There is an interesting article in the Spring 2012 edition of the National Trust Magazine (p68-71) on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), in which local communities work with food producers ‘to share the responsibility and rewards of farming’. This is not a new concept – the system is said to have originated in Japan in the 1960s, and to have been introduced in Scotland in 1994 - but has been taken up much more widely in recent years. Consumers pay a fee to join a scheme, which them entitles them to a share of the produce or a discount on prices, as well as encouraging them to feel more ‘connected’ to the land where the food is produced. For farmers, it can offer a secure income and a reduction in the costs of distribution.
Several SCA schemes operate on National Trust land, though I’m not aware of any as yet in the East Midlands. For more information about Community Supported Agriculture in general, see the Soil Association website at http://www.soilassociation.org/communitysupportedagriculture/whycsa.
A research project that looked at various aspects of food in the East Midlands, linking them with museum displays and objects in the region, and making the results available to as many people as possible in different formats.