Sam Moisha from Transition City Lancaster food group reflects on the recent Harvest Meal event.
On Saturday 29th Septempber about 50 of us sat down to supper together at a community space in Lancaster. Many of us had never met before but we had all responded to an open invitation to bring food to share to celebrate the harvest. Most people were food growers and it became clear that much wonderful food is grown here right in our City. The idea behind the event was to celebrate the harvest by cooking up food from our own gardens, back yards, allotments and community projects; and bring it along to a pot luck supper. The food really was delicious and there was lots of it.
We called it a Harvest Feast as the words ‘Harvest Festival’ tend to be associated with religious events. This event was for folk of any religion or none.
Many of the delicious dishes people brought along were made from potatoes grown from the seed potatoes distributed at ‘Potato Day’ – an annual event held on the last Saturday in January. The next Potato Day will be Jan 26th 2019 and hundreds of organic seed potatoes will be for sale to local folks at cost price.
It was really quite something to realise that so many people had taken away the seed potatoes, planted and tended them in a bucket or a plot, then harvested them, cooked them up and brought them along to share with others. Given the uncertainties of Brexit it is heartening to know we have so many food growers and community projects thriving here in Lancaster. There is certainly the basis here to grow much more of our own food locally.
We celebrated the huge number of community food growing projects right here in the City – Scotch Quarry, Spud Club, Ridge Community Orchard, Fruit Tree Nursery, Piccadilly Gardens, Green Lancaster at the Uni, Seed Library, Fork to Fork, the Triangle, Firbank Orchard, Fairfield Orchard, Incredible Edible, John Muir, Farm Start and a bit further afield – the Landworkers Alliance and Middlewood up at Wray. And all the amazing allotment sites as well.
To find out more about these projects please have a look at www.lessuk.org/directory
At the end of the evening we had an excellent performance from ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ who spoke and sang the history of England in terms of peoples access to land (or the removal of those rights to the land – through the enclosures and so on). There were great songs that we could all sing along to.
We also decided we definitely want to have another feast next harvest…