First Community Food Forum of 2016!

Written by Hannah from Feed Avalon.

forumjan1A great start to 2016 and what an amazing event this is becoming, moving from strength to strength. As we all settled in, squeezing in the latecomers! We had around 30 participants this time, with an increasing spectrum of skills, offers and requests being shared.

What is sprouting, is a healthy network of folks engaged in the food system. From food growers and land owners, to food producers and hosts of product development spaces, to food outlets and cooks. There was also talk of ‘closed loop’ waste recycling, into compost and worm food!

There were many announcements: Feed Avalon’s up and coming courses, Plotgate CSA scheme launch, Excalibur organic local food restaurant to open on Glastonbury high street in March, Hej Gro looking to expand into a workers co operative, C1 community production kitchen and training space ready to welcome more support and more.

A great networking event with a buzzing atmosphere, as people came together, discussing their ideas and what potential is possible.
Everyone introduced themselves and their interest or offer, to the group. The announcements were made and then everyone took part in a lively activity focused around their current and ideal food patterns. Getting everyone discussing what trends the group had and what challenges can be overcome.

forum2janFood for thought…. Then, food for the belly… Everyone tucked into a wonderful pot luck spread, brought together by the participants, whilst we all chatted and made future plans and arrangement.

A very successful event and we do hope to see you at the next one.

If you are a grower, would like to volunteer, are starting or have a food production business, want to be involved in the food distribution chain, including recycling waste and making soil, also just wanting to learn more about what courses are available, come along to the next event. Join our flourishing community.

Watch this space for details of the next community food forum or register your details with us to receive email updates of our extensive range of workshops and of course, the next community food forum.

We all look forward to seeing you there.

To get involved in helping organise the next Food Forum email: hannah@feedavalon.org.uk

Report on the Reclaim the Fields European Winter Assembly in Warsaw

IMG_964021-24 January 2016 – at the ROD – Warsaw

A group of almost forty participants met over four days in the garden allotments squatted by the ROD collective in the suburbs of Warsaw.

We represented different land projects and forms of resistance across Europe, from Great Britain, Germany, Romania, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria and of course Poland.

We had time for formal discussions in order to find out what stage the different projects in Reclaim the Fields are at: the new website which will soon replace the old, the writing of the 11th bulletin, the importance of using the current communication tools effectively before creating new ones, etc etc.

IMG_9692The other highlights of this assembly were :

  • discovering the social and agricultural context in Poland, with a focus on the garden occupation in ROD.
  • a discussion (with a brilliant video conference over Skype) about how to reinforce solidarity initiatives which aim to provide Kurdish and Syrian communities with non-hybrid seeds for vegetable gardens!
  • A discussion on how to act upon the necessity for a renewal of direct action tactics against GMO in Europe.
  • A projection of a short film about the current situation of agricultural projects in the ZAD in Notre Dame des Landes. Following this a communique was written from the European Assembly in support of the recently evicted peasants and to restate a clear rejection of any attempt to start work on the Zone.

The assembly ended with participation in a food distribution alongside Food Not Bombs Warsaw and followed by a small party at the ROD.

We were superbly hosted by our Polish friends, whose fight to occupy and revive the allotment gardens is inspiring. Do not hesitate to pass by and visit them in Warsaw… and to stay a while. Keep your ears open in case they are threatened by eviction.

Not forgetting to thank the people from the Syrena squat in the city center, as well as the BLA collective who provided the equipment for multilingual translation.

IMG_9673

Earth First! Winter Moot, February 2016

nocompromiseIf you live in the South West, in fact if you live in the UK, make sure you get down to this. It’s always inspiring & lots of fun:

EF! Winter Moot 2016

You are invited to attend the Earth First! Winter Moot, a gathering for people involved or wanting to know more about ecological campaigning and direct action in the UK.

Cost is £25/30 at the Centre for Science and Art, 13 Lansdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 1BB.  Stroud station is a 5 minute walk away.

Arrive Friday 5pm, leave Sunday 6pm. Friday 19th – Sunday 21st February.

Vegan meals and accommodation are provided.  Bring a sleeping bag and roll mat for the communal sleeping area.

Coming to an EF! gathering for the first time?

