The New Diggers

A mention on twitter got me listening to The New Diggers, an episode in Radio 4’s Costing the Earth series.

It’s a good listen and part of an encouraging wave of attention being paid to new-old approaches to food production such as farming small plots in urban spaces. The stories in it won’t be entirely new to anyone who’s been tracing Guerilla Gardening, Community Supported Agriculture, or Transition Towns for any length of time, but new examples are always encouraging and the people of Todmorden make an eloquent case for large institutions handing over their latent land to green-fingered locals.

I’m a little more sceptical about the second half of the programme. While I’m glad people are exploring better ways to run farms and to help people who want to become farmers, the size of our population is such that it’s now highly unlikely we could sustain a large scale return to the fields. The Guerrilla Gardening-born approach of filling in the otherwise empty spaces in dense urban environs speaks much more of the future.

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