Just started the year really. Sat in front of the fire on a Saturday morning working out what to grow, pondering whether we will ever get the skin back on the polytunnel and how the heck I'm going to stop those pesky pheasants eating the crops before me.
I've never pretended I was ever any good at this growing malarkey but things just start to stick after a while and despite all indications to the contrary, I might just make a grower of myself yet.
It's always interesting when I'm on my travels, telling our story, that people are shocked or amused when I tell them I'm a real novice when it comes to growing food. Put me in front of a cooker and I'm away, but soil has come to me late in life. And the point is, it doesn't matter a hoot because in the Incredible Edible story, we all write our own script in our own words and with our own gifts.
Talking about travels, I've met some fantastic people already this year and it's only just March. Last week I was at Goldsmiths College in London spending the day with some masters students from around the world doing courses from design to business and all focused on investing their talents in building a more sustainable model of society. Redefining prosperity in our words.
The week before I was at the Institute of Fundraisers annual meeting telling our story. Completely different bunch of people, but so lovely and funny. I guess when you spend your life raising funds to help folks like us do some of the things we do, it's a good message to hear that we don't start what we do chasing money. When we ask for it, we really have emptied our pockets , stretched our networks of supporters and been hugely inventive in creating Edible places and it's just about time for a leg up. Showed them loads of pictures of Todmorden, Bristol, Manchester and Wigan; put up the edible maps of Lambeth and pushed out the boat with Incredible North. And they gave me a donation for our coffers. How kind was that?
Then there's the really interesting stuff around edible hospitals. Had a chat with the people at AlderHey Children's hospital and in Manchester at the Ronald Macdonald centre for children and their families. People really buzzy about working together, staff, volunteers and patients , to grow food at the heart of their site. AlderHey even has some aquaponic growing in spaces used for kids play. Says to me, the top down NHS may be struggling, but on the ground, slowly but surely, great people get what we are doing and are just stick and lifting it to suit their needs. We can make this normal in the NHS together. If ever there was a no brainer, healthy food growing on site is it.
Southall and Ealing Transition network, Garforth Women's Institute, even good old George Monbiot of the Guardian get what we are doing and although George may be too busy to help,( we live in hope) I know for sure the others are connecting to our ideas and joining the dots in their own way in their own place, to work together to make things that are fun and fab and incredible.
Bring on the spring!