Getting started: Howling for your pack
To get started in organising in your community, the absolute priority is ‘howling for your pack’, that is - finding other likeminded people to work with. This can be challenging, in many rural, conservative areas, it may feel difficult to find people with similar values or motivations. However, they are out there! And the first step in organising is building those relationships.
Incredible Edible Somerset was starting to help bring these networks of people together.
Who are we? We are people all over the county:
…. And more!
You can find us on this website in the members section, or you can meet us at events listed on the website. There is also a directory of local projects here.
Having that initial conversation with someone that shares your passion can change your life.
Why bother organising? What’s wrong with our food system?
Writing about the harm of our industrial food system would be a book in itself. Therefore we’ve just listed some key points about the current impacts that feeding ourselves is having:
What is organising?
Lee Staples, a well known community organiser from North America, describes community organising as “collective action by community members drawing on the strength of numbers, participatory processes, and indigenous leadership to decrease power disparities and achieve shared goals for social change.”
In short, the most basic goal of grassroots community organising is to bring about social change.
Organising can look like many things - it can look like having meetings, organising event and starting projects, but it can also look like having shared meals, collectively growing together in a garden. Anything where you are working with other people to change our food system, challenge injustice and create a more ecological way of feeding each other, is community organising.
Through organising and working together we can build power and make change. Look at these graphics below.
The first shows our current strategies - if the red dots are the corporate food system, then they are well organised, working together - and our strategies are to colour the black dots green e.g. Encourage individual lifestyle change.
The following sections go into more details about what different aspects of organising can mean, and you will find resources in every section.
More information about Community Organising