This challenge is a Transition Ipswich initiative, led by the Food Group.
Transition Ipswich is about using our collective talents and unique local knowledge to make our community more resilient to the growing social pressures of Peak Oil and Climate Change. Many towns around the country are now well on their way to putting into practice a local energy descent plan and they look like they’re having a pretty good time as well.
To find out more, take a look at the info on the Transition Ipswich website. If you’d like to participate in one Food Group, come and talk to us. There are also other themed working groups which look at other ways to live in a less oil dependent way – such as by using low carbon energy and transport use.
We are starting to join up with other Transition Groups in Suffolk who are starting to plan their own local food challenges for 2013, building on last year’s efforts. So if Ipswich is not your nearest town, check out the other Transition groups in Suffolk doing similar challenges – their websites are below:
Greener Fram: Completed their first 30Mile 30 Day Food Challenge in Framlingham in 2011, which was repeated with a family focus in 2012. They published wall charts to get families involved in the challenge, which went down a storm with the children. In 2012 they also had a small but fun pasta making workshop.
Greener Sax: completed a ’30:30 Eat Well, Buy Local’ food challenge in 2012, culminating in a film showing and bonfire with around 30 people celebrating the challenge. They are currently thinking about 2013.
Transition Woodbridge: completed on the 3030 challenge in 2012, working closely with Ipswich on events publicity. They hosted a successful film showing of ‘Transition 2’, and a food foraging walk and cordial making workshop. They’re already gearing up for a great challenge in 2013!
Halesworth in Transition: completed a low-key challenge in 2012, with shared meals, recipe swaps, and a trip to Wakelyns Agroforestry. Most of their efforts focussed on producing a local food directory for Halesworth, which is online and in print copy. They will be updating and reprinting this in 2013.
Sustainable Bungay: run a successful monthly local food dinner called Happy Mondays, which showcases local ingredients and is themed differently each month. This is just one of their fantastic local food projects, which also included Bungay Community Bees, and since late last year, Bungay Pig Club. We await to hear if they will be challenging Bungay residents to eat local in 2013!
Transition Stour Valley worked with the Apricot Centre to undertake a food mapping exercise in 2011, producing an excellent mini-directory of local producers. As part of a larger project called the Dedham Vale Food Hub, the Apricot Centre hopes to start promoting and selling local food from a central hub in 2013. Their website is here.
Transition Sudbury are busy doing lots of gardening and food events in 2013 – we hope to persuade them to come on board for a food challenge this year!
Sustainable Bury: launched in November 2012 and are already looking at starting a gardening scheme this Spring. We hope they will attempt a local food challenge in 2013.
We also hope the new Transition group in Stowmarket will also be up and running in time to participate in local food challenges in 2013. Watch this space!
To help these groups link up, there is a basic Facebook page started last year for Suffolk groups to use. Click here to see it.
Around the UK…
There are also a number of other similar initiatives which have undertaken local food challenges across the UK. Notable examples include:
Fife Diet: asked people to eat food from Fife region for 1 year in 2007-8. Has since developed into “a much larger network of people trying to re-localise more generally and to explore what sustainable food might be.”
Tweed Green: The 50:50 challenge: A challenge undertaken since 2009 to eat food produced solely within a 50-mile radius of Peebles for the month of October.
The New Forest Food Challenge: an ongoing challenge to the people of the New Forest to find ways of using more local produce.
Transition Black Isle: Highland Food Challenge: challenged people to eat local food for 3 months in 2010-11. This was a 4-pronged challenge, also targeting seasonal, organic and vegetarian food, using a scoring system.
CPRE 30:30: A national campaign by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, challenging people to source 30% of their food from within 30 miles of where they live.
Do you know about any more? Let us know, we’d like to learn from them.