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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Big up for Growing Communities

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer of 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home, but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola

Every week my family tucks into a bulging bag of organic, seasonal, tasty veg from Growing Communities - a unique Hackney box scheme which prioritises local produce, runs the certified Stoke Newington Farmers' Market which attracts around 1,500 people a week and supports small-scale farmers growing as near to possible to London.

Although 680 bags are sent out each week to Growing Communities members (nearly 66 tonnes of organic produce a year) sometimes I try and encourage strangers, neighbours and friends in Islington to join up to the scheme because it is a brilliant way of reducing your carbon footprint and getting predominantly UK-grown veg delivered to your doorstep. And it's good value.

Reading Growing Communities most recent annual report I realise that the director, Julie Brown, is one of our neighbourhood's super green stars. As her welcome in the annual report makes clear (even when she's not quoting from Terminator 2) she's not just a worthy woman, she has a great sense of fun. "We are creating an interconnected web of local people, farmers, land, businesses, projects and food which together have the potential to sustain us: a vibrant, community based system which enriches our lives, providing us with good food, good friends and increasing numbers of us with good work.... I know it may not feel like that when you are staggering around in the yard in the dark trying to remember the combination to the shed, trying to think what to do with your backlog of curly kale, or standing in the rain at the market waiting to be served. And while there is always more we can do, for now we can feel good that are actions are part of something that is making a real difference... tackling climate change, making our community more resilient and creating something that is better in so many ways."

The only hitch is that with all this tasty fruit and veg I'm less inclined to attempt to grow much on my own plot...

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