This post was first published on the now archived Grassroots Alternatives blog. We’re re-posting it here on The Stirrer as part of the process of bringing over a number of key posts from Grassroots Alternatives. Also, in light of this news item from B24/7 about food supply – Bristol local food plan aims to cut obesity and tackle climate change – we thought is was worth giving the ‘grow your own’ option an extra push:)
Over the short history of this blog, we’ve published a fair number of posts about food, food security, community food growing and the issue of land that overrides the growing of food. While we were working at the community vegetable plot in Keynsham today (Saturday 8.4), it occurred to us that it would be useful to list and link to all of these posts. That list is below and is arranged in chronological order, with the most recent one being at the top.
While we enjoy gardening and growing our own food, we don’t write these posts simply because we’re keen horticulturists. We write them because of our understanding of this basic truth:
Whoever controls the food supply, controls the population.
We’ve said that before and make absolutely no apology for saying it again. Grassroots Alternatives is about building the world we want inside the decaying shell of the dysfunctional and increasingly dystopian one we’re currently obliged to endure. This is why we’re keen to promote and encourage any community based food growing and production initiatives.
What does community food production achieve? Obviously, a supply of fresh vegetables and fruit for the community. That gives the community a degree of self sufficiency. While it will not be full off grid living, having some control over your food supply offers a degree of independence from a toxic, exploitative and ultimately unsustainable system. Given the questionable practices of industrial scale food growing and processing, being able to grow your own food offers the assurance that you know exactly what inputs went in and that nothing dodgy has gone on!
Aside from knowing where at least some of your food has come from and how it was produced, there are other tangible benefits. One important one being the building of neighbourhood solidarity as residents work together to create and maintain a community garden. In these troubled times, anything that strengthens neighbourhood resilience and cohesion is to be welcomed.
A community getting together to grow at least some of the food they need is also empowering. This is because people learn and exchange skills. They learn from their successes and failures. As they learn, their confidence grows. That growth in confidence, empowerment and neighbourhood solidarity has the potential to go off in some interesting directions.
We’ve said this before and make no apology for repeating it. Grassroots Alternatives is NOT a fluffy, feel good project. It’s about supporting projects that empower people and help to make communities more self sufficient. It’s about bringing as much power and control down to the level of the neighbourhood before the big push that will usher in the new world that we want. One that’s sane, equitable, sustainable and without exploitation and hierarchy.
Hopefully by reading the range of posts listed below, you’ll get the inspiration to get together with people in your community to start a food growing project. If you do, we’d love to hear about it:)
Smashing it in Laindon:) 29.3.23
What’s the best location for plots to grow food? 10.3.23
Time to think about where our food comes from… 26.2.23
We Are Avon – a regional food and land project 11.2.23
Why the question of land is crucial to the future we want… 21.1.23
Community vegetable plots – actually doing it:) 2.12.22
Residents are greening Knowle 16.11.22
A few thoughts on allotment provision 11.11.22
It can be done:) 21.10.22
Starting local and then working outwards from there 1.10.22
Let’s put this into action! 18.9.22
A community vegetable plot in every park? 22.8.22
Security when the s**t hits the fan 9.5.22
Actually maintaining a community garden:) 27.4.22
Get planting! 12.4.22
A few thoughts on food (in)security 15.3.22
One example of the kind of initiatives we love:) 8.2.22
As we were saying… 5.2.22
Prefigurative action 3.2.22
Seed banks – gaining control… 3.2.22
Another reason to grow our own food:) 1.2.22
Food deserts, food supply and taking back control 1.2.22
Why what we do IS political 1.2.22
Now more than ever, we need to grow our own food 1.2.22