The darker and colder months of the year are a great time to slow down, reflect on how things are going and set fresh intentions for the year ahead.

As we look forward to 2024, FoodFutures working groups are starting to prepare and sow the seeds of new projects, ideas and work that seeks to grow our sustainable food futures here in North Lancashire. A calendar of events and activities is starting to emerge as part of this, with the aim of supporting more connections and skill shares. This columns shares just a few of them.

Throughout January and February there will be a series of allotment review activities which offer an opportunity to shape a vision and support activities for North Lancashire’s allotments going forward. From a skill-share on working with conflicts on 18 January and a learning visit to Scotch Quarry and Claver Hill community projects on 28 January, to a series of ‘Allotment Futures Community Conversations’ in February and an Open Allotment event in March… All details can be found on the LESS and FoodFutures websites.

An allotment review activity will also run at Lancaster’s Potato Day on Saturday 27th January from 11am to 3pm at the Friends Meeting House on Meeting House Lane. Potato Day is a Lancaster tradition, with a wide range of organic seed potatoes for sale, a Lancaster Seed Library seed swap (so bring seeds to swap!) and a variety of food stalls, woodland crafts and ‘fixing activities’. 

Throughout the year, the Food Champions network will host regular induction sessions that introduce FoodFutures’ work and aims, whilst supporting attendees in finding their place and role within this network. For some, this may involve joining the Food Friends small society lottery, the Plot’s seasonal crop share scheme or FarmStart training programme, joining a strategic working group, or helping out at an event or practical work day. For others it may involve writing articles for THRIVE Magazine, distributing leaflets or regularly volunteering with a local community food project. 

A citizen journalism training session on 13 January will support THRIVE Magazine to flourish. Find out more and register your interest at: foodfutures.org.uk/events/citizen-journalism-training

The Closing Loops team will continue developing loopy projects and hosting a range of events throughout the year, including another round of Pots of Possibility funding, composting workshops, gleaning trips, seasonal markets and cooking workshops.

And then there’s the North Lancashire food hub development, the setting up of a new community farm near Lancaster, the spreading of wildings to more schools across our District and a silver spring celebration! We can’t wait for it all and hope you will join in!

You can find more FoodFutures activities on the events calendar. Did you know that you can add your own food-related events to it, too? If it’s local and to do with food, we’d love to help get the word out about it. Just email marketing@lessuk.org

The Closing Loops Composting Coordinator, Diana, handing out THRIVE Magazine’s at Lancaster’s Midwinter Market.

Person handing out magazines at FoodFutures market stall

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