Those taking their first steps innto ecological campaigning are warmly welcomed.  There will be debates, discussions on campaign planning, updates, support and soldarity, tactics, strategies, community building, sustainable activism and networking including groups campaigning against:

fracking, incineration, new roads, GM (genetic engineering).

Earth First! is a banner for independent groups who share a common need to protect our ecological systems.  We believe in non-hierarchical direct action, to stop and reverse the forces responsbile for the destruction of the earth and its inhabitants.

For info or offers of help, contact us on:
southwest.earthfirst@riseup.net
earthfirstgathering.org

Join the next Reclaim the Fields European Assembly in Poland in January 2016

RTF Assembly Web 2016 small

Join the next Reclaim the Fields European Assembly in Poland in January 2016!

When: Thursday 21st January – Sunday 24th January 2016
Where: Warsaw, Poland. Exact location will be announced closer to the date. Please book travel to Warsaw.

Why:
The goals of the assembly are:

  • To meet and exchange information amongst the stars and local groups since last year
  • To exchange and debate on a theme that matters to us across Europe
  • To see where we are at with our European Reclaim the Fields constellation: what was decided last year, for what results, what we need to do to continue, and what future plans do we have.
  • To have fun and build relationships between us!

The Assemblies generally bring together people already active in the RTF constellation (or those that are aware/informed on the dynamics and latest discussions of the network.) But everybody is welcome!

Why in Poland?

RTF Poland was created after the last European Assembly that took place in Nottingham (embed link – www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/01/26/…. They have a lot of energy, have been making great actions and want to make stronger links with us. They are also interested in sharing experiences about way of actions, to spread some practices arount them. We also want to welcome them into the constellation! Read more about them below.

Get Involved

– to prepare the content :

  • Can you help with content preparation for the Assembly? ( prepare timetable, prepare facilitation, …)
  • Do you have suggestions for the debate?
  • Are you part of a working group? What are the needs of the working group at the gathering?
  • Do you have ideas for the next camp or assembly? Please prepare them & email them even as a basic idea.

if you have answer to one of this question, please send a mail to contactrtf@riseup.net

– to help the logistic
Help fundraise or financially contribute to the gathering! We would like to be abble to support people with travel costs that could otherwise not participate… every contribution is welcome !

Registration
We will share a link to an online registration form in December so we know how many people are coming & what we need to prepare.

Contact:
If you have any questions concerning logistics or content of the meeting please contact contactrtf@riseup.net

Language at the meeting/Interpretation

The meeting will be supportet by bla interpretation equipment collective. That means that we will have the facilities to make everyone listen and speak in the languages they feel most comfortable in. that way we want to help break down hierarchies due to language barriers. interpretors come out of the crowd – maybe also you would like to contrubute to the interpretation at the meeting!
in the registration form you’ll find space/a section to note you’re needs and wants and contrubution you might want to offer to the assembly.

About the hosts – ROD

ROD is an untranslatable play on words. Originally the shortcut R.O.D. menas Rodzinne Ogrody Działkowe (Family Allotment Gardens) but we translate it as Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe (Radical Allotment Gardens).

The main goals of ROD collective: The basic of existence our group is autonomous, voluntary and self-organized initiative, free from any kind of hierarchy and discrimination. The members of collective try to be involved in reclaim the fields movement by occupying and ecological using the area of the allotment gardens – to secure it from devastation by the developers.

Warsaw have particular conditions under land grabing context. The main tool using by big business to legally land grab is a process called “re-privatization”. It mean that Warsow City Council tries to “give back” all buildings and land to the descendants of pre-war owners. That means 80% of Warsow. Exactly the same amount of city was destroy after war, and rebuild by tenants and people from whole of Poland with public money. Now so called “developer companies” look up old descendants (or finding a false ones) buying for a ridiculous price rights to the buildings or lands from them and becoming new owners. One of the effects of this is now there is 600.000 empty business spaces in places when few years ago were townhouses. Further tens of thousands old flats are empty. At the same time in the outskirts of the city closed settlements are growing, built by the same companies.

