The 4 Ps of Local Food


The Root Cellars Rock project is built around a concept called the 4 Ps of Local Food. The 4 Ps were coined by Neil Tilley who was a local community organizer, advocate for rural NL and organic farmer. FSN uses the 4Ps in his memory and inspired by the causes he cared about like sustainability and community development in this province.

When FSN set out to create a series of food skills workshops, we originally surveyed over 25 community groups across the province to find out what topics interested them most. Their enthusiasm gave us the momentum to get things started! We heard feedback from community gardens, family resource centres, farmers' markets, regional food security groups, environmental organizations, anti-poverty initiatives, community centres and many more. After considering the 4 Ps, those community groups picked the 8 workshop topics.

Root Cellars Rock will hopefully provide many other resources in the future, including an upcoming series of videos highlighting the food skill and knowledge that seniors in this province have to share. In future our resources will continue to be based around the 4 Ps, so this post is just to give you a quick overview of what they are. Please use the 4 Ps concept in the work that you do in your communities to build food skills and knowledge!

Planting: How to Grow Food

Planting includes all aspects of growing healthy food up until the time when plants are ready to be harvested. Planting can refer to household or community gardening, sprouting, and agricultural cultivation of products like vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The two workshops under Planting are:

  1. Container Gardening
  2. Composting

Picking: How to Harvest Cultivated & Wild Foods

Picking includes all aspects of harvesting food, both foods that have grown in the wild and those that are cultivated in a garden or on a farm. Picking includes harvesting foods derived from animals as well as plants. Raising backyard chickens and other livestock, beekeeping, hunting, fishing, as well as harvesting vegetables, or gathering wild plants all fall under Picking. The two workshops under Picking are:

  1. Seed Saving
  2. Edible Wild Plants

Preparing: How to Prepare Healthy Meals

Preparing describes the process of making healthy meals that will be eaten soon after they are prepared. Cooking skills, meal traditions, and information about ingredients are all included under Preparing. The two Preparing workshops are:

  1. Preparing Local Vegetables
  2. Using Culinary Herbs

Preserving: How to Store and Preserve Food

Preserving incorporates the various methods for storing and preserving food to keep it for future consumption. Root cellars and cold storage, canning (bottling), pickling, drying, salting, freezing, fermenting, and smoking are all techniques under Preserving. The two workshops for Preserving are:

  1. Canning/ Bottling
  2. Root Cellars