In Digging in: the local food revolution, Elizabeth Alker talks to vegetable gardener, YouTuber and author Huw Richards and Incredible Edible’s Clare Negus. We also hear from the fantastic community-owned and run Radcliffe Market.
Huw Richard has a social media following of over 250,000 and a mission to help as many people as possible to grow their own food, inexpensively. Clare Negus works with the Incredible Edible group in Heaton Park, Greater Manchester – one of hundreds of groups globally who create kind, confident and connected communities through the power of food.
Huw says: “At school, food is just seen as this thing that was given to you. You were never told how it was produced or anything. So on one side of things, you see this rise of veganism and the other side of things you see people just show no interest whatsoever.”
“I invite each household to choose something they’d really enjoy growing and would be excited about. This could be strawberries or even potatoes… It’s about choosing something fun to grow.”
Clare Negus welcomes anyone to be a part of an Incredible Edible group – if you eat, you’re in!
“Everything that’s grown in an Incredible Edible project you can take and harvest yourself. You could be part of a community allotment for instance, so you don’t have to necessarily do it on your own. I think it’s more fun when you do it with other people.”
More Than a Shop series producer Geoff Bird also visited Radcliffe Market – pre-lockdown – a Community Benefit Society, which means it is owned and run by the community, for the community. Rob Grant, one of the market’s Directors, explains:
“All the money that we earn through the bar and through the rents and through the people visiting is reinvested in the site to make it bigger and better.”
One of the market traders, Katie who owns Northern Glory, a food stall celebrating northern food, says: “Because our profits are spread out within the community, I think people feel like spending money here is a good thing rather than just going into someone else’s pocket.”
“We have to cook fresh food on site, make sure that all our packaging is compostable. No single use plastic here. And we have to make sure that our foods come in locally.”
More Than a Shop is a collaboration between Co‑operatives UK, The Co‑op, Co‑op News, The Co-operative College and The Co‑operative Heritage Trust. The series is produced by Geoff Bird on behalf of Sparklab Productions.
Please note: The More Than a Shop series was recorded before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.