Looking to the Future

Sometimes we get asked to contribute to research projects on a whole variety of subjects. Usually they consist of rather dry collections of questions. This time was a little different. Natasha’s research study, which is focused on alternative organising and sustainable food initiatives, asked for a creative piece of fiction on what we saw the future holding along with 5 images representing what we felt was important. I rather enjoyed writing the story and picking the pictures so thought I’d share them. I hope you enjoy the read!

You could tell that the day was starting when the squeak of the wheelbarrow came down the high street from the community garden up on the hill. This morning it was a very frondy barrow full of carrots and fennel.

The shop’s stalls were out and the “take your share table” was full of the produce that people had contributed. Just inside the door the food co-op had delivered sacks of rice and pasta that had been shipped from the family businesses in Italy and the Round the Corner Baker’s bread basket was smelling good. This was the first year that Town Farm’s landrace wheat had been used. Everyone was rather proud as they crossed the bridge and looked down at the restored water mill that ground the grain.

Back outside the shop, the pick your own herb beds were buzzing with the bees from the roof hive, as the co-op members working today were talking through the jobs of the day; the deliveries round the town, the evening’s bicycle powered cinema show and the research article to write!

Suddenly, the train whistle broke into the conversation and stirred sudden activity with a couple of the team running up Station Road so as not to miss the delivery of vegetables from Exeter. The newly restored train line was good for more ecological transport but meant a lot more exercise than when the truck dropped off deliveries in the yard. The others turned to sorting out the vegetables for the Community Kitchen. The COVID lockdowns of the early 20’s had severely impacted on jobs and income and the Community Kitchen had been a life line in supporting the town. Now, it still provided a vital community resource allowing people to cook together and share the food to everyone who needed it. The children skipped past on the way to school and picked carrots from the snack sack, now the day had certainly started!