Land which is occupied by ROD collective was grabbed under this re-privatization process. But to say that we are there because particular situation of this land would be too much. We just chose this place because it was good place to start spread info about Land grabbing and show sustainable living in practice, as well as occupy resistance tactics. Anyway, it was clear for us that sooner or later something would happen. The area was just too nice to be not interesting to some developers. So it is also true that even though we were not looking a conflict we were open to the possibility of finding it.

ROD is kind of laboratory where in a radical and friendly atmosphere we got knowledge and skills about planting vegatables and herbs, derive energy from renewable sources, food processing, constructing spaces, tools, things for everyday using and organizing a social life for the community and the neighborhood with using the different tactics of resistance and struggle against capitalism. We strive for self-sufficiency and sovereignty, and we work in accordance with the principle of do it yourself.

For more information about Reclaim the Fields Poland visit: reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org

Background to the Assemblies
We still understand RtF as an organizational constellation of stars which is in constant movement and process. Stars are persons, collectives or projects who/which share the RtFs values and relate themselves and their work to the RtF goals. The stars are organized and meet in local networks which are autonomous and have their own objectives. The local networks are the base of the RtF constellation since it is essential for RtF to work from the bottom up. Apart from the local networks, there are working groups and thematic groups.

On the European level there are three different kinds of meetings:

  • Functional meetings once a year during winter time. The objective is to get feedback from the working groups, plan the camp, get news from the local networks and have an exchange about what is happening in the different local contexts.
  • Thematic meetings take place whenever people/local networks/working groups organize one. The idea is to work on specific topics. This can be for example a discussion of concepts, an exchange on agricultural techniques and knowledge or the support of a local struggle.
  • European camps take place in summer and are bigger and take longer than the other meetings. The objective is to make RtF grow by ‘going to new places’, supporting local struggles and sharing skills, knowledge and ideas. The last camp took place in the UK against the mega prison (embed link – www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/09/06/…

Read the last bulletin here for more info about we did at the last Assembly in Nottingham: reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-conte…

FRANCAIS

Viens à la prochaine assemblée européenne de Reclaim The Fields en Pologne en janvier 2016 !

quand : du jeudi 21 au dimanche 24 janvier 2016
: Varsovie, Pologne. l’endroit exact sera annoncé plus tard, mais réservez dés maintenant votre trajet jusqu’à Varsovie.

Pourquoi ?
les objectifs de l’assemblée sont :
– rencontrer et échanger des informations entre les étoiles, les groupes locaux de ce qu’il s’est passé depuis l’année dernière
– échanger et débattre de thèmes qui nous intéressent à l’échelle européenne
– voir où on est au sein de la constellation de RTF : ce qui avait été décidé l’année dernière, ce qui en a résulté, ce qu’il y a besoin de faire pour continuer, et quels projets futurs on a
– s’amuser et construire des liens entre nous !

Les assemblées rassemblent généralement des personnes déjà actives dans la constellation de RTF ( ou celles qui sont au courant/informées des dynamiques et dernières discussions en cours au sein du réseau). Mais tout le monde est le-la bienvenu-e !

Pourquoi en Pologne ?
RTF Pologne a été créée à la suite de la dernière assemblée européenne qui a eu lieu à Nottingham … Il y a plein d’énergie, illes ont fait de belles actions, et ont envie de renforcer les liens ave RTF, et de partager des expériences autour de moyens d’actions pour les diffuser. On a envie de les accueillir dans la constellation !
(Plus de détails en dessous)

Pour participer

– pour le contenu

– souhaites tu participer à la préparation du contenu de l’assemblée ? ( préparation de programme, de la facilitation, …)
– est ce que tu as des suggestions de débats ?
– si tu fais partie d’un groupe de travail, quels sont les besoins de ce groupe pendant cette assemblée ?
-des idées pour un prochain camp ou une prochaine assemblée ? prépare les et envoies les mêmes si l’idée en est au début.

si tu as répondu oui à une de ces questions, envoie un mail à contactrtf@riseup.net

– pour aider la logistique
– participe au financement ou à la recherche de fonds ! on a envie d’être capable de soutenir les personnes que les frais de transports empêcheraient de venir..toute contribution est la bienvenue!

Inscriptions
On mettra un lien pour des inscriptions en ligne en décembre, pour savoir combien de personnes viendront et ce qu’il y a à préparer.

