Self-sufficient Lincoln?

Lincoln map

Here at the Lincoln Food Partnership we have been examining the potential for food growing in the City’s open spaces.

Whilst it is not possible to identify private land, a number of other spaces can be estimated. For example, there are 22.5 hectares of allotments (many already growing food).

The seven largest areas of open space in The City of Lincoln extend to 269.5 ha (see map, below) and there are around 19 ha of private gardens.

There is a range of other land too – school playing fields, community parks and other amenity areas and we estimate the total cultivable area to be about 310 ha. This is before we include rooftop growing – something that the University of Lincoln currently is examining, for example.

Lincoln map

Using a range of other data for urban agriculture and horticulture studies, this could yield over 20 million kilos of food from within the City and at contemporary prices for fresh fruit and veg, would have a retail value of over £100 million.

A similar exercise in Sheffield showed that if all such land was given over to salads,
fruit and vegetables, they would have 22% more produce than would be needed to feed the City, and everyone would have to give just over an hour a week to help with the growing process.

The study estimates that existing allotment land in Sheffield can produce enough fruit and vegetables for around 3% of the city’s population. If all domestic gardens and potential sites for new allotments and community gardens were also used, then enough fruit and vegetables could be produced for 122% of Sheffield’s population. 

https://fcrn.org.uk/research-library/hidden-potential-urban-horticulture

More information about Sheffield as an urban food growing case study from the Food Climate Research Network 

Of course, there are lots of issues about seasonality, skills acquisition and co-operation: but it is certainly food for thought!

The All Party Parliamentary Group on the National Food Strategy

The APPG on the National Food Strategy, chaired by Jo Gideon, MP for Stoke on Trent, had its fourth meeting on  25th May to consider the way in which part 2 of the National Food Strategy might embrace the development of urban food systems, the support for rural communities, and how ‘good food’ jobs might be developed. The LFP was there.   ItContinue reading “The All Party Parliamentary Group on the National Food Strategy”

Food from the Other Side of the World?

The Tariff-free trade deal with Australia being offered at the end of May, split Cabinet over food. Environment Secretary George Eustice was concerned that  because of scale of livestock farming in the Antipodes, UK farmers could be undercut.   Whilst these differences have been patched up in Westminster, the National  Farmers Union is concerned that hundredsContinue reading “Food from the Other Side of the World?”

The Future of Seed

Seed sovereignty is about growers being able to produce and have control of their seeds – by saving seed from the crops they grow, selecting the strongest and most suitable seeds for breeding, and exchanging seeds freely with others. Sounds simple, right? At the moment, almost all commercial seeds are F1 hybrids. The seeds thatContinue reading “The Future of Seed”

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