Supporting connections and relations among farmers, urban people, students, artists, policy makers and others is at the heart of agroecology. Cultivate! co-hosts brigades, caravans and other exchange processes, aiming to strengthen territories in advancing healthy food and farming systems. Here is a selection of our current activities.
> Solidarity brigades for agroecological reconstruction in Puerto Rico
Partners: Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, Black Dirt Farm Collective, La Vía Campesina, Climate Justice Alliance, FoodFirst, SOCLA
Hurricane María hit the Caribbean so strongly in September 2017, that the vegetation went from lush green to dark brown in a matter of hours. The state government has demonstrated an almost complete lack of support towards ecological farming. In order to support agroecological reconstruction, we are teaming up with local and international organisations in a series of solidarity brigades called the Guagua Solidaria. The brigades take the form of moving camps, with brigadistas from all over Puerto Rico, the US, Canada, Central America and Europe spending 3-4 days in each farm rebuilding farm structures, houses and planting. Spaces are incorporated for political training, dialogue, workshops, cultural exchanges and reflection. Exchanges like these not only help farmers get better positioned to confront the next hurricane season(s), but also help bolster the movement work of organisers, educators, activists and farmers that often spills over beyond a farm’s perimeters into diverse communities and across many issues. Read more
Contact: Georges Felix, georges[at]cultivatecollective.org
> Building a feminist network of agroecologists in Spain
In Spain, agroecologists come in all shapes and sizes. A vibrant agroecology movement has taken hold both in the rural, as well as urban Spanish landscape. Women involved in this movement, including farmers, consumers, organisers and researchers, have come together to build a feminist network to claim space for feminist principles within agroecology. Jessica Milgroom of Cultivate! supports and participates in this network. ¨Without feminism, there is no agroecology!¨
Contact: Jessica Milgroom, jessica[at]cultivatecollective.org
> The 2018 Food Caravan in the Netherlands
Partner: The Dutch-Flemish ‘Voedsel Anders’ food sovereignty platform
In 2018, a Food Caravan visited through seven regions of the Netherlands, identifyin and supporting local initiatives for sustainable and fair food systems. Cultivate! was among the main organisers, united in the Dutch-Flemish Voedsel Anders platform for food sovereignty. Participants in the various activities of the Food Caravan 2018 exchanged experiences around the food transition, generated new insights and placed these in a broader framework of policy, practice and research. We zoomed in on the four central themes of Voedsel Anders: agroecology, short supply chains, just agriculture and trade policy, and land governance. The Caravan generated visibility for promising, regionally embedded food initiatives, and created new narratives and connections that help to strengthen the movement for equitable and sustainable food and farming systems. In 2014 and 2016, Voedsel Anders organised two national conferences which drew over a thousand people. Awareness in the Netherlands is growing that it is high time for systems change in food and farming. The Food Caravan 2018 took a regional approach to contribute to that change.
Contact: Janneke Bruil, janneke[at]cultivatecollective.org