Contact :
si vous avez des questions concernant la logistique ou le contenu, contacte contactrtf@riseup.net

Language pendant les rencontres/traductions

Les rencontres disposeront de matériel de traduction simultanée grâce au collectif BLA.Cela signifie qu’il y aura des moyens pour que chacun-e puisse entendre et parler dans la langue dans laquelle il ou elle se sent le plus à l’aise. De cette manière, nous voulons participer à détruire les hiérarchies dues aux barrières linguisitiques. Les traducteur-trice-s viennent des participant-e-s : et peut être que toi aussi tu aura envie de participer à la traduction pendant les rencontres ! Lors de l’inscription, tu trouveras une rubrique dans laquelle indiquer de quoi tu as besoin et envie, et de quelle manière tu peux participer à la traduction pendant les rencontres.

A propos du collectif qui accueille – ROD

ROD est un jeu de mots intraduisibles. A l’origine, le sigle ROD signifie quelque chose comme “jardins familiaux” ( Rodzinne Ogrody Dzialkowe) mais nous l’avons transformé en “jardins radicaux” ( Radykalne Ogrody Dzialkowe).

Les objectifs principaux du collectif ROD : Le principe de l’existence de notre groupe est l’initiative autonome, volontaire et auto-organisée, libre de toute forme de hiérarchie et discrimination. Les membres de notre collectif essayent de participer au mouvement de reclaim the fields en occupant et en ayant un usage écologique de l’espace de ces parcelles de jardins – pour les protéger de la dévastation des promoteurs.

Il y a à Varsovie des conditions particulières dans le contexte d’accaparement des terres.Le principal outil utilisé par le monde des affaires pour s’accaparer légalement les terres est un processus appelé “re-privatisation”. Cela signifie que le conseil municipal de Varsovie essaye de “rendre” tous les bâtiments et terres aux descendants des propriétaires d’avant-guerre? Ce qui représente 80 % de Varsovie. Exactement la même proportion de ville qui a été détruite après la guerre et reconstruite par les locataires et la population de toute la Pologne avec de l’argent public. Maintenant, les soi-disants “compagnies de développement” cherchent de vieux descendants ( ou en trouvent des faux) pour leur acheter à un prix ridicule les droits sur les batiments et les terres et devenir les nouveaux propriétaires. Un des effets de ceci est qu’il y a maintenant 600 000 espaces commerciaux vides là où il y a peu d’année il y avait des maisons de ville. Plusieurs dizaines de milliers de vieux appartements sont vides. Dans le même temps, dans les banlieues de la ville, des quartiers cloturés apparaissent, construits par les mêmes entreprises.

La terre occupée par le collectif ROD a été accaparé par ce processus de re-privatisation. Mais dire que nous somme ici à cause de cette situation particulière serait excessif. Nous avons juste choisi ce lieu parce que c’était un bon endroit pour commencer à diffuser de l’information sur l’accaparement des terres et montrer des modes de vie durables en pratique, autant que des tactiques de résistance par l’occupation de terre. Quoiqu’il en soit, c’était clair pour nous que tôt ou tard, quelque chose allait se passer. La zone était juste trop belle pour ne pas intéresser quelques promoteurs. Alors c’est vrai aussi que même si nous n’étions pas à la recherche d’un conflit, nous étions ouverts à la possibilité d’en trouver un.

ROD est une sorte de laboratoire, où, dans une atmosphère amicale et radicale, nous acquiérons des connaissances et savoir-faire en plantation de légumes et plantes aromatiques, production d’énergie à partir de sources renouvelables, production alimentaire, construction d’espaces, d’outils, d’objet de tous les jours, et dans l’organisation d’une vie sociale pour la communauté et le voisinage en utilisant différentes tactiques de résistance et de lutte contre le capitalisme. Nous luttons pour l’autosuffisance et la souveraineté alimentaire et nous travaillons sur le principe de do-it-yourself.

