Small revolutions

School of Artisan Food Mark II.  We did do Leon.  We spent a lot on taxis.

We heard about cheese-farming, and health.  About social media and food made for it. Policy, politics and health.  There’s so much more, but the most immediate connection for our community allotment came from Nottingham’s Small Food Bakery.

Kimberley had the onerous task of closing up the weekend.  Closing on a note of inspiration, hard work and passion was simply lovely.  The sun shone almost all weekend.  The sash windows of the lecture room had to be propped open.

After listening to Andrew Whitley present at the School a few years back, Kimberley was inspired to start out on her own.  She wanted something new, something fundamentally local and respectful.  Using what there is not what the consumer wants, or are told that they should want.

General School of Artisan Food loveliness.

I don’t want to mis-remember Kimberley’s story, and I couldn’t do justice to it.  Her story of success and small revolution was inspiring. How she carefully sources every ingredient used in her bakery, using her power as a maker, business owner and community member to make change.  She’s brave, bold and authoritative.  She has great business sense and respect for produce provided by growers in and around Nottingham.

We all know that the last speaker at a two day event can be lacklustre.  Brains are swirling with information and ideas, are thinking about Monday’s responsibilities and routine.  But, but.  Kimberley took us with her, and I’m so grateful to her.

At the end of her talk, Kimberley gave these out to everyone:

My pots! And my 20 year old Ikea hand towel.

It’s a specific form of permaculture.  Grown of love, passion and respect for the climate and earth.  Kimberley shared a wild yeasted bread made from this grain, and it was full, flavoursome and complex.


Kindly, Kimberley gave me a second pot.  We chatted outside the School, packing up whilst we negotiated taxis (none on a Sunday in Retford.  Literally.  None).  Two pots now sit on my dinner table, waiting for their new home at U-Grow.  I’ll take it up there next week, and show it some love whilst it moves into its new, Kentish home.

Kimberley proved that revolutions start with passion, hard work and love.  Ben and I are starting our own small revolution in Swanley. Not a sentance I ever thought I’d say, but isn’t that what makes life fun?



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