An Opening Caveat
Beginning to ask the question of whether anywhere “can feed itself” is like opening a set of Russian dolls. At which scale does one start? Can a village feed itself? A town? A city? Can Europe feed itself? Indeed, can the world? This is surely one of the key questions of our time, but where to begin? The research and contemplations presented in this paper start at the level of a small area of Devon, but by doing so, the intention is to explore the challenges and opportunities of doing the same on a national scale, a project Transition Network is planning to develop in partnership with a range of other organisations. Also, this paper just looks at food and fuel. Clearly though, there is also a need for research on whether Britain can power itself, clothe, medicate, house and furnish itself. This is a huge area of potential research but it is hoped that this paper initiates a long-overdue debate on these vital questions.