Pour plus d’informations à propos de Reclaim The Fields Pologne, visite reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org

Contexte des assemblée

Nous comprenons RTF comme une organisation de constellation d’étoiles en mouvement et évolution constante. Les étoiles sont les personnes, collectifs ou projets qui partagent les valeurs de RTF et se sentent lié-e-s, personnellement ou par leurs pratiques aux objectifs de RTF. Les étoiles sont organisées et se rencontrent dans des réseaux locaux qui sont autonomes et ont leurs objectifs propres. Les réseaux locaux sont la base de la constellation de RTF, puisqu’il est essentiel pour RTF de partir de la base. En plus des réseaux locaux, il y a des groupes de travail et des groupes thématiques.

A l’échelle européenne, il y a trois niveaux différents de rencontres :

– des rencontres de fonctionnement, une fois par an en hiver. Les objectifs sont de faire des retours des groupes de travail, de préparer un camp, d’avoir des nouvelles des réseaux locaux, et d’échanger sur ce qu’il arrive chez chacun-e.

– des rencontres thématiques : qui ont lieu chaque fois que des personnes/réseaux locaux/groupes de travail en organise. L’idée est de travailler sur des sujets précis. Ca peut être par exemple des discussions théoriques, des échanges sur des techniques agricoles ou des connaissances ou le soutien à une lutte locale.

– des camps européens : qui ont lieu en été et qui sont plus grands et plus longs que les autres rencontres. L’objectif est de faire grandir RTF en “allant dans de nouveaux lieux”, pour supporter des luttes locales, partager des savoir-faire, des connaissances.
Le dernier camp a eu lieu en Grande Bretagne, contre une mégaprison.
( www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/09/06/….

Pour en savoir plus sur la dernière assemblée à Nottingham :
reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-conte…

DEUTSCH

Komm zum nächsten Reclaim the Fields-Treffen im Januar 2016 in Polen!

Wann: Donnerstag, 21. Januar – Sonntag, 24. Januar 2016

Wo: Warschau, Polen. Der genauer Ort wird noch bekanntgegeben. Plant eure Reise einfach nach Warschau.

Warum: Die Ziele des Treffens sind:
-Neuigkeiten seit dem letzten Treffen unter den Sternen und Lokalgruppen auszutauschen
-sich auszutauschen und über Themen diskutieren, die uns quer durch Europa beschäftigen
-sehen wo die RtF Konstellation gerade steht: was wurde letztes mal entschieden und was hat sich daraus entwickelt, was wollen wir weiterführen, welche Pläne schmieden wir für die
•    Zukunft
-Spaß zu haben und Beziehungen unter uns aufzubauen

Die Treffen sind dazu gedacht Menschen zusammen zu bringen die schon in Rtf aktiv sind (oder Menschen, denen die Dynamiken bekannt sind/die die letzten Diskussionen der Konstellation kennen.) Es sind aber nichtsdestotrotz alle willkommen!

Warum in Polen?
“Reclaim the Fields Polen” wurde nach dem letzten Treffen in Nottingham, UK, gegründet http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/01/26/feedback-from-european-assembly/%29.  Die Menschen vor Ort haben viel Energie und großartige Aktionen gemacht, und haben Lust sich mit der RtF Konstellation weiter und stärker zu verknüpfen. Willkommen in der Konstellation!
Ihr könnt weiter unten mehr über sie lesen.

Mitmachen
-Kannst du bei der inhaltlichen Vorbereitung mithelfen?
-Möchtest du inhaltliche Punkte/Diskussionen/… einbringen?
-Bist du Teil einer Arbeitsgruppe: Was braucht/möchte die Arbeitsgruppe auf dem Treffen einbringen?
-Hast du Ideen für das nächste Camp oder das nächste Treffen? Bereitet euren Input dazu am besten vor und schickt es schonmal per email, auch wenn es nur eine erste Idee ist.
-Helft beim Fundraising/der Finanzierung des Treffens mit oder beteiligt euch mit Spenden! Wir möchten z.B. Menschen mit ihren Fahrkosten unterstützen, die sonst nicht kommen könnten.

Sprache/Dolmetschen auf dem Treffen
Das Treffen wird von bla, einem Dolmetsch-Equipment Kollektiv, unterstützt. Das bedeutet, die Möglichkeit zu haben, dass alle in der Sprache zuhören und sprechen können, in der sie sich am wohlsten fühlen. Auf diese Weise wollen wir versuchen Hierarchien zu brechen, die aufgrund von Sprache entstehen. Die