There’s a thread of small food producers running through this issue of Wicked Leeks magazine. Whether it’s those struggling to survive a hard Brexit and trading regime that only big multinationals can shoulder (page 3), or those, as described by cover star Jyoti Fernandes, who are working the land “to fight against the system…because they don’t want to contribute to the climate or biodiversity crises” (pages 10-13).
Fernandes paints a radically different picture of small farmers from those you might recognise from the mainstream press, which has charted the rise in farmgate veg boxes and ‘local food’ since the pandemic without going anywhere near the challenges these farmers face.
Competing against subsidised, industrially produced food, small producers often work long hours for little return. But their contribution to biodiversity is hugely underrated (see pages 22-23 for an unusual link between organic cowpats and bats), and their ability to adapt means they’re likely to be more climate resilient (pages 20-21).
This last is another theme of this issue as we grapple with how to reduce our own footprints: how to eat a climate-friendly diet? Food writer Anna Jones tackles this eloquently in her column on page 6, while in Lifestyle we explore what it means to eat seasonally in spring (pages 26-29), and how that can help anchor you to time and place. It’s maybe also why food is such a good springboard from which to explore our impact and place within the natural world and society.
We hope you find both the joy and the inspiration for change within this issue – if you like what you read, there is more at www.wickedleeks.com/#join.