Seed Truck Blog
Fergus Walker, Seed Truck Co-ordinator
In a time when food banks are painfully prevalent in our society, it is starkly clear that there is something major that needs to be done to tackle these unacceptable levels of food poverty. Unfair welfare cuts from Westminster aside, one practical approach is for more people to begin growing and producing their own food – which puts power in people’s hands, is healthy and costs very little.
Just over two years ago, in May 2012, the Fife Diet launched its Seed Truck project, a wandering offshoot that has been travelling all over Scotland providing practical and engaging workshops on growing and producing your own food. Here at the Fife Diet we are looking at how to continue this valuable project as a more long term initiative.
As you may know, Fife Diet is in an exciting period of transition to a new way of working. The organisation as it currently stands is winding down, but two new projects are simultaneously emerging – the Fife Food Co-op and a new improved version of the Seed Truck.
We see the new Seed Truck as a practical advocate of food sovereignty in Scotland. Our vision is to to build community resourcefulness and resilience in:
+ building food-based knowledge and skills;
+ promoting the localisation of food systems and their control;
+ celebrating the taste, quality and local distinctiveness of our food;
+ exploring and developing sustainable solutions for people and planet.
Food Sovereignty is a fantastic principle pioneered by the international peasants movement La Via Campesina – and the concept was first launched at an convention of peasants, small farmers and growers from all over the world at Nyeleni in Mali. The declaration made there outlined a powerful basic principle:
Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. (Wikipedia)
Food sovereignty makes an important distinction that the concept of Food Security does not adequately cover: the right of communities to be able to control – and grow their own culturally rooted food – as supposed to the nation-state level of provision that is the focus of of Food Security standards. Food Sovereignty therefore is an admirable vision for a Scotland without food banks.
With the new Seed Truck, we would like to continue with out tried and tested ideas, but also to innovate with new ideas that really need to happen:
Helping community groups to get set up with new food-producing Kitchen Gardens – as we have recently helped Dudhope Community Centre in Dundee to do.
We would like to continue with our unique blend of cooking, music, storytelling, arts and performanceto help communities to hold celebrations and harvest festivals. We would like to do more storytelling and creative activities.
The area that we are keen to innovate in is the provision of appropriate low impact technologies for community food production. There are loads of people out there wanting to learn how to grow their own food, but there is a real hole in the provision of certain resources. Some of the ideas we are interested in pioneering is the Food Garden in a Backpack – a start up kit that includes good quality, long lasting gardening tools, a suite of seeds suitable for your area of Scotland, and training to get you started. We also have some exciting ideas for some wild pedal powered inventions of ours – smoothie cycles, apple juice cycles, pizza cycles!
However, to get the focus right for our future work, we really need your help! Before we embark on any of these grand ideas, we need to know how many people back them. We would be very grateful if you could therefore fill out one (or both) of these surveys:
If you represent an organisation and would be interested in working with the Seed Truck, please fill in the Organisation Survey
If you are an individual and would like to support in the work we intend to do – please fill in the Individual Survey