This month AFC Ambassadors and WildWEB participants Riya, Nadia and Vinnie have been taking action at home!
As part of AFC's brand new digital action programme WildWEB they've been learning all about the 'Secrets of Our Food' along with other young people from across the UK and the world. This month they've been exploring the relationship we have with our food, asking questions like:
🍎 Where does most of our food come from?
🥛 What are the problems with milk alternatives?
⚖️ How does privilege exist in our food systems?
💷 How does food tie into economic, environmental and social issues?
Below you can find out how Riya, Vinnie and Nadia have been taking action during lockdown!
Although the rest of my garden is open and accessible this part (picture 1) is basically closed off. This means that our compost bin isn't used that often because you need to navigate around the pots and empty plant fertiliser tubs. Also, it's completely shaded by trees so there are leaves cluttering the path.
I started by clearing out the path and I put the dead leaves in the compost bin as they would be full of good nutrients for plants. This was the longest part of the process as I had to clear about half the stones out with a shovel to make the greenhouse accessible and to create a vegetable patch.
I found some old fencing & reused this and sawed it to the right length so the stones didn't spill over. This was incredibly exhausting so I didn't continue with the project for another couple of days. I transferred all the collected stones to the garage so they could be reused in another gardening project.
Using a gardening fork I dug up the earth then used compost from the compost bin to fill and mix together with the original soil. My mum pointed out that leaves that drop onto the stones every year would break down (especially because it's usually raining) and cause the soil underneath to be incredibly fertile meaning it was kind of like a natural compost bin.
My mum is an incredibly skilled gardener so I asked for advice from her about everything. I cleared out the path and transferred the empty plant pots to the back. Then my mum and I carried the compost bin to next to the path so it can be accessed better. I then used a wooden frame found in the garage and laced twine through it so that the cucumber plant can climb it. I placed down bamboo sticks so that - when the runner beans are ready - I can plant them there.
Using some other garden stones, I made a small partition to separate the patch. I then planted the foxglove on the other side. I now have to maintain the plants and start growing more, but otherwise, my project is complete!
I've planted seeds that will benefit wildlife in my garden. I chose planting seeds because it's a simple action you can keep doing again and again, while still having an impact.
I found that actually having the patience to keep checking on the plants, even when it seems like they haven't grown at all.🌳
I enjoyed seeing the plants sprout up from their seeds - it made me very happy that I was essentially making something that would benefit the wildlife.🐝
My idea was to write an article on a blog that I made on how to be more sustainable with food during quarantine using some of the most wasted food items in the UK, such as a bananas and potatoes.
You can follow Nadia's blog Our Elysium Project here, and make sure you check out their accompanying Instagram page too!
If you know a young person aged 13-17 who would like to take part, please visit
www.actionforconservation.org/online to sign up.