So we are looking for partners throughout the UK who share our passion for the environment and the community. Every week we will be getting closer and closer to our manual and our engagement process so that we can have people actually making a living from growing food by next spring.
The UK population is increasing. Worryingly our dependence on imported fresh produce is also increasing.
Until the 1970s as a nation we were sustainable in terms of temperate produce through a very effective network of market gardening. In those days, small scale farming was a viable and visible means of making a living. Market gardening was a part of the employment infrastructure. It surrounded every town.
Implemented in the 1960s to protect prices and sustainability for farmers yet often described as a system of “neo-feudalism” the Common Agricultural Policy has dictated - through a financial system that rewards large landowners, monoculture and often toxic agriculture - that responsibility for feeding the UK community has increasingly been thought of as the responsibility of “others”.
The combination of the CAP and supermarket domination has meant that many people who are passionate, skilled and experienced about growing or producing food on a small scale have been marginalised. The result of this is that the average age of a farmer is now 62 years and young people do not see farming as attractive or even viable means of generating income.
How have we moved so far from the market gardening system that flourishes in most of the rest of the world in such a short space of time? Isn’t it particularly important as an island state to become less dependent on imports? The “dumbing down” is ubiquitous throughout our new understanding of consuming – for instance preschool children can identify corporate logos but often haven’t got a clue what a carrot is or where milk comes from.
The result of this mismanagement is that big business has taken over the food supply system – and big business doesn’t give a stuff for the health and well- being of the community. Next they will be suggesting GMOs can feed the world…oh, hang on…. or that glysophate is harmless….I’m sure if you are reading this blog you get the picture (recent studies shows that glysophate is in breast milk and also in every organic wine that was tested).
In the UK today we grow a huge amount of produce – think rape seed oil and wheat - but a large percentage of these products are simply ingredients in the industrialised food system that is partially responsible for the lack of nutrition in food. To put it simply, the less well off people in the UK generally eat nutritionally poor “food like” products often full of sugar or salt or palm oil. It is becoming more and more accepted that poor quality food leads to poor quality lives. Incidences of diabetes, coronary heart disease, allergies, obesity are directly related to poor diet. Poverty, poor living conditions, antisocial behaviour, substance misuse, violence, sedentary lifestyles are clearly linked to lack of economic prospects and the lack of hope.
In our vision, the implementation of a nationwide network of viable market gardening will go a long way to redressing the environmental and social issues brought about by such awful mismanagement.
We know there are a lot of people throughout the UK who want to grow food for a living. We know because we get phone calls and emails on a daily basis. We also know how to do it successfully. We want to mentor and nurture individuals and organisations who want to do this very important work.
We also know the pitfalls of this type of work and thankfully we are in a position to assist people in avoiding the drama and stress that is generally associated with market gardening.
We can provide literally everything so that you, or your organisation can go from zero produce to having an income of around £2500 per week within a couple of months. Basically, next spring you could have a full system in place that uses our organisation as back up – product support, training, funding, infrastructure, sales, varieties, systems, HR and H&S policies and procedures in place, accreditations and insurances all organised and ready to sell food!
Hope you enjoy the weather and take time to consider where you food comes from.