Thank you to Carol Benfell, special reporter to Sonoma West news, for shedding light on the beautiful field of growth in Graton, CA — where The Cultural Conservancy, lead by CEO Melissa Nelson, will develop a center for food sovereignty and community: “a Native place of refuge and learning”. Click here for the full article. And to learn more about the Conservancy, visit www.nativeland.org. For the highlights, read on:
“The Conservancy has focused on ‘returning native lands to native hands’ and restoring cultural eco-knowledge and traditions around the globe.
The group’s many projects include sponsoring the first Native American Land Trust in Maui; historic recordings of the Salt Songs of the Southern Paiute; recording Tibetan elders from India; and supporting the Apache Survival Coalition to protect sacred sites on Mt. Graham, Arizona.
More recently, The Conservancy has focused on the native peoples of California and “food sovereignty,” a movement arising in the 1990s that focuses on people’s right to raise culturally appropriate food, using ecologically sound and sustainable methods.
The food sovereignty movement is a part of the larger food movement that, for the last several decades, has seen young people moving back to the land in Sonoma County, raising organic crops with sustainable farming and selling them to the local community at farmers’ markets or through subscription.
The food grown on the farm will be distributed to local tribes — Miwok, Pomo and Wappo — and intertribally to Native Americans living in the Bay Area. The surplus will be sold to restaurants or at farmers’ markets.” October, 2019
The Food Sovereignty Prize honors grassroots organizations who are challenging corporate control of the food system. This years honorees of the ninth annual Food Sovereignty Prize are Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF) ,and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). The prize giving ceremony takes place on October 17, 2017 and is streamed live online at 12PM EDST.
This year’s honorees were selected for their success in promoting food sovereignty, agroecology, and social justice to ensure that all people have access to fresh, nutritious food produced in harmony with the planet. Lauded as an alternative to the World Food Prize, the Food Sovereignty Prize champions real solutions to hunger and is recognized by social movements, activists, and community-based organizations around the world. This year’s honorees are tenacious in their resistance to the corporate control of our food system, including false solutions of biotechnology that damage the planet while exacerbating poverty and hunger.
The mission of A Growing Culture is “supporting farmers to reshape the food system” to ensure that the future of agriculture is just, sustainable and supportive of farmers. We are very excited about the wide range of resources they have to support farmers, not least their much anticipated Library for Food Sovereignty. The library, due for release in the late summer or early autumn of 2017, will include stories of farmer led innovations from around the world, local knowledge, grassroots farming movements and technical and environmental resources.
A beautiful walk around Soul Fire Farm with the thoughtful, insightful, and fiercely passionate Leah Penniman. This film was produced by The Next System Project and the Laura Flanders Show, as part of their series on gender, race, and the next system.
I’d write more about the farm, but my paraphrasing would never be as powerful as their own words: “Soul Fire Farm is committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. We raise life-giving food and act in solidarity with people marginalized by food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, we work to reclaim our collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system. We bring diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health and environmental justice. We are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.”
We are beyond delighted to announce that Brian Donahue, author of Reclaiming the Commons, will be speaking on the Maine Sail Freight Panel in Cambridge on September 2!
Maine Sail Freight Food Sovereignty & Regional Resilience Panel
Thursday August 27 // Gulf of Maine Research Institute 350 Commercial St, Portland, ME
5pm – 7pm
suggested donation: $10.00/at the door
Even if you can’t make it to part of our Community Cargo Loading event during the day, consider attending this exciting panel of Mainers actively building systems of local food resilience and food sovereignty.
Maine Sail Freight invites you to a panel discussion on Connecting Food Sovereignty, Fisheries, and the Latin American experience in rebuilding regional resilience, land health and rural wealth. The panel includes Robin Alden of Penobscot Resource Center East, Heather Retberg of Quill’s End Farm, and Florence Reed of Sustainable Harvest International with moderator Lisa Fernandes of The Resilience Hub.
