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.
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!
Most of us in Lincolnshire, most of the time, consume uniform baked products, produced on an industrial scale by workers we will never meet. But it’s not the only choice available to us. We went to meet three highly skilled and passionate bakers, who are baking fresh each day on Lincoln High Street. It’s a […]
For fruit and vegetable crops – I’m talking the 7-a-day stuff that most of us need way more of in our diets – it’s a completely different story.
Just a few acres, with polytunnels or glasshouses require constant tending, and can employ numerous people doing skilled, interesting, rewarding, socially useful jobs.
Fruit and vegetables don’t necessarily need much processing before they reach our plates. We want to eat them fresh – the fresher the better!
It would make sense, then, that the most labour intensive, perishable, unprocessed foods are grown in close proximity to urban areas.
Greater Lincolnshire has become the latest place to win a prestigious Sustainable Food Places award. The award recognises Greater Lincolnshire Food Partnership’s work to promote healthy, sustainable and local food and to tackle some of today’s greatest social challenges, from food poverty and diet-related ill-health to the disappearance of family farms and the loss of […]