GROWING COMMUNITIESâ€™ FOOD ZONE DIAGRAM: What a sustainable re-localised food system might look like in the future. Growing Communities has a set of Key Principles that we apply to our box scheme and farmersâ€™ market to ensure they are as sustainable as possible.Â
We also have a wider vision of what a sustainable, re-localised food system might look like which encompasses these principles while aiming to reduce the amount of oil and fossil fuels it takes to feed us.
Itâ€™s in the form of a diagram â€“
â€¢ Itâ€™s based on human-scale, organic, mixed farms located in and around urban areas which are directly connected to the urban communities they feed and which enable those communities to source increasing amounts of food from close to where they live.
â€¢ Itâ€™s build around the idea of community sized â€˜building blocksâ€™ which encompass positive but appropriately scaled trading relationships starting from the local and working out to global and which enable urban producers, small farmers, producer coops, larger farms and food imports to exist in harmony.
The table on the right shows what Growing Communities is working on and what we are actually achieving in terms of sourcing food for the box scheme from each of the zones.
The food traded should be:
â€¢ Farmed and produced ecologically
â€¢ As local as possible
â€¢ Mainly plant based
â€¢ Mainly fresh and minimally processed
â€¢ From small scale operations
And it should be distributed in a way which:
â€¢ Supports fair trade
â€¢ Involves environmentally friendly and low-carbon resource use
â€¢ Fosters community
â€¢ Promotes knowledge
â€¢ Strives to be economically viable and independent
â€¢ Is transparent and promotes trust throughout the food chain
the Growing Communitiesâ€™ Food Zone - showing what type of food could best come from where and is an initial attempt to illustrate what percentage of our food we need to source from different zones. It starts with the urban areas in which most of us live and moves outwards applying a kind of food subsidiarity: raising what we can as close as we can taking into account a number of factors e.g. Soil type/climate/what grows best where, size of plots available, infrastructure and transport links available, the degree of mechanisation that makes most sense, the perishability of the produce.