Despite the subject matter of this photo, Doncaster – nestled as it in the Dearne Valley – actually has one of the best micro-climates in the country… meaning that the flat-roofs and waste-grounds in and around Donny would make for the perfect urban farming network. Which in turn would make our region more self-reliant, resilient and sustainable. The good news is that a few of us are working hard to make this happen… watch this space!
Can anyone guess which Donny landmark I was stood on when I took this shot?
Clue… flip the image horizontally
The towns and villages of Doncaster lie in fertile lands which are interspersed with moth-balled industrial sites… abandoned now, but with a long proud engineering heritage. We have everything we need to be self-reliant, resilient and sustainable, yet we’re officially one of the poorest regions in the country. How can this be? Why does our region have such promise yet provide so little?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the damaged inflicted on our region by hostile governments, bad management and one of the most inequitable social structures on the planet… but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it!
There are worse places than Donny of course. Places like South Central LA for instance…
If you live in Donny you’ll probably recognise some of the problems listed at the beginning of Ron‘s TED Talk. We may have fewer drive-thrus, but look on every high-street of every village and town and you’ll see seemingly endless rows of takeaways selling similar looking beige shit (which looks the same coming out as it does going in!)… Despite being a semi-rural area Doncaster is another food desert.
Up until recently people said Donny was a cultural desert too, but lately local artists have managed to prove them wrong! As one of those artists I’d like to suggest that its high time creative people in our region got creative (and more than a little ‘gangsta’) about grass-roots regeneration in Doncaster. Food forests are a great place to start cuz growing your own food is like a gateway drug, once people realize that they can save money by providing some of their own food they begin to look for other ways to become more self-reliant in other aspects of their life. And self-reliance is what will eventually ensure that our resource rich environment provides for the people of Donny instead of providing for bankers and the people in Whitehall
So why not join me in joining DUG (Doncaster Urban Growers) at 6pm on Thursday May 23rd as they begin to develop a Food, Herb and Medicinal Garden at the entrance to Church View (behind the Minster opposite Tesco car park)…