It’s an occupational hazard, running a media outlet such as Place Design Scotland: there is never any shortage of ideas, including potential campaigns and projects. We have decided to let the readers decide which one we should seriously consider pursuing, and will be launching a poll of members in due course. Our fourth candidate is… drum roll, please… Setting up Local Food Scotland
KUDOS to Sir Tim Smit, he of the Eden Project in Cornwall and – relatively soon – an offshoot in Dundee.
The bones of this campaign option is his idea of farms and smallholdings ringing each of our towns and villages that exclusively supply their locality.
In other words, the almost complete elimination of any ‘food miles’, the distance between producer and plate.
Sir Tim – if I have picked him up correctly – imagined these farms and smallholdings supplying local food markets, and also providing opportunities for people to work with the soil, not least for their mental health.
A slight tweak on the idea could have local markets being joined by pop-up shops, run by the community, where it is made abundantly clear the provenance (arguably, within a maximum 25-mile radius) of the produce on display.
A book of recipes – recognising the seasonality and locality of the produce – could perhaps be uploaded onto a dedicated website, which would also tell the stories of the producers and their passion.
And the shops themselves could physically host cooking classes, to help people feel more confident in the kitchen.
Mike Wilson is a member of the Place Design Scotland team
Pictured: Scotland doesn’t really ‘do’ food markets, like this one in Malaga, Spain, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland