Feeding Manchester #12

FeedingManchester, Greater Manchester's sustainable food network, held their 12th event last Saturday 23 March at the Friends Meeting House in Bolton. Following the success of their previous Feeding Manchester #11 in Prestwich, they ventured out of the city centre for a second time.The event was organised with members of different Bolton food initiatives including Transition Town Bolton and The Kitchen Co-op.

Unfortunately, despite the event being held in late March, snowstorms across the region prevented several guest speakers and a number of attendees from attending. The weather in Greater Manchester, however, wasn't too bad with almost no snow in the city centre and an inconvenient but navigable amount in Bolton. Even with the bad weather, the event drew over 30 dedicated members of Greater Manchester's sustainable food network.

The day began with a brief introduction by Nona, the Feeding Manchester co-ordinator who passed on apologies from those who were unable to make it. We were then given an overview of the projects taking place in Bolton, presented by Alan from Transition Town Bolton. He discussed the Bolton Gathering of Organic Growers and gave an overview of a variety of food-growing projects in the area at schools, allotment sites and community gardens. Alan shared a time-line to provide perspective on the growth and evolution of food-related projects in the area. There were also short presentations from Harper's Lane Allotment Society and Incredible Edible Bromley Cross.

This was followed by our presentation on the new Foodlink Card and SELF-trust initiatives. We introduced the new SELF-trust scheme designed for Supporters-and-Enthusiast of Local Foods to help interested parties Explore, Discover and Enjoy local foods and connect with other groups to create a network throughout the region. If you are interested in learning more or possible developing your own Foodlink SELF-trusts please contact countymgr@foodlinkmanchester.org.uk

After lunch we had a session of '5-minute presentations' where several groups were given 5 minutes to present 20 slides with only 15 seconds for each slide. This presentation-style allows multiple groups to give brief introductions to their projects. We heard about the Forgotten Fields project which documents the food history of Greater Manchester, the new Moss Bank Food Hub initiative designed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and FarmStart, a new programme designed to develop and support new growers.

Despite the weather, we managed to have a productive and inspiring day and we hope everyone will look forward to our visioning exercise at the next event this summer!

Presentations from the day are available here:

Incredible Edible Bromley Cross.

Mark Steins Research.

Lancahsire Wildlife's Food Hub.