Planting the Feed Leeds Orchard
Dr Chiara Tornaghi
Prof André Viljoen
Cllr Mark Dobson
About Feed Leeds
Feed Leeds is the Leeds version of the Incredible Edible project, We’re an 'Unincorporated Association' - a constituted network of organisations and individuals (known as Connections - see here) involved with sustainable local food and related issues, aiming to offer advice and support of various kinds. It has been, to date, largely unfunded, with the team giving their time and experience pro bono. Plans to secure funding are currently in development. Feed Leeds does not usually create or manage individual growing projects, though we aim to help when asked. Projects and plots are run by our Connections - who we ask to display our logo (downloads folder).
Feed Leeds was born in December 2011 of an initiative by Cllr Adam Ogilvie, now CEO of Meanwood Valley Urban Farm and Chair of Feed Leeds, but then Executive Member for Leisure who, following presentations by a number of local food growers, suggested that LCC Parks and Countryside should invite anyone interested in local / community food production to a round-table forum. Interest was strong from the start, and it was not long before the project had a name, a (temporary) website, a constitution and a committee (see below). Feed Leeds was launched officially on 20th of September 2012, in a combined event with the Urban Food Justice research project, at Shine, Harehills Road. (See videos on right).
Initially the chief focus was to find, research and build relationships with food-growing projects of all kinds across Leeds to develop a strategic picture of the activities that already exist, and to identify ways potentially to improve visibility, effectiveness and co-operation between organisations.
Download the Feed Leeds Constitution (here) for details. The first high profile activity was the Edible Beds competition and subsequent planting at the Civic Hall and in parks in early 2013. Then, in June 2013, Feed Leeds joined the global Incredible Edible family, endorsing the IE philosophy of promoting local food as a convening force for the development of health, well-being, resilience and sustainability.
Feed Leeds has an overarching commitment to communities through its many Connections (see Projects). The education sector is being championed by the Leeds Edible Schools Sustainability Network, and Leeds Edible Campus in which Feed Leeds has a ‘co-managing’ role, as well as projects at both Leeds universities. Other Connections involve volunteering, soil research/boichar, wild food harvesting, horticulture, agriculture, allotments, apprenticeships, local markets and food outlets, catering, food banks, health and well-being initiatives and more. In 2017, Feed Leeds was the prime force in the creation of Leeds Food Partnership, which now addresses the wider issues around food in the city. Feed Leeds contributes to LFP as a key partner. Committee members and connected organisations will also progress specific projects at various scales, either under their own names in association with Feed Leeds, or, if a strong enough case exists for direct involvement (such as when the Feed Leeds constitution, structure or funding offer special value), as Feed Leeds with or without additional branding.
Former officers in the Advisory Group
• Martin Hemingway (Leeds Green Party) - ex vice chair
• Paul Ackroyd (Meanwood Valley Urban Farm)
• Damian Nicholls, Farm Co-ordination.
• Peter Foulston (ex Leeds Urban Harvest) - ex Vice Chair
• Rob Moores (ex Growing Better CIC) - ex Secretary
• Prof Les Firbank (Chair of Sustainable Agriculture, University of Leeds)
The committee work closely with a larger informal Advisory Group, which includes LCC councillors and officers, representatives of Connected organisations and other interested parties. Anyone sharing the aims of Feed Leeds qualifies to become a Connection, and meetings are open to the public. There's a mailing list for minutes and other approved mail-outs.
Anyone interested in joining the Committee, becoming a Connection / member of the Advisory Group, or being added to the mailing list if you prefer direct emails to the Google group, please contact email@example.com
To increase food growing in Leeds
To maximise the consumption of locally grown food in Leeds
To increase the sustainability of food use in Leeds, including the reduction of waste
To increase healthy eating in Leeds
To build, maintain and support the network by connecting with existing and new food projects
Host a website that describes Feed Leeds, offers advice to growers, and shows locations of sites
Respond to requests for help and information, building the network and supporting growers by means of goodwill and the sharing of knowledge
Host networking meetings, events and workshops as resources permit
Develop and/or support educational, community and commercial projects as resources permit
To influence policy by working positively with the council and other agencies to champion the local food agenda
Identify necessary policy changes and lobbying for them
Identify barriers and seeking to help remove them
There is a huge amount of food growing in Leeds - in gardens, allotments, schools, community plots, parks, city farms etc. Feed Leeds is both a 'plot to plate' project, supporting food growers of all kinds, and also a 'farm to fork' project, working towards a strategic approach to food in Leeds
As a network, Feed Leeds does not, itself, grow food, though we try to help when asked. Growing projects are run by Connections (who we ask to display our logo). Most Feed Leeds committee members are involved with their own growing projects. The Advice pages contain a tool kit for Leeds growers and would-be growers, including a range of downloadable documents about growing, licences, building a group etc. The Sites + Map page links landowners with growers, growers with other growers, and so on, and also shows where the action is near you. The Research page is self explanatory. The Projects page explains what we're up to, and how we work with others. See also LCC Parks - Edible Beds and Leeds Edible Campus, and If you work with schools please check out LESSN. Feed Leeds is a member of the Incredible Edible family
These pages are managed by one volunteer with no financial or direct support from LCC or other Feed Leeds partners. If you have any information that could usefully be included, or spot any information which is inaccurate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org