I am really looking forward to 2018 and the work we will be undertaking to grow Lancaster’s sustainable food culture. There are already lots of events planned and some funding has been made available to drive some of this work forwards.
The first foodie event of the year is Transition City Lancaster’s Potato Day on Saturday 27th January from 11am -3pm at the Friends Meeting House on Meeting House Lane. Organic seed potatoes will be on sale; a seed swap will be run (so bring seeds to swap!); there will be a variety of stalls selling foodie stuff; woodland craft and ‘fixing activities’ are planned, and there will be a number of talks – to be confirmed. Lancaster’s Peoples Café will also be running a café on a pay-as-you-can basis as part of this community event. Money raised by the café will go towards supporting their work in reclaiming waste food and turning it into healthy and affordable meals for all.
LESS will be running four seasonal markets during 2018. Provisional dates are: 30th March for a Spring Market, 15th June for a Midsummer Market, 31st August Harvest Market and a Winter Market on the 14th December. Each market aims to celebrate our surrounding environment and the diversity of produce the different seasons bring. The markets showcase local food and crafts, local community initiatives and will bring small local producers into the heart of our city.
From the 20th- 22nd September the Lost Art of Living Festival will return to Lancaster with a range of health and wellbeing events and activities. As part of this festival we are planning a number of foodie events. One of these will hopefully include a local food meal at Claver Hill Community Farm. We also want to hold a community conversation about Lancaster’s food culture and resilience.
Sustainable Food City Lancaster has also just been awarded £10,000 in match funding to support the role of a local Sustainable Food Cities Coordinator for a year. Lancaster’s group was one of nine local food partnerships across the country to have been granted this funding.
The Sustainable Food Cities approach involves developing a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of the place in which they live. This funding will enable the Lancaster group to develop an effective cross-sector food partnership for the city that oversees the development of a city-wide action plan. This action plan will address ‘weak points’ locally in relation to the Sustainable Food Cities’ model for a resilient and sustainable food city.