Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Organic September through new eyes!!

Once again it's September and that means the Soil Association are running their Organic September campaign as they do every year, highlighting how buying some organic food helps our health, wildlife, the land being used to produce the food and local producers amongst more.

Last week I was walking through the Bearpit roundabout in Bristol and came across these amazing artworks that the Soil Association have commissioned some of Bristol's incredible grafitti artists to paint to bring Organic September to the fore and possibly introduce the concept of organics and bring a food production conversation to a new audience. I think it's worth applauding the Soil Association for this and proves again that art is often the way to open a conversation with a new audience.

 This piece is by Luke Sleven, a really talented chap and pal of mine!! It has created conversation as it, quite rightly, says that organic production uses fewer pesticides, rather than none which is often what people assume organic means. It's worth pointing out that quite a few really unpleasant pesticides are allowed in organic production, although often smaller producers avoid these too. Larger scale growers will definitely still be using some chemicals though, albeit that they are sourced from natural ingredients rather than synthetic ones. However, if you have ever sprayed copper as a fungicide you will know just how unpleasant it is.

 It's interesting, I think, to see art making quite political statements and bringing important information to the fore in a safe and often beautiful way!! Many people have no idea how important soil is as a carbon sink and that keeping soil healthy is as much about helping climate change as it is food production.

 Of course there is an irony here in that often these artists use spray cans which are hardly environmentally friendly! However, I'm assured that they are now sourcing less unpleasant paints!
This is a piece we, Incredible Edible Bristol, collaborated with the People's Republic of Stokes Croft on and it stands in the central reservation of Stokes Croft. it's planted with tree spinach, kale and nasturtiums which were grown, by me, for Incredible Edible Bristol's part of the project.

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