This month’s Seeding Our Future webinar has started an important exploration of how our local food system can adapt to the coming challenges of climate change, just as the recent pressures of Covid-19 are revealing how adeptly the Bridport area’s independent food and drink producers and suppliers can innovate during exceptional times.
Short supply chains are crucial to the food security issues described by Elise Wach’s Growing Through Climate Change report and have always been essential to these enterprises – never more so than during lockdown as bespoke box schemes and delivery systems were established by food shops like Washingpool and Fruits of the Earth, while cafes and pubs like The Red Brick and The Ilchester Arms offered takeaways and deliveries. This extraordinary period has deepened our gratitude for people working with food – they have become valued as key workers as well as farmers or cooks or shopkeepers. Tapping into this appreciation and the expansion of buying direct could give scope for enlisting support for a future specialist box scheme of climate adaptive produce.
The Bridport Food Festival 2020 was planning a special focus on food and climate – a dedicated space to ‘Taste The Future’ – to act as a platform for introducing the local community to new ideas and produce alongside the annual displays by over 60 of the Bridport area’s brilliant food and drink producers. We’ll be looking now to Bridport Food Festival 2021 as an opportunity for growing the interest and new markets needed to support the Seeding Our Future project. There will be talks, displays and hands-on food for thought through opportunities to cook and eat the produce being discussed.
Bridport Food Festival is particularly passionate about getting younger people interested in food – entry is free for under 17s and there are free cooking sessions with chefs for them all day too. These will be alongside the climate area so that children and teens can engage with the debate as well and contribute their ideas and cooking, which will be done with entirely local ingredients. We have assembled the ‘Bridport Community Cooking Kit’ for use in these sessions and all year round by school or community groups that want to engage people of any age with cooking, produce food or fundraise.
Bridport Local Food Group is looking forward to reinstating the festival that’s at the heart of its support for local food and drink enterprises, but its immediate focus is their survival. Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis BLFG Chair Kathy Dare has been compiling and promoting a definitive guide to continued sourcing from Bridport’s food and drink suppliers despite social distancing or isolating. Please find and share at www.tiny.cc/bridport to help ensure they will all be there at next year’s food festival alongside ‘Taste the Future’. To access the Bridport Community Cooking Kit email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the days become longer and our eyes start to open, we are getting ready to embrace spring. We have been preparing the soil for Future Conversations programmes to be delivered in England in Tulse Hill and Grenfell (London), Nottingham and in Scotland in Greenock, aiming at building local resilience to respond to future challenges.
A few months ago, back in January, a group of 12 participants from different sides of the country were trained to facilitate conversations about what is important to us, to our communities and to our planet earth, our mother. We created a safe space for people to bring their fears, to express their hopes and to explore together how the relationships that we have with ourselves, with each other and with the ecosystem we are part of are crucial to determine our capacity to adapt to changes.
We acknowledged the difficulties of starting conversations about the future of the planet while people’s self-interest might be focused on employment, health or education. This is the story of separation of our times, where we have stopped seeing our relational existence with every tree, river and bird, and see life as an individual journey where if ‘I provide for myself, I will be alright.’
Our friends in Greenock & Nottingham have already started experiencing the programme:
The four groups will continue to work through the sessions over the next few months when we will have the opportunity to learn how this process is influencing people’s beliefs and capacity to act in their communities for a better future.
Are you working in a community that faces challenges?
Want to learn more on how to host conversations to become more resilient for the future together?
The changes we’re facing in the next two or three decades are complex, often contradictory, and can feel daunting. Research shows that our main strategies for coping with future changes are denial and avoidance. Moving people from detachment to active participant in a positive future is the key aim of the Future Conversations project. Future conversations is programme of guided conversations and workshops to look at how we can do this together in community. See more at www.futurescanning.org
We’re inviting you to join us to learn and be trained in how to facilitate these conversations with your groups and communities. Join us for 3 days (15th – 17th January) for a Train the Trainer Programme in London where you will:
Learn and practice facilitation methods such as Community Organising, Conflict Transformation, The Art of Hosting, Harvesting Conversations that Matter, Participatory Leadership, Dragon Dreaming, U Lab, Permaculture and Social Theatre
Get access to a range of materials to support you in delivering a Future Conversations programme
Become part of a community of practice for Future Conversations to deliver this within your community and continue to connect with other facilitators
How to join in
After working out the cost of this training we have calculated that on a non-profit basis it would cost £350.00 per participant. If you would like to attend but cannot afford the full price please get in touch and have a chat as there may be some bursaries available.
We’re also offering an Early Bird rate £300.00 if booked before Monday 15th December.
To book or for more info do get in touch, we’d be happy to have a chat…