Looking for a Plot

Started by Ray and Darren Marshall-Sewell. Last reply by Ray and Darren Marshall-Sewell Feb 7. 2 Replies

Good Evening All.We have been refused a local allotment is Wells (Wookey Hole).We are keen to find a plot somewhere that we can use to grow food etc. Happy for it to be a share etc.Can anyone help…Continue

Connect with your community

Started by Alive Feb 7, 2018. 0 Replies

Older people living in care are twice as likely to experience loneliness as those in the community.We are looking for friendly volunteers with an interest in helping others to gardening, to support…Continue

Tags: #givingback, #gardening, #volunteer

Can You Help Combat Loneliness?

Started by Alive Nov 29, 2017. 0 Replies

Growing Support are looking for friendly volunteers with interests in gardening and supporting people, to help older people and people with dementia take part in gardening activities.  You will…Continue

Join our volunteers!

Started by Alive Aug 17, 2017. 0 Replies

We're looking for friendly volunteers to join our team working hard to enable people with dementia to stay physically and socially active.Join us and make a valuable contribution to your community,…Continue

Community Organising - Getting Started

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:

  • Starting community gardens
  • Making land available for food production
  • Organising local food fayres, seed swaps, harvest shows, workshops & events
  • Creating groups to access land to start allotments, orchards & more
  • Learning & skill sharing with each other about how to grow & use food

…. 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 organise?

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:

  • Industrial agriculture
  • Eating oil – energy, pesticides & fertilisers
  • Climate change
  • Water resources
  • Biodiversity
  • Food Waste
  • Pollution
  • Domination by mass retailers
  • Corporate control of seeds & genetics
  • Soil erosion
  • Loss of places to grow
  • Industrial food complex – schools, hospitals, prisons
  • Factory farming
  • Peak everything
  • Access to Land
  • Loss of skills & knowledge
  • Health – obesity, hunger, food-related diseases
  • Food Poverty
  • Food Deserts & access to food
  • Displacement, land grabs & colonization
  • Worker exploitation

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.

What community organising is about is bringing those green dots together, so that we can no longer be dominated by the red dots and we can start to change the face of the food system.

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

Recommended books:

  • Roots to Power, A manual for grassroots organising. Second edition, Lee Staples. Praeger publishers, Westport CT

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