The Pumpkin Story
The Pumpkin Story was produced by Glasgow Community Food Network and Zam’Munda following a project lead by Dinna Likonde, founder of Zam'Munda throughout 2023. Dinna worked with community groups to generate ideas for the book as well as to raise awareness about growing traditional African foods in Glasgow.
Afro-UK communities are underrepresented in the food climate justice movement and on a local level in Glasgow. Through this project, we aimed to create a storytelling toolkit that explains food climate justice issues using recognised current African storytelling techniques, developed by action-based research.
The story was co-created by African communities in Glasgow and focused on a pumpkin as a metaphor. The story was situated in a site of power, an idealised UK-based ‘munda’, the Malawian word for a kitchen garden. A munda is a place of power and connection where people have the ability to grow food for themselves but also to pass on that ability to their families and community.
The story is underpinned by food sovereignty principles.
The purpose of our campaign is to be a springboard for wider communications activity and engagement with African communities on food, climate and land access issues in the UK.
We were specifically targeting migrant communities who may not necessarily identify with engagement, focused on marginalised BAME groups more generally.
Each copy of the book also included a pull out of the Malawian Mkhwani Recipe Worksheet.
On Friday 1st December, we hosted an event to launch the book. Participants enjoyed a presentation from Zam'Munda and GCFN, an exhibit of traditional African ingredients, and a book reading. They also each got to take a copy of the book home and share a free lunch.
One attendee said of The Pumpkin Story, "This story makes me feel really connected to the earth. I feel more aware orfthe relationship I have with it. It's amazing to see what you have achieved with it."
It was very special to have some of the attendees of the 24-week course, Women in Farming, which was supported by the Food and Climate Action project. The course was in agroecological farming, funded by Solace Women's Aid Empowering Women fund delivered in partnership with Central and West Integration Network and inspired Dinna, who was a course participant, to set up Zam'Munda, so projects really came full-circle!
We have some copies of the book left. If you'd like to take one for yourself of your community group, email us on [email protected]
The project and book were made possible with funds from Food for the Planet, a campaign of Sustainable Food Places, led by food and farming charity Sustain.
Additional support from the Food and Climate Action Project, funded by The National Lottery Climate Action Fund.