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Launching the Grassroots Directory!

Today we launch our crowdfunding campaign with Unbound Books. We’re hoping to raise enough money to produce this all-colour, all-connecting A-Z and we would love to have your help and backing to make this happen. You can watch our call-out video here (with the text below):

Calling out across grassroots Britain!

‘We all need to be dancing around the same handbag.’ Pam Wharton, Incredible Edible Todmorden, Yorkshire

The Grassroots Directory is a new source book that aims to showcase the most innovative, practical and exciting community-led projects in the UK.

This A-Z guide to grassroots Britain will list more than 200 enterprises that will take you all the way from Alternative currencies to Zero waste. You can find out how they work, what makes them tick, how to set one up in your own hometown.

Flick through, and you’ll find that H is for Hops grown in neighbourhood gardens for a micro-brewery in Brixton. And it’s also H for Hydro in Scotland and Hens in your backyard and Hackerspaces and Hubs popping up everywhere in between.

homebaked liverpoolLooking for a co-operative bakery in Liverpool? No problem! Look under B for Bakeries at the front, or Liverpool at the back. And you will find the story behind the wonderful Homebaked in Anfield. You might even pick up some tips about baking an essential sour dough loaf for your community harvest feast.

Joining the dots

Everything in this book is connected. Take an apple: you can pick one for free in a community orchard or become part of a fruit foraging scheme and collect enough unwanted apples from your local gardens and street trees to make juice and cider – like Dan and Joe from the incredible Moss Cider Project in Manchester. Or if you want to juice those apples yourselves, why not check out your local Library of Things for an apple press. Got one already but it needs fixing? Take it to your local Repair Cafe and find out how to mend it (along with your old smartphone and broken umbrella). Got juice left over? You can share it at your community kitchen or junk food cafe, and take the residue to the community compost pile. And don’t forget to join the local wassail for the next planting year!

David Young with the apple press at Queens Park Day 2011We started The Grassroots Directory after being involved with community projects since 2008. We felt there were some great stories happening that people would love to know about. So we started writing them down: what it was like to start up an urban farm, to learn how to chop firewood and plant potatoes, organise a bike lane, a community bee group, or local currency. We created a co-operative local blog, then a national one, then a national quarterly paper. Now we’d like to put these stories in a book: one place for everyone to share their knowledge, skills and good-time experiences.

We want The Grassroots Directory to be full of possibilities for people looking towards a future that is fairer, more Earth-friendly, and – yes – more fun! You can use it for inspiration, for practical know-how, to find out what is going on in your region (and everywhere else too).

By the way, if you know of a lively community project in your area do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

Charlotte Du Cann and Mark Watson

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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