On Tuesday I was lucky enough to go to an amazing event down by the river called Making Local Food Our Future – the last conference in the winding down of the Making Local Food Work project. The whole day was inspiring and eye-opening – there must have been 500 hundred people there, all making moves to make local food viable and innovative.
It was so inspiring and uplifting that I cried three times. Once at the talk of the lovely Charlotte from the amazing community owned Fordhall Farm (1 farm, 8000 landlords!), who, alongside her brother, managed to rescue her family’s farm with the rousing help of the 8000 people they recruited to buy shares and the local community – you may have seen her in the Guardian. I then wept again on Ann Louise Batchelor, food writer, porridge-maker extraordinaire and volunteer for Reading True Food Co-op, describing the special shelving units they had designed in order to make their co-op shop mobile. Yes, I was crying about shelving, but I think it was more to do with generally being overwhelmed by the sheer dedication and innovation going into these projects that makes me almost think we’re in with a chance of making some positive changes. It may also have been partly to do with a big lunch because by far the most tears were as a result of the most amazing free lunch I have ever had the good fortune to experience.
Rare roast beef, warm butternut squash and beetroot salad, mixed wild garlic mushrooms, hand made sausage rolls, fettucine with cream and spinach.. Wee squares of cheese cake that were to die for, lemon biscuits and shot glasses full of Earl Grey panacotta… For free. There were tears, I can tell you. I had to hide in the bathroom until I’d calmed down. So far as I know I think Country Markets catered the event. God love them. If it was them.
Suffice to say I had a lovely day and felt inspired for hours afterwards. Now all I need to do is invent myself a project to do.