‘Celebrity Love Allotment’ wins 2 BAFTAs after topping the ratings all summer. The winner, Letitia Lloyd, becomes an icon for the rapidly growing home-growing movement.
- A survey of Totnes finds that gardening is now one of the key ways that people meet new friends.
- Quality gardening tools are the most popular Christmas presents in the area.
- Due to disruptions to fuel supplies and the resultant industrial dispute in 2013, Morrisons and Somerfields are both forced to close for periods, first for a week, and then for 3 weeks, during June and July. It is the first time the food resilience of the area is really tested since 2000 (when it failed miserably). Local food shops report a huge increase in turnover, and although they struggle to meet demand, they manage, combined with the percentage of food now grown within the town. KEVICC sends some of its more disadvantaged children home with vegetable bags from the school’s gardens, but acknowledges that it grows nowhere near enough at present to be able to cope in a similar situation that lasted for longer. When the Prime Minister broadcasts to the nation saying that there is every likelihood of such occurrences happening in the future, given the world oil crisis, the Principal of KEVICC announces that an additional 3 acres of the school’s grounds will be going into food production, with 3 more polytunnels being installed.
- So many people in Totnes town start keeping chickens that the Totnes Hen keepers Society is formed, holding regular events and providing a newsletter of tips and ideas. In its first year, membership passes 200.
- In 2014, work begins on planting Dartington land. The first winter’s planting sees 40 acres contoured and planted with nearly 10,000 trees and shrubs.
- Local churches make land available, including cemeteries for family and community use. Fruit trees are planted on graves.
- Schumacher College begins offering an MSc in Transition Land Use, which includes modules on permaculture, agroforestry and making sustainable food production financially viable. There is huge interest in the course.
- Squirrel is enjoyed as a delicacy in Totnes – Rumour, McCabes and the White Hart all include squirrel pot roast and stew on their menus.
- Prisons grow food on site and within the community, building connections, skills and vital produce.
- Quinoa is adopted by producers as a key crop; grains used for fallow crop in rotation system.
- Sharpham Estate sets 5 acres of sunflowers for its first cooking oil production trial
- Local beef and dairy farmers begin to struggle as grain prices and fertiliser prices rise sharply. Many decide, with help from DEFRA’s Post Oil Farming team, to move to completely grass-fed systems, which require a change in the mixes of grasses used, to develop a stronger root mat enabling the cattle to stay out longer. Clover becomes a part of the mix for farmers as they reduce their dependency on nitrogen fertilizers.
Policy Makers & Service Providers
- The Government introduces the Home Growing Act, as an outcome of the Green New Deal passed the previous year. This uses the Working Tax Credit system to, in effect, pay people to stay home 2 days a week and grow food. Supported by a Community Gardening Officer, those in receipt of the support grow food at home, and are provided with free tools and equipment. The scheme takes off rapidly and is a huge success, supported by an inspiring television series. Within a month of its launch, nearly 300 families in Totnes are participating.
- Devon County Council offers local landowners a temporary ‘5s’ land rent scheme. The pilot scheme will initially last for 5 years make parcels of land available to groups of 5 people or more to grow food within 5 miles of where they live
- Deregulation of health and safety regulations encourages farm visits and volunteers.
- Deregulation encourages more mobile abattoirs.
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