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Hero local growers to personify the value of local produce

Check our Alice Holden, described by The Do Lectures as the 'Bette Midler of Farming". The new poster girl attracts us to get back to our roots when it comes to food growth and consumption.

Photo of Ronan Harrington

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In order to connect a disconnected urban population with a rural phenomenon, it's important to make it as personal, relevant and as attractive as possible.

I recently came across Alice Holden, a person who breaks the stereotype of a traditional farmer. She's female, young, graceful, and completely passionate about a life dedicated to the land. She came to prominence in a talk she gave at The Do Lectures 2010 ( on farming and has since appeared in the 'How I make it work' column in Sunday Times Style and recently The Observer's 'Ethical Innovator' interview (

People respond to those that breaks their schema of what a certain role should be and I think Alice's arrival comes at the time of a zeitgeist where urbanites are fed up with the disconnect that comes with mass consumption and want something more meaningful. But it's one thing wanting, and the other knowing what you want. I think a key avenue to promoting local consumption is by heroing marketable people who serve as champions of the cause. It shows you in a very human way what this lifestyle and pursuit looks like in an attractive way. It's similar to what Jamie Oliver has done for cooking and Prof Brian Cox has done for science.


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Photo of Meena

What a winner – and you make the great point here about the disconnect many feel around mass consumption. Can't wait to see what this might inspire in the Concepting Phase.