Food sovereignty is an essential foundation if we are going to build resilience and food self-sufficiency. The people who eat food and the people who grow food need to be making the decisions about how we produce and exchange food. This is so well done at the community level starting with food grown within our communities by our friends and neighbors.
Come for refreshments and good hearty discussion!
*You can buy a ticket for dinner here.
Food Sovereignty Tours
Bolivia Mercado by Shannon Decelle Photography
Multiple dates & locations
Food First, led by Executive Director Eric Holt-Gimenez, offers a series of Food Sovereignty Tours around the globe. The tours are an opportunity to travel to international destinations to experience local food systems and the food sovereignty movement first-hand. Through one- to two-week educational tours, you will learn how you are connected to the global food system and acquire knowledge and strategies you can use to create just, sustainable and healthy food systems in your own community. On each tour, local hosts provide an overview of their country’s history, culture, politics, ecology and agriculture. We also meet with specialists to provide background on specific topics relating to the tour’s theme. Upcoming trips include Hawaii (Aug), Basque Country (Sept), Mexico (Oct), and Cuba (Jan).
There is something magical that happens when you first put your hands in soil and plant. Not only are you transforming the land, you’re transforming yourself. Unfortunately, there is a lack of land in the Bay Area for people to experience this.
But, your support of urban agriculture is part of a revolution. Together, we’ve planted more than 300 urban gardens throughout the Bay Area in homes, schools, community centers, Stanislaus County Juvenile Commitment Center, and San Quentin State Prison.
With a freshwater spring and an abundance of Life, this farm sits on sacred land that has nurtured people for thousands of years. Our watershed stewardship practices, including one mile of countoured swales and neighborhood-scale rain-water catchment, will honor the past and future of this land, regenerate the creek and freshwater spring, and model drought-resilient solutions.
The farm will be home to 1,000 fruit and nut trees, a native and edible plant nursery, and an education center with a mission to bring permaculture to the people. It will be the largest food forest farm in the Bay Area, create dozens of living-wage jobs, and provide the freshest and most affordable organic fruit, nuts, berries, vegetables, herbs, and medicine to thousands of Bay Area residents.
But we can’t transform this land without your help!
Your donation to our #5acrefarm will bring us one plant closer to this 5-acre food forest.
Towards Food Sovereignty
Throughout the world, food providers (such as farmers, pastoralists, forest dwellers, and food workers) and new social movements, rather than academia and think tanks, are the prime movers behind a newly emerging food sovereignty policy framework. At its heart, this alternative policy framework for food and agriculture aims to guarantee and protect people’s space, ability, and right to define their own models of production, food distribution, and consumption patterns. Proposals for food sovereignty seek to reverse the socially inequitable and ecologically destructive nature of industrial farming, fisheries, forestry and livestock management, and the wider food systems they are a part of. (more…)
Planting Justice in the Owens Valley: the Indigenous Farming Project
by May Nguyen of Planting Justice
I’ve been working on behalf of Planting Justice with a project called the Indigenous Farming Project (IFP), a tribal agriculture & nutrition pilot program in collaboration with San Francisco artist collective Future Farmers. Inspired by his train travels through the reservation lands, EPA Region 9 director Jared Blumenfeld recognized a common desire for developing food sovereignty projects within native communities and asked Amy Francheschini of Future Farmers to start up a program that would help tribes gain access to the resources they need to build resilient foodsystems on their lands.
Many tribal reservations are geographically isolated and are “food deserts” in which there is very little or no access to healthy fresh foods, (www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html). In order to combat this health related epidemic, there has been a resurgence in the number of American Indians and their allies championing a revitalization of traditional food knowledge and ritual farming-and-gardening.
In spring 2012, Anya Kamenskaya, the IFP project manager, started the first IFP-sponsored site with the Environmental Department of the Big Pine Paiute of the Owens Valley. Over the course of the year, as I joined on as a co-project manager and permaculture designer, we were able to work with Alan Bacock, Tony Karl & Sally Manning of the Environmental Department to design & plan an active demonstration community garden on the land of the Big Pine Paiute Tribal Headquarters.