Action for Local Food will broadly employ the three permaculture ethics, as a ‘thinking tool’ for designing sustainable low carbon, highly productive systems as a means of connecting local people, who live, work, study and visit Islington more deeply to nature’s patterns and of practically applying that understanding to everyday life. In its initial development phase, we will focus on Diagnosis and Test.
The Doing Cycle will be realised as a result of a larger, longer-term programme of work for which we intend to be taken forward by seeking further funding from the National Lottery's Climate Action Fund and by securing in-kind support and cash match funding.
As a result of the project we expect that the following can be realistically achieved:
Citizen-led social action and movement building to identify brand-new and meanwhile food growing spaces, results in Islington’s food growing space being increased by 59% to achieve 7.5 tonnes carbon reduction.
Upskill a minimum of 12 Adult Climate Action Ambassadors and 12 Young Climate Action Ambassadors responsible for building a Climate Action Movement in Islington through a minimum of 4 and up to 9 Climate Action Movement Making events, engaging a minimum of 100 people through these, and more broadly raising awareness among 1500 children, young people and adults.
Citizen Science activities at five demonstrator sites provide evidence of how food-waste reduction and water harvesting help tackle climate change in urban environments; achieving 100% food waste reduction and increase water harvesting by 3900% (several sites have no existing capacity), results in 10.5 tonnes carbon reduction.
Production of a draft Community Food Growing Strategy for Islington is underpinned by community-led social action, which results in a minimum of 5 social action groups leading the development of a borough-wide Climate Action Network.
Action for Local Food is a new movement on a mission to create local solutions that address our climate emergency and benefit the community by growing fruit and veg, building soil, harvesting water, preventing food waste and sharing surplus food. Our big picture vision is everyone in Islington having access to local, fresh, nutritious and sustainable food.
There are so many advantages to creating a local, sustainable food system. Fresh food grown in our borough is healthier and better for our planet. Reducing food waste is good for the climate, and for our wallets. Turning unused land into food-growing spaces can create more peaceful, beautiful areas of Islington filled with nature. Growing fruit and veg locally can bring people together, improving physical and mental health whilst creating a more resilient community. We can grow in ways that improve biodiversity, making Islington a better home for more plants and animals. And for future pandemics or similar crises, wouldn’t it be nice to know we have lots of food growing on our doorstep? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel embedded in the local ecosystem?
By growing food locally, we can grow a stronger community, empowering local people to shape the way food works for the community. We can build a movement of growers who can nurture fruit and veg from plant to plate, enabling more people to feel connected to what they eat. Working together, we will grow a thriving network of residents, businesses and community groups and transform our food system from the ground up.
Islington is one of the London boroughs with the least green space, so growing lots of food locally won’t be easy. We will need to be smart. We need to find creative ways of making the most of what we have - from developing ways to grow on concrete, rooftops and in parks, to creating initiatives that connect our spare food with those in need. As we build on our successes, we can help improve our community and become a shining example for other urban areas around the world.