Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Sustainable Food

There’s growing awareness that a lot of our food comes with a big carbon footprint and there have been a couple of excellent programmes on TV recently highlighting the problem. Farm for the Future discusses how peak oil will affect UK farming
The Future of Food discusses food security both in the UK and worldwide.

Food accounts for roughly one third of the carbon footprint of the average person in the UK and that’s mostly from transport, petrochemicals used by farmers and heating for greenhouses. Local, organic food avoids most of these carbon emissions. So, we can actually reduce our personal contribution to climate change more easily by changing what we eat than by changing the way we travel and use energy at home. The Castle Café buys several tonnes of food every year and we’ve started to make changes to what we buy to make our food selection more sustainable. You may have noticed some of the improvements already.

Of course the most sustainable way of getting food is to grow it organically in your own garden. So that’s what we’re going to do. We have about an acre of garden at The Castle, which won’t be enough space to grow all the food currently supplied to the Café but, it could produce a significant proportion of it. Lots of us are very keen to get stuck in but we don’t have much experience. Luckily we know someone who does!

Ida Fabrizio climbs at The Castle so some of you will know her already. She works with several organisations that promote growing food, sustainably in London, including Sustain, Capital Growth and Growing Communities. She’s passionate about food and seems to have spent most of her life learning how to grow it. So we’re really lucky that, as of last week, Ida will be working at The Castle one day week to develop our garden into a sustainable food growing space. Of course, she won’t be able to do it on her own so her main focus will be organising all us willing, but inexperienced, volunteers to do the bulk of the work.

Look out for Ida’s post introducing what she’s got planned for us.

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