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ow that the local food network is in place and thriving, things have been so much


better in Abbots Langley. It really didn‘t take long for villagers to get


used to more naturally shaped carrots and the odd trace of soil, and after only a few weeks I heard comments like ―This is what a carrot should look like, forget all that polished super- market veg‖. People were passing on their appreciation to


the local farmers and even visiting the farms. It was a special treat to pick Hertfordshire apples from Primrose Hill orchard, down the road. I had no idea Hertfordshire was once so rich in


vegetable and fruit varieties, recently grown again and I am delighted that my young son can now eat apples and other produce grown three miles away, rather than 3,000. At first people were so used to buying food


sourced from other countries and failed to see how it could be otherwise, but the message did get through. Local suppliers who were previously having to


―go out on a limb‖ if they wished to sell local produce had the security of a robust network of fellow producers, sharing materials, methods and expertise, with the support of a local author- ity who recognised the benefits of local food. It made sense on so many levels as food prices


crept up with rising oil costs and the effect of erratic weather. It was just a few voices at first, but two became


four and four eight, a group formed and every- thing progressed remarkably quickly.


Today I worked out my shopping bill and com-


pared it with one two years ago and found to- day‘s bill lower. Why? Virtually no transit costs, no preservatives, and minimal and reusable packaging. Locally-produced seasonal food less climate-damaging food miles, reduced lorry traf- fic, less demand for new roads, support for the local economy and local farmers, and regional variety. It also means that we are not at the mercy of long supply chains which operate on the assumption that we will always have an abun- dant supply of oil, at a reasonable cost. Do you want to make a difference? Join a small


team of volunteers to design an action plan to take a local food strategy forward. Dacorum dis- trict has accepted a strategy for their area and local people are already making progess. Visit www.altta.org.uk and click ―contact Ian‖ or phone 01923 291273 to get involved.


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