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Food MK: using food to build communities in Milton Keynes

The vision for a vibrant local food economy in MK

In late 2006, Food train published Food MK, a report which demonstrates why food should take centre stage in the challenge to create sustainable communities and tackle climate change in Milton Keynes.

Funded by Natural England, the report makes a brave call for a return to the original garden city vision for Milton Keynes, enhancing established areas and creating new productive landscapes such as allotments, community orchards and market gardens.

It highlights the opportunities these landscapes create to cut carbon emissions, create jobs and improve quality of life for all. It also suggests ways that local authorities can help communities support farming in MK's rural hinterland by improving the way locally produced food is retailed in local shops and markets.

For the first time, an assessment of the local food economy in MK was carried out - with some surprising results! Initial assessments appeared to show MK as a local food desert though further investigation unearthed a significant number of previously unknown food producers with the fastest growing sector being individual entrepreneurs and community food initiatives - local people and projects growing, processing and selling food in the heart of the city.

As a way of understanding what drives people to do this and what support is needed to encourage more of this enterprising activity, international and UK case studies and best practice feature in the report alongside an ambitious business plan for an Urban Farm as a living demonstration of possible city farming futures.

The work shows how these themes are supported by local and national policy and sets out an Action Plan for the city to 2011.

Find out how you can get involved.

Download the full report -

Food MK Introduction (pdf, 1910 K)

Growing Food for a Growing City (pdf, 340 K)

MK Foodcheck (pdf, 506 K)

Eat the City (pdf, 291 K)

An Urban Farm for Milton Keynes (pdf, 654 K)

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Wolverton Farmers Market Dates for 2008
March 15th
April 5th & 19th
May 3rd & 17th
June 7th & 21st
July 5th & 19th
August 2nd & 16th
Sept 6th & 20th
Oct 4th & 18th
Nov 1st & 15th
Dec 6th & 20th