Sheffield Food Network

Sheffield Food Network

Sheffield Food Network micro-volunteering

The Sheffield Food Network map of sources of independent, local and fair food has been up and running for a while now, but we’re pretty sure we haven’t got anywhere near finding all of the places across the city doing great things with local and fair food.

So, we are looking for your help in finding food businesses or food organisations that might meet the Sheffield Food Network criteria and submitting details to the website. These microvolunteering tasks should take less than 15 minutes.

1. Find a food business or organisation, either one you know of from your neighbourhood, or one you’ve found out about through a leaflet, or from a friend, or from the internet.

2. Check whether they are already on the Sheffield Food Network map.

3. If not, please try to gather enough information to be able to fill in the details on this form. We are looking for contact details, opening times, and some information on what the organisation/business does and how they meet the Sheffield Food Network criteria (independent organisation producing or selling food that is local or fair, or both). Don’t worry if you can’t find all the information, even a few details would be really helpful.

4. If the organisation is already on the map, is the information correct and up-to-date? If not, please submit corrections or updates on the form.

And that’s it.

If you are interested in this type of bite-sized and online volunteering, we’ve also just started a new map of disused land and vacant plots which we’d love your help in developing.

Or if you’re interested in getting involved with community gardens and growing projects or other volunteering opportunities with Grow Sheffield, please see our volunteers page for details.

Mapping disused spaces

We have started up a Crowdmap to try to map disused spaces, vacant plots, derelict sites and other locations where community action could help turn such land into local amenities, such as community food growing sites or parks.

This is a development of the work we did earlier in the year with the Everyday Growing Cultures project and inspired by the land advocacy work of 596 Acres over in Brooklyn. We are hoping that people will get involved with this project in two main ways:

1. Add reports to the map. Do you know of a plot of land in your community which is disused or vacant and which could be put to better use? You can add information about the site to the map by filling in a simple form.

2. Start to organise activity around a site. If you see a site on the map which you’d be interested in trying to turn over to community use, you can start by commenting on the report on the map to notify people of your interest and start a conversation about it.

It is very early days so far, but we’re hoping to begin to build up a picture of the land across the city which could be an asset for the community and provide a starting point for people to organise around it.

Mapping Wild and Free Fruit

We’ve recently happened across this Wild and Free Fruit Google Map which encourages people to participate in mapping wild fruit trees and bushes around the country. The Abundance Project has added a few Sheffield places, some with fruit ripening now!

To help edit the map, you need a free Google account. Once logged in, go to the map web address and you should see an edit button

View Wild and Free Fruit in a larger map

Mapping Walk

Mapping Walk

On the 18th June, we ran a mapping walk in conjunction with the University of Sheffield Everyday Growing Cultures project. We started out at the Riverside and made our way around part of Pitsmoor, exploring patches of land which could be used for growing space, as well as sources of wild food.

Here is the route we took, along with some brief notes and photos of the walk.

View GS Mapping Walk June 2013 in a larger map

Our friends in Manchester, the Kindling Trust, have also been part of this project. They were interested in the work of 596 Acres in Brooklyn, who mapped all possible available growing space in the borough. The Kindling Trust did a similar exercise on a smaller scale in Old Trafford, collecting data on patches of waste ground, grass verges, alleyways and other pockets of land which could theoretically be used for growing fruit & veg (here’s their mapping report).

For Grow Sheffield, we are starting to think about how mapping could be used to help people to find growing spaces, food projects and wild food in their neighbourhoods, as well as helping connect people who are interested in organic food growing. So we used our guided group walk around Pitsmoor to stimulate our discussion about all the ingredients and steps required for communities to establish local food growing, and to get us thinking about the role mapping could play in Grow Sheffield’s projects and wider work. We’ll have more to say about this in the coming weeks, with more events and opportunities to get involved.

Thanks to Farida and Steven from the Everyday Growing Cultures project for working with us so far. If you’re interested in the point where urban food growing meets data and digital engagement, then the Everyday Growing Cultures end of project event in Sheffield on 23 July might be for you. And it’s free to attend – register here