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We're part of a world-wide community movement in response to peak oil and climate change. This site gives you details of our up and coming events and meetings, as well as reports and related matters that are going on in Norwich and East Anglia.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food and Farming projects

Food is likely to be one of the areas most affected by peak oil. And, since human life requires food, it might become the most pressing. Our planet currently produces far more food than at any time in history. We can do this because of an array of fossil “subsidies” that boost the amount of food we can get from each hectare of land, from fertilisers to pesticides, tractor fuel to refrigerated transport. These subsidies enable us not only to support our huge world population, they also enable those of us in the rich countries to eat higher up the food chain. As peak oil, and other resource constraints, start to bite we will need to develop more resilient food systems, and we will have to reduce our demand for food by eating lower down the food chain (ie eating less meat and dairy produce).

Working with East Anglia Food Link, Transition Norwich has secured £137k of funding, from the Lottery-funded Local Food Fund, for a series of exciting projects:

- a Community Supported Agriculture scheme growing organic vegetables on the edge of the city at Postwick. We’ll be recruiting members who will pay an annual membership fee in return for a regular supply of seasonal, organic, local produce with a very low carbon footprint. Members will also be encouraged to get involved in supporting the project.
- another market garden on the playing fields of the Hewett School, linking students and local people into vegetable production and selling through local community outlets including the school kitchen and ideas like weekly market stalls at local primary schools.
- a flour mill milling local organic wheat, and supplying local artisan bakers who will then be able to bake a “Local Loaf”; and
- brokering local staples such as oats and beans into wholefood shops in the city.

The Food Group also developed a detailed contribution to the Resilience Plan, setting out the kind of diet that Norwich could eat in a resource-constrained world, how much land would be required to grow that food, and where the gaps are in terms of storage, processing etc.

At present, the Food Group is not meeting as such, because so much activity is going on in other quarters:

Norwich FarmShare
is the co-op we've set up to operate the community supported agriculture and school market garden schemes. Some 20 members of Transition Norwich have become the active members of that co-op and are putting great energy into ensuring the success of those projects.

Other food projects within Transition Norwich include the Low Carbon Cookbook and the Permaculture Group.

We also celebrate several excellent food initiatives run by other organisations in Norwich, especially the Grow Our Own project.