The Community Farm, a cornerstone of Bristol’s local food and farming scene, has curated Lessons from Lockdown, a collection of 15 articles that describe how the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic affected people involved with food, wildlife, local economies and social outreach in the local area, ultimately with a view to exploring what the outbreak exposed about our food system and the systems it intersects.

Article contributors say they want the knowledge shared in the collection – including business and personnel strategies, focus group results, personal experiences and market analysis – to help food-based businesses and organizations to thrive now, and in the event of a potential future lockdown. They say they hope that the authors’ insights and answers to lingering questions will help smaller, independent players navigate this exceptional period of socio-economic upheaval.

Contributors to Lessons from Lockdown include employees and volunteers affiliated with the Soil Association, Feed Bristol, Better Food, Going For Gold Bristol, EcoWild, Poco Tapas Bar and The Community Farm itself.

It provides great insight into not only the impact of the pandemic, but our daily choices as ‘investors’ in our food system

The Community Farm’s managing director, Kim Brooks, contributed an article that investigates the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s food supply chains – a topic of particular concern to The Community Farm given that demand for their organic veg boxes more than doubled within the first month of lockdown. Brooks has this to say about the collection:

“I’m so thankful to this diverse group of people for taking the time to collect their thoughts and create this time capsule. It provides great insight into not only the impact of the pandemic, but our daily choices as ‘investors’ in our food system. Now we have an opportunity to learn from this time, and, as Sarah Pitt says in her article, ‘care about the local little things, and let the changes ripple out’.”

A PDF of Lessons from Lockdown is available to download now, free of charge, from The Community Farm’s website: