Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

It starts in your own backyard : Everything

After the Rodney King Riots at Humboldt State University I learned that from a friend. First you have to clean up your own backyard. To do that you dont need to go anywhere else and you dont need to join another people and you dont need to be anything but who you are.

It will still take courage. Because things will not turn out exactly like you envisioned, partly because its important to collaborate and bring more than one strong voice to projects like local food security.

There are two things you can do right away, two things that helped me get my own community moving in the direction of food security, thinking about foodsheds and building some local autonomy. First you can try and become a gardener, if thats not possible either at home or in a shared garden project then its still possible to try and find someone who has a garden and is willing to teach you how to garden by having you come help them. In facrt if you are not a knowledgeable gardener then I suggest you see if there is an elderly relative or neighbor who can "give you the garden".

Some of us can support slow food movement and the re-emergence of bountiful local food with purchases and by participating in farmers markets and subscribing to "CSA boxes" that deliver farm fresh products to monthly customers. Of course often in the worst cases when food is really scarce there are none of these alternatives or pathways to food security.

The cold chain infrastructure delivery system depends on two things: timing, and volume. Fresh produce and prepared food either needs to be directly delivered to the receiving end customer like the mercados I experienced in my childhood in Mexico, in Haiti, in the Dominican republic and Venezuela I experienced the ancient tradition of the market in its full glory including farmer-to-customer produce sales. Most of the world also employs some type of refrigeration and transportation to carry the produce into city centers where there is greater demand.

Right now if it was possible to transport every bit of food that is grown intact to a customer who needs food to eat we could probably come very close to feeding the world. The problem isnt so much a question of needing to devote more land to food production in order to cease the misery of world hunger that affects so many, its a matter of properly distributing the food that is already produced, properly maintaining the land that is already in use, creating enough of an ecological buffer zone and using large scale solutions that benefit both our own ability to create clean food and the overall ecological health of the habitat and environment.

We must restore the greenwood at the same time as we create a food system that is more oriented towards permaculture.

Study BELO HORIZONTE: The City that is Ending Hunger, some of the farming techniques were established originally by Japanese farmers. Much like in California they established large scale cooperatives that helped with the practical aspects of working with seed companies and distributors and which helped ease the issues of cold chain delivery and price awareness. In my own community the upper two tiers are met with local Community Farm Project services and exceptional grocery store service. We are still exceptionally dependent on "FoodCorp 5" food and delivery services, however in the last eight years since I started working on foodshed issues and local food issues there has been a lot of improvement in the supply and delivery of food locally creating a tenuous resilience. When I started I was so mad because I couldnt get local yukon gold potatoes except at farmers market 70 miles away in Arcata...because they would have to be shipped all the way to San Francisco and then back again. These days there are almost always local heirloom varieties of potato in my local Garberville market that include all sorts of types grown on the many small farms in Northern Humboldts generously moderate climate.

Looking towards tomorrow and what the future might bring I am very interested in Algae tech. Companies like Solazyme recognize the food potential for Algae, recently Solazyme has partnered with Unilever to replace the use of palm oil and shea butter with algae oil in their personal care products. Basically they are making hugh quality soap using the oil from algae an potentially preserving delicate tropical ecosystems. Its time to start building these larger scale algae facilities and really working out how to use them as fast as possible.

Sometimes its time to plant.
Other times its time to build.

keep talking,

Thats the main key, keep talking to other people about your local food system until you can make some sense out of it.

Views: 39

Comment by Claire Moylan on March 14, 2010 at 11:51pm
Great post! This may be a stupid question, but I haven't heard the term "foodshed" before. What is it?
Comment by cattavery on March 15, 2010 at 12:04am
A foodshed is the same supportive ecological network as a watershed basically, from the source of the water including the wild parts and especially focused on the parts that make food. After years of studying watersheds and working towards watershed repair here in the Redwoods, I realized that the pressures of human habitat and use were most often related to the "Foodsheds" or the ways that local water resouces are diverted specifically to create food. An example is beef cattle, their foodshed would include the local waste stream and water resources, as well as the more distant water resources that are used to create the food that they primarily eat which is usually trucked in. Over the years I have worked extensively with the local dairy co-operative for example to use silage feed and organic farmed pasturage to feed most of the cows rather than shipped in alfalfa and grain. If you can focus local food production in a local foodshed that is coherent and sustainable then your really have a resilient node in the system. The more resilient nodes link up and cross communicate the more resiliency starts being built into the way these foodsheds interact and relate to each other.
Comment by Claire Moylan on March 15, 2010 at 12:11am
Fascinating! This is an excellent explanation of how to start some sustainable projects through simple awareness of where our food and our feed for livestock comes from.
Comment by Felix Albus on March 22, 2010 at 1:30am
Great work, Agent. Very solid. Inspiring.
Comment by Sylvain Ratelle on March 22, 2010 at 2:05pm
hello Cattavery, I support the idea, if we would all fix our own problem first, it would already be something, I will follow your messages, talk to you soon,
Comment by John D. Boyden on May 9, 2010 at 6:45pm
+1 sustainability, just for the profound advice!


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