A city of food

Bristol feels like a fantastic hub of activity towards positive cultural change but one of the most noticeable aspects is the food production. Next year will see Bristol become the European Green Capital, the first UK city to receive this award! This reflects the large amount of work and many vibrant projects that are going on in Bristol. There would not be space here to tell you even a fraction of what they are up to, but I would like to do is share some of the wonderful local food production I have discovered during the time here.

Walking through Bristol I’ve been struck by the number of allotments, they are big and also well used. The city also boasts city farms and the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens which supports groups all over the country. If you have a community garden or city farm, or are interested in establishing one, they can provide support and advice. St. Werbergs City Farm was a wonderful place to visit with animals, growing areas, a cafe and playground.

I loved the beautiful cafe in a Gaudi style, and met some wonderful people there!

Becky volunteers at the farm and shared how she came to get involved.

Around St. Werbergs is a large area of allotments.

I also checked out part of Eastside Root Community Garden. The successful project has a limited lifespan as the railway station is being redeveloped so the group used the space in the intervening time.

 

To vote or not to vote, that is the question

Many people I’ve met have conflicting views about how to vote or whether to vote at all. With the European and some council elections coming up on the 22nd of May and the general elections next year, it’s a passionate question. There is a website called Vote for Policies where you can compare the policies of parties without knowing which party is which, then select those that you agree with and at the end it tells you which party is the best fit.

Many people especially younger voters want a ‘no confidence’ vote for the entire political system. Russell Brand famously expressed what many young people are feeling when he called for people to not vote. If we do decide not to vote however, it is assumed to be apathy or consent. How could it be considered dissent? If you have decided not to vote, one option is to organise a protest outside your polling station to be ‘counted’ as dissenting voters.

Some other countries offer a ‘none of the above’ option in voting where if a significant proportion vote for this then nominations have to be reopened. In our current system however if we do decide not to vote, staying at home will definitely not have our voice heard. Those considering a non-vote are those most likely to vote for radical reform, so without them the remaining vote becomes more towards the status quo. So whether we vote our choice, or non-vote our choice I hope we will be active and vocal in showing our engagement, because anything else will be to consent to business as usual.