If you need something done, give it to a busy person, goes the old saying. Here Catherine St Germans, founder of the Port Eliot Literary Festival and last year’s regenerative agriculture gathering in Cornwall, details how she and a group of other busy people collaborated to create a database that is now helping to feed nearly 8,000 people nationwide.
On April 24th, the night the UK went into lockdown, I arranged my first Zoom gathering with some members of the Regenerative Agriculture WhatsApp group I am a part of, to talk about what was happening and how we could help each other. On the Zoom was Fred Price from Gothelney Farm near Bristol, Abby Rose of Farmerama Radio, Neil Heseltine of Hill Top Farm in the Yorkshire Dales, Oil Baker, a young grower with a seven acre farm near Liskeard, Sophie Chatz of Earthly Creative who had been helping the local food movement in Bristol, while others called in from Cornwall to London.
We had all heard about the CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and veg box schemes being overwhelmed with thousands of new customers, andalso knew that farmers had been left with none and were trying to set up new routes to market.I came to the group with an idea I’d had a few days before: a national database to help connect citizens with small scale farmers and local producers and their new businesses. The crisis had laid bare the fragility of our food system and I wanted to highlight the farmers that were waiting to bring well farmed and delicious food straight from a resilient food and farming network that was still flowing! No supermarket and middleman required.
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