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IN THIS ISSUE:
Bridport Food Matters AGM and Open Mic
We Dig No Dig
Bridport Food Security Plan – Presentation by Ele Saltmarsh
Capturing water at the Edible Gardens – 26th and 27th September
Frome Food Network to visit – 14th November 2023
Bridport Health Alliance
Cock Crowing Farm establishing a food forest
Links to some things we found interesting…
Bridport Food Matters hosted a gathering of some 30 people, representatives of local community food groups, interested individuals, landowners, local councillors for its AGM. There was a fantastic buzz in the room, especially from the ‘Open Mic’ session.
We’ve received lots of great feedback including “Such a positive dynamic meeting.” “This was so inspiring – thank you to everyone working so hard for our Town”. “This is the best networking event I have ever been to”! “Really great event last night, thanks: it was so inspiring hearing about all the amazing food projects people in the room are already doing in and around Bridport. … I really wanted to chat to everyone!”
Many useful connections were made: a perfect venue may have been found for the old Food Bus; a former GP working on pre-diabetes will address a Primary School; a landowner has been inspired by one of the contributions to plant up a forest garden; a botanical alchemist and newcomer-to-the-town linked up with a group already working on herbs… etc. etc.
You can read the notes of the Open Mic session here, and the report on last year’s activity here, for your reference. We’ll do what we can to continue with the ‘Open Mic’ format as a platform for sharing news and making links – perhaps forum events – these could either be open or on a theme.
Thank you so much for your interest and support – it’s so uplifting to know there are many doing so much to improve our food security and the resilience of our community.
If your organisation would like to become a BFM ‘Partner’ please complete this short form. This all helps to build the web of connections and, hopefully, we’re stronger together.
[photo Robert Golden]
Throughout the summer we have been enjoying lively food-based conversations with passers-by whilst tending the medical centre plot. Without fail everyone has expressed their support for the idea of growing food on public land. This support was echoed at the Food Festival where seven people identified plots around town where they would like to get growing.
Thanks to help from the community shed we have made raised-bed kits and with the compost donated from Biffa we are all ready to go once we have received permission from the Town Council and other landowners. In order to address the council’s concerns, we have spoken to one of the founders of Incredible Edible who has offered to link them up with people in equivalent roles in Todmorden Council. Todmorden has been successfully growing food on public land throughout the whole town for 15 years and has become a tourist destination because of it! Go to the Incredible Edible Network website to find out how this movement has spread throughout the UK and across the world: https://www.incredibleedible.org.uk/
If you have an area of public land near you that you would like to plant up with veg please get in touch via email@example.com.
[photo Pete Millson]
7pm Thursday 5th October 2023
WI Hall, North St, BRIDPORT
Now, more than ever, as we face a cost-of-living and climate crisis, it is important that we acknowledge the significant role that food plays in our lives. From its nutritional and cultural value, to bringing us together at the table, and as part of our local economy, the food system is an integral part of our daily lives.
The purpose of putting together a Food Security Action Plan for Bridport is to ensure all residents, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
Come along and find out more about the food challenges and opportunities for those who live in, work or visit Bridport and the ways in which we could reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions whilst ensuring that people have reliable access to healthy food.
Healthy People – Healthy Place – Healthy Planet!
The Edible Gardens of St. Mary’s and Bridport Primary School have been awarded money from Wessex Water to provide equipment for water capture in their gardens – essential for watering crops, especially in Polytunnels.
There are now several water butts and gutters fixed to the sheds in both gardens as well as watering cans for all ages.
Also two events will be held on 26th and 27th September for the community of the two schools.
These will highlight the new rainwater harvesting in place and why rainwater is better than tap water for plants. The importance of a pond for wildlife and the ecosystem. Information on foods being grown in the raised beds and poly-tunnel, and opportunities for volunteers to sign up.
There will be stalls representing the We Dig No Dig project, treasure hunt for the kids, water pump games and lots of information on why we must save water.
BFM is hosting a visit from Hugh, the co-ordinator of the Frome Food Network – on Tuesday 14th November, 2023.
The Frome Food Network is building awareness of food sustainability and the local food economy – and is one of the country’s most inspiring examples of how bring the community together to increase food security and our resilience.
There’ll be an open meeting in Bridport in the early evening – details to follow, but get it in your diaries now!
The vision of Bridport Health Alliance is to create a community health support service for the people of Bridport. Concerned about the pressure on the NHS, the Alliance has been set up to go some way to alleviate that pressure. We want to encourage people to take responsibility for their own health, so education on health and well-being will be a huge part of what we offer. We hope to collaborate with other local groups. We already have a group of skilled local people who have knowledge in all aspects of mental and physical well-being, including two paramedics. We have had stalls at events and in Bucky Do Square and have had a series of talks open to all. For further information contact Mary-Clare on 07775 656782 and to be added to our email list email Lyn Lidiard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Retired horticulturist, designer Lucy Sommers and eco-energy expert, Chit Chong bought the Eype fields in October 2022, with the aim of establishing a local “food forest” run on agro-ecology principles. Lucy says “The aim is to produce for a local market, examples of less known but delicious fruit, fungi, nuts, and perennial grains with some resilience to the way our climate is evolving. We aim to be part of the wider effort to develop food security for Bridport whilst maximising biodiversity at the same time. A subsidiary production of locally grown cut flowers is also planned.” Contact Lucy.
We are Andrew Green and Mary-Clare Buckle. We have been self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables for 25 years and also grow a large amount of medicinal herbs. Andrew is writing a book, ‘Food Uncovered’, a comprehensive investigation of our food system and its drastic implications for the health of people and planet. He can talk on all sorts of different food and health-related topics, if you want an interesting and engaging speaker! He has been campaigning about organic food since the 80s, and is very knowledgeable in cooking, nutrition and natural healing. We run GetWellKeepWell courses, short talks and ‘An Introduction to using culinary and medicinal herbs for health’ day courses.https://www.instagram.com/getwellkeepwell/ and www.total-wellness.uk or contact Mary-Clare on 07775 656782
You can see a recording of the Dorset Food Resilience meeting organised by Dorset CAN here.
For information about the pioneering recent Dorset COP event follow Zero Carbon Dorset
Share your experiences helping families with No Recourse to Public Funds to access food. Calling all local food and health organisations and professionals: Please share your experiences supporting families on low incomes with no recourse to public funds to access healthy food, including the Healthy Start Scheme. Survey deadline 13 October.
Join the biggest ever national conversation to ask how we fix food, fix the planet and fix our health. See the first short film here.
Climate Plans useless without ‘Fixing Fertiliser’ – Wicked Leeks news