Not long ago i had a brief, almost throw away conversation, with people at Regather. We were talking about where our food comes from and how important it is to understand what happens before it gets to our plate.
This subject spans a wide spectrum of topics – from GMOs to multinationals to deforestation to imperialism to poverty, war….and more.
One aspect is fostering an experiential approach to understanding food production.
So, children have been seen increasingly at city farms over the past 30 years; our own Heeley City Farm being a great example; and schemes like Food for Life are dedicated to ensuring we widen our collective understanding of food production and can access tasty and healthy food sustainably.
With regard to bread, the growth of sourdough bakeries has both stimulated and been a product of a discussion about and move away from manufactured bread products. Even so it seems there has not been a discussion at the next level of where the grain comes from and how it is processed . And this contrasts with wider discussions about organic vegetables, for example, or ‘food miles’.
Grain to plate experience.
When I learnt Regather might be linking up with Friends Field, some dots started to join in my head.
Friends Field is a social enterprise in the wonderful Moss Volley.
15 acres of land that has had green manure for three years cut three times a year and mulched for worms to do their magic.
So last week i hear they will be a planting winter wheat (i.e it is sown in the winter) in an acre and half of the field; and next year via harrowing, planting, harvesting, threshing , milling, bagging and baking, it may land on a Sheffield plate!
There is still lots to find out and do. Not sure yet if it is hard or soft, red or white …. but we will find out soon as it has to be planted by November 5th.