A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “We are working
with the Matthew Tree Project, who are trying to address food poverty in
Bristol. They are looking for additional food growing land in the city, and it
is council policy to increase the area of land
available for the growing of food."
Bristol City Council press release, 26 March 2015
TMTP FOODTURES is a sustainable city-wide plan to fight the underlying causes of POVERTY, improve health and connect communities.
Local food, healthy food, teaching people new skills, providing qualifications, creating jobs, transforming communities. FOODTURES is an exciting pioneering initiative that has the potential to provide a real step-change for society.
The key elements of the FOODTURES initiative illustrated above are:
- Food growing plots of land in and around the city
- FOODTURES education Centre built at one of the food growing plots
- Main food distribution hub for donated food aid and also to enable locally grown food a route to market
- Own label food production kitchen(s)
- Overall reduction in food waste via an over-arching logistics system
- The creation of local 'Good Food Markets' to bring the very best nutritious food to the poorest areas of the city
The FOODTURES initiative is designed to address the underlying causes of poverty by creating an environment for people to have better life chances, with better access to training and development, to improve their life skills and employment opportunities, and to create aspirational jobs for the long term unemployed. It is to contribute toward stronger 'inspired' communities, with more active people working together to tackle their problems whilst at the same time improving the rural and urban environments, which people are better able to access and enjoy, and to facilitate a healthier and more active lifestyle for all.
The FOODTURES food growing sites are located in Brislington, Bristol (6.5 acre plot) and Vale Lane, Hartcliffe (8.5 acres). The Brislington site is ecologically diverse and rich in soil nutrients allowing us to cultivate it in a number of ways simultaneously. The meadow at the top of the site has good soil for growing and so would be used to produce herbs, vegetables and soft fruits using organic principles. A mixed planting scheme would ensure high productivity as well as increasing fertility and biodiversity across the site. The Vale Lane site is also rich in soil nutrients and conducive to growing herbs, vegetables and soft fruits using organic principles.
Both sites have high amenity value for the local residents, and so would be managed to preserve and enhance community involvement with the land. The design will balance the need for high productivity with aesthetic and environmental considerations, making sure that the site is a beautiful and peaceful place to be for volunteers, workers and visitors alike. The installation of several polytunnels will provide growing and propagation space, ensuring maximum yields across the seasons and also allowing for the sale of plants to the public. An on-site cafe serving teas, coffees and seasonal produce will increase community involvement in the site and provide revenue and employment.
At Brislington, the sloping section down towards Brislington Brook will be cleared of brambles to allow for easier access, and then planted with fruit and nut trees in the style of a forest garden, under planting with perennial herbs and shrubs to create a low maintenance system that mimics natural patterns whilst providing a harvest of fruit and herbs. This would also be a lovely site to create nature trails and walks down to the brook, to engage the local community with the natural landscapes at the doorstep. Our vision is that each plot in the FOODTURES project becomes a place where local people can come and help with the growing of the food, can sign up for work shops, socialise and connect with other like-minded people. We hope local schools, churches, colleges, businesses, and community organisations will get fully involved and be part of making this into the heart of the local community and a place to be proud of.