After the last conversation Janet went away and talked to people about food carnival next summer like an urban village fete. A meeting was held which was well attended and there seems to be a real buzz about this idea.
The best location of the festival was discussed including the merits of holding the event in Potternewton Park. Some thought this site was too large and the festival would look lost, others thought the park was a good location. The potential for using the festival to explore and showcase different food cultures was discussed with a tent for each national or regional cuisine and related cultural displays and activities. This may be a bit ambitious for the first year.
The role of gardening in developing a positive relationship with our immediate local environment was discussed. There is an allotment on Louis Street but people are not visiting it. Why? Idea to get groups of people/neighbours to work together in groups to approach large gardening tasks as a team, with the team working on a different team member’s garden each session. Tools, plants, knowledge and expertise could be effectively shared this way too.
There was a tool library in Chapeltown until the tools got stolen. Possibility to replace the tools if a suitable storage place could be found.
The example of Incredible Edible Todmorden was discussed including similarities and differences between Chapeltown and Todmorden.
Another project suggestion was an idea to plant a fruit tree in every garden. This would have a drastic aesthetic impact, would provide fresh fruit, would help neighbours to get to know each other, potential for swapping fruit and skills on what to do with it and other educational benefits. Harvesting could be done as a social event. Links with Urban Harvest and their work could be explored, Riley already helps Urban Harvest with their work and Leeds Permaculture are already involved in projects in the area.
On a smaller scale, food growing could be encouraged by giving away window boxes and herbs to grow in them. The example of the free hanging basket scheme in Armley was also discussed, but hanging baskets thought to be problematic if the property is rented.