Earlier this week, we hosted Graham Bell (permaculturist and author) and Patrick Holden (CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust) to discuss food in the second of our four webinars on nature solutions for climate change issues. Our food relies on being grown under specific conditions, and as those conditions shift with man-made climate change, our food supply chains will have to adapt.

Graham has been tending the forest garden at his home in Coldstream, Scottish Borders, for over 30 years, with fantastic results. Rooted in permaculture principles, Graham’s garden is incredibly diverse in the food cultivated and wildlife who visit, as well as producing an immense yield of 1.25 tonnes in a fifth of an acre. By growing food within a forest structure, nourishing the soil, and working with animals from microbes up to vertebrates, Graham has build a wonderful space with high yields, immense biodiversity, and resilience to different conditions.

Patrick is the founder and CEO of the Sustainable Food Trust, as well as a farmer, and spoke about the food systems we build and how and where they’re suited. Reflecting on different levels of intervention and intensity of agriculture of different scales, he told us the story of his own farm which he has worked since 1973, guided by the question of “how much food can I grow without depleting the nature which I’m lucky enough to look after?” Considering land-sharing (farming in harmony with nature over a larger area) and land-sparing (farming in small areas to leave larger wild areas), Patrick offers us his takes on how we can make our food production more climate-resilient and nature-positive.

The events series continues with a fully-booked practical volunteering session in Glasgow Botanic Gardens and guided walk of Malls Mire Community Woodland. Next week’s theme is flooding, with another webinar, some at more volunteering at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and some pond-dipping at Springburn Park.

The full webinar, including Q&A, is available on Vimeo, as well as separate videos of the talks from Graham and Patrick.

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