UK’s Guardian editor writes: ‘Stepney City Farm Can Change The World’
“Working in the media, there is an unappealing tendency to get sucked in by the notion that WE are the insiders, and WE know all the secrets of the universe.”
By Libby Brooks
She is the Guardian’s acting comment editor, joining the paper in 1998.
From Stepney City Farm website
Nov. 26, 2012
As my month at Stepney City Farm draws to an end, I am left reflecting on all the weird and wonderful things that I’ve done over the past four weeks. I chose to spend this sabbatical from my day job as a comment editor and columnist at the Guardian because, having spent the past few years commissioning and writing articles about how this country is – for reasons various, economic and political – going to hell in a handcart, I wanted to spend some time with people who are walking the talk.
Clipping the ferrets’ toenails or filling up the leaf mulcher may not appear to have anything to do with the global recession or benefits cuts, but the ethos at Stepney City Farm – self-sufficiency, education, community outreach – is exactly what a lot of folk are groping for at present, be that through the Occupy movement or even David Cameron’s much-derided Big Society.
Essentially, having spent a month here, I firmly believe that Stepney City Farm can change the world, and I’d challenge anyone to do likewise and not come to a similar conclusion.
I’ve done a load of things here that have made me think about much more than just the task in front of me. Planting broad beans to store in the polytunnel over the winter makes me realise what a different rhythm there is to working life when the seasons are in charge, and light and temperature cannot be fixed at the touch of a button.
Working in the media, there is an unappealing tendency to get sucked in by the notion that WE are the insiders, and WE know all the secrets of the universe. It’s been really good for me – humbling in fact – to be reminded that there are whole worlds of skills and knowledge for me to get learn from.