Community Food Skills Working Group

This group exists to celebrate and nurture the many different skills that we need in order to enjoy a healthy, fair and resilient food system in North Lancashire. It facilitates strategy and collaborative projects that build our communities’ food skills and commonly held resources.

Think of ‘food skills’ and you probably think of learning to cook, or learning to grow food. These are both important and there are plenty of groups doing this in our area. However, other skills are also needed for a healthy food system to thrive. For example, small businesses need to know how to handle environmental health legislation and do their tax returns and newcomers need to know how to access affordable, ethical produce. So, as a group, we are very open-minded about the kinds of skills that we support.

This group meets every two months.

This group’s two year priorities:

Make visible/accessible all great work already going on
  • Develop FoodFutures local food directory.
  • Create content for FoodFutures weekly food columns in the Lancaster Guardian, blogs and case studies.
  • Pilot and develop a long-term funding strategy for a community food magazine that facilitates citizen journalism and the telling of aspirational stories written and told by those with lived experience.
Secure funding for the following long-term roles/projects
  • A Morecambe Bay Schools project – Where the Wildings Are – that complements the Morecambe Bay Curriculum strategy.
  • A North Lancashire chefs and growers network and the co-creation of a North Lancashire Diet.
Map resources
  • Identify good food mentors, trainers, influencers and champions, and a process for highlighting and connecting these people with local groups and projects.
Enable, promote or host training and skill share events around:
  • Community leadership.
  • Citizen journalism/telling your story.
  • Setting up a community garden/project/food club.
  • Permaculture design; seed saving and plant grafting.
  • Growing your own and cultivating biodiversity – adapted for windowsill, backyard, alley, allotment and community growing.
  • The North Lancashire Diet – cooking seasonally from scratch.
Enable, promote or host community events and celebrations, including:
  • Community food conversations.
  • Designing your 20-minute neighbourhood.
  • Forage/nature walks.
  • Potato days and seed swaps.
  • Harvest feasts.
  • Community cooking and community meals.
  • Apple pressing.
  • Guerrilla gardening.

How to get involved

If you are interested in supporting the work of the community food skills working group, contact Rebecca Whittle for more information r.whittle@lancaster.ac.uk

You can find dates of upcoming meetings and read past minutes here.

Directly support one of the community food projects listed on our Local Food Directory as a volunteer or member.

Start your own community food skills project! We would love to hear about your ideas and support you where we can. We can also list new projects on the local food directory and promote your work in our weekly food column and via our networks.

There are LOADS of food-related skills events going on in the District all the time, so check out our calendar to see what’s on over the coming weeks.

vegetables

Food Skills Resources

Join a community food project in Lancaster to learn practical skills

Join Lancaster’s FarmStart scheme

Charles Dowding - No Dig Organic Gardening

Tried and tested seasonal recipes from Growing Well

Cooking on a Bootstrap

Join Lancaster’s Seed Library project

Seed cooperative

Lancaster’s Seasonal food calendar

Buy direct from local organic food producers using Lancaster’s Local Food Directory

Ethical Consumer

Sustain - set up an organic buying group (PDF)

Access fruit trees and bushes from Lancaster’s edible plant nursery.

Social Farms and Gardens

Feedback Knowledge Hub - Toolkits

Knowledge Base - practical solutions

Case Studies

  • Victoria O'Farrell, a food citizen and Acting Principal at C...

  • Initiated by Transition City Lancaster and Incredible Edible...

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