Thrive, the charity operating in the field of disability and gardening, has been named Thompson & Morgan’s Charity of the Year.
To start the partnership, a new sweet pea has been launched for 2016, with money generated from sales going towards Thrive training programs at the charity’s four regional centres and local community venues. The sale of the sweet pea aims to generate £10,000+. Alongside this Thompson & Morgan is also supplying £1,000 of flower and vegetable seeds to be grown at the charity’s three garden project sites at Gateshead, Reading and London’s Battersea Park, plus 2,400 litres of incredicompost and also incredibloom fertiliser for use in the planting displays.
What a great idea. And a beautiful crop wild relative too.
Well, I thought we had our finger on the agricultural biodiversity pulse, but this is a new one on us:
Agrobiodiversity@knowledged is a joint Hivos and Oxfam Novib Knowledge Programme initiated in 2011. This three-year Knowledge Programme aims to break through the barriers that limit the scaling up, institutional embedding and horizontal extension of practices that build on agricultural biodiversity for improved livelihoods and resilient food systems. At the heart of the programme is a global knowledge and experience community of organizations working on agricultural biodiversity with millions of farmers worldwide, where evidence and insights are generated, shared and tested. The knowledge programme aims to synthesize knowledge from a local to a global scale, conduct research on approaches and analytical frameworks that provide new perspectives on agricultural biodiversity and its role in resilient socio-ecological food systems, and improve horizontal and vertical knowledge flows towards positive change and transformation.
There’s a useful-looking newsletter too, though I’m blowed if I can work out how to subscribe to it.
Remember Jeremy’s rant a few months ago about how we should measure farm productivity? And my subsequent post discussing a paper on the same subject? Well, Jeremy is like a terrier when it comes to such things, so now you can hear him interview the lead author of that paper, Ruth DeFreis. Head on over to Eat This Podcast for the answer to the perennial question: “If calories were everything, why would we have a billion iron-deficient people?”
So I spent yesterday afternoon in somewhat unusual surroundings, at least for me. I was in the House of Lords, of all places, helping to make the case for genebanks to a joint meeting of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development together with All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology.
Sitting under the painting are the chairs, Ewen Cameron, Baron Cameron of Dillington and Jeremy Lefroy MP, who both seemed very receptive to the arguments. It was actually a very knowledgeable and engaged audience all round, with astute questions on how genebanks can help farmers directly, on whether breeders are ever satisfied with the service they’re getting, and on the role of the private sector in ensuring the conservation of crop diversity, among others. Let’s see to what extent the interest, of which there is plenty at the highest level in the UK, translates into financial support for the cause of genebanks.