Knowle West Health Association: Turning normal into special

Knowle West Health Association (KWHA)’s Edward Duffield writes the latest Bristol Bites Back Better blog post about the ‘Let’s Grow’ community food growing project, collaboration with Feeding Bristol and how Occupational Therapy students from the University of the West of England have been volunteering early this year. Find out about how this project has adapted during the pandemic.

In a normal year the produce from the Knowle West Health Association ‘Let’s Grow’ allotment would be used for cookery classes at our Community Kitchen and sold to outlets in Filwood for local residents.

But, just as the growing season had got well underway last spring, these usual avenues ground to a halt as the pandemic overtook us all. In just a few weeks, however, the Feeding Bristol initiative came on to the radar and no sooner done, than Sarah our cookery tutor was baking up to 50 meals per week ready for collection and distribution to isolated folk in various parts of the city.

And now, one year further on, meals for Feeding Bristol are still in weekly production but with real light at the end of the tunnel we are expecting cookery classes to resume in June/July and for hundreds of little seedlings to be fully grown into fresh vegetables for our kitchen and to find their way into the homes of Filwood residents.

And here, in February, a group of Occupational Therapy students from the University of the West of England helped us get the beds ready for crop sowing. Twenty-four students from this course helped us over four days and what a welcome support they have been in getting us ready for the busy growing season.

We are proud to be part of Bristol Bites Back Better.

By setting the wheels in motion now, together we can transform the future of food in our city, building in resilience over the next decade. So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

Read our series about a post COVID-19 sustainable food future: Bristol Going for Gold Coordinator Joy Carey proposes five core principles on which to start building a better and more resilient food system.

The second blog post in the series is by Sara Venn of Incredible Edible Bristol and is about how the city can keep the momentum going to upscale and increase urban food production.

The third blog in the series is by Jo Ingleby, Director of The Children’s Kitchen. Jo’s blog considers the importance of being able to cook a meal from scratch with simple, fresh, affordable ingredients. The significance of this essential skill has been highlighted during the COVID-19 crisis, as dealing with shortages of certain ingredients is – of course – far less stressful when we know how to easily adapt meals.

In the fourth blog of the post COVID-19 sustainable food future series, Katie Powell and Fiona Jarvis from environmental consultancy and Bristol Going for Gold partner Resource Futures consider the benefits of closed-loop systems. These are essentially systems that help the city conserve resources – and money – designing out unnecessary pollution and waste and treating anything that remains as a resource, not waste.

In the fifth blog, Stuart Hatton considers the importance of retail diversity. Stuart is managing director of Umberslade, developer of Wapping Wharf, Bristol’s much-loved harbourside neighbourhood and home to many independent food businesses.

In the final blog in our series about a post COVID-19 sustainable food future, Bristol public health medic Dr Angela Raffle explores how we find ways to help everyone in the city understand where our food comes from. How do we radically shift our collective awareness about food?

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