had was that while ours was a strong application (we were one of 650 and 15 were shortlisted) we did not demonstrate enough community engagement or community partnerships. We had a really useful consultation at our February monthly meeting where nearly thirty of us addressed the questions we had tried to address in our bid and made suggestions as to what we should be aiming for and how to engage more people. The Climate Action Fund has £100m to spend over 10 years so there will be more opportunities to bid. What do you think we should be doing here in Wilmslow? What do you think would persuade other people to join us in taking practical action to improve our Environment? 50 people planted 1200 trees at Bank House Farm last week in our first joint tree planting venture with the National Trust which just shows that there are lots of people in our town who want to do something! Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions. Thank you!
The comments from last week’s consultation are documented here:
We need YOUR help to decide what our town’s priorities should be in the fight against climate change, and in the need to become more resilient to the changes that are coming. Please come along to our next meeting, 20 February, and help us list some priorities for applying for funding. In March we are planning a meeting about climate resilience…we need your help. Everyone is welcome. Any queries contact us email@example.com
Well, we do obviously, because we know how vital peat is as a carbon sequester, we know that damaged peat bogs are extruding CO2, and we want to see our beloved Lindow Moss restored so it can become the beautiful landscape it should be, supporting biodiversity and acting as a much needed carbon sink. It is good to know that we are not the only ones, and that most commentators (not all) are on side with us. The recent CCC report on Land Use specifically targets peat bogs as a vital component in the battle against climate change and demands specific action including the banning of peat sales by 2023, the banning of peat burning and restoration of bogs including rewetting. Zac (now Lord) Goldsmith, Secretary of State for the Environment is reported to have said in a radio interview that if we are worried, we should stop buying peat and lobby DEFRA. Well, yes…we hope everyone who loves Lindow Moss does not buy peat based composts. We are not quite sure how to lobby DEFRA but we have written to our MP, Esther McVey, to ask her to support the immediate ban on peat sales and to lobby for immediate peat bog restoration, and we have copied the letter to DEFRA.
Our letter is here
Feel free to write in support as well. Save Our Peat Bogs!