What’s Growing On

Afro-Ecology

A form of art, movement, practice and process of social and ecological transformation that involves the re-evaluation of our sacred relationships with land, water, air, seeds and food; (re)recognizes humans as co-creators that are an aspect of the planet’s life support systems; values the Afro-Indigenous experience of reality and ways of knowing; cherishes ancestral and communal forms of knowledge, experience and lifeways that began in Africa and continue throughout the Diaspora; and is rooted in the agrarian traditions, legacies and struggles of the Black experience in the Americas

SOILFUL CITY x AFRO-ECOLOGY

Join us for the Afro-Ecology Series, conducted by Black Dirt Farm Collective and hosted by Dreaming Out Loud, Soilful City, and THEARC Farm. The series is part discussion, political training, and a community- and movement-building exercise — including work on a specific project that will help each partner site have a successful growing season. 

Please help spread the word with black growers and broader black community. Below are the dates, times, and locations for each partner site:

Host: Dreaming Out Loud
Saturday, April 30th
10am-2pm
Location: 700 Delaware Avenue SW
Host: THEARC Farm
Saturday, May 14th
10am-2pm Afro-Ecology; 2-4pm community cookout
Location: 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE
Host: Soilful City w/Hard Knocks Life
Saturday, May 21st
12-4pm
Location: 53rd Dix Street NE, Clay Terrace

Towards a “Peoples” Agroecology

The following is an excerpt from the first article of the series  “People’s Agroecology,” featured on Why Hunger’s website. The articles are written by Blain Snipstal, a returning generation farmer part of the Black Dirt Farm Collective in Maryland. As part of the continuation of the 2015 Campesino a Campesino Agroecology Encounter led by farmworkers in the US, Blain visited four leading organizations in the US and Puerto Rico in this effort to learn more about challenges and current practices to advance their goals through Agroecology.

The place of Agroecology

As people in struggle, our causes, and our organized efforts do not exist in a vacuum. They are efforts that, taken into the historic contexts in which they appear, are created by and/or in response to the conditions of their time. It is within this vein that the articulation of agroecology in the US should be located, and as part of the 500 year (plus) process of struggle and resistance.

It is also critically important to situate agroecology as a tool for social struggle – that is, to use it to fundamentally change the relations of power in the food system and as way for healing of our Mother Earth, at local and national levels. It is not just a mere form of “Sustainable Agriculture”. To be clear, it is not about situating one word against another like permaculture versus agroecology, or sustainable agriculture versus biodynamic – to do so would limit the narrative to its ecological boundaries. It is about a series of ecological principles and values, the revalorization of local/traditional/indigenous knowledge, bringing dignity and vibrant livelihoods back to rural life and food systems labor, and a clear alternative to the industrial model of agriculture. Agroecology is a political and social methodology and process, as much as it is an ecological alternative to Agribusiness. This clarity is especially important given the current efforts by NGO’s, community based organizations and social movement organizations that are raising the banner of agroecology in the United States.

Read the full article on Why Hunger .

7 Pillars of Food Justice

  1.  Eating Healthy Food is a Right.
  2. The current global food system must be resisted and dismantled.
  3. Food Justice recognizes that the causes of food disparity are the result of multiple systems of oppression (White Supremacy,Capitalism, Patriarchy, Ableism, Hetero-sexism, Anthropocentrism),which means that to practice food justice we must do the work through an intersectional lens.
  4. Food Justice advocates must focus on working with the most marginalized and vulnerable populations, which are communities of color, communities in poverty, immigrants, children, our elders, women, people who identify as LGBTQ, those with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness.
  5. Food Justice require us to work towards the elimination of exploitation in our food system, both exploitation of humans and animals.
  6. Food Justice demands that we grow food in such a way that preserves ecological biodiversity and promotes sustainability in all aspects.
  7. Provide resources and skill sharing so that people can be collectively more food self-sufficient.

Can You Dig This?

Growing your own food is like printing your own money. – Xavier Brown

CAN YOU DIG THIS – Trailer from Delirio Films on Vimeo.

On January 26, the  Happy Ours and Rooting DC hosted a special screening of John Legend’s documentary about four “gangster gardeners” who discover what happens when they get their hands dirty — in the soil of South L.A.

Xavier Brown of Soilful City and Juju Harris of Arcadia Mobile Market led the community discussion on Urban Agriculture and Urban Sustainability in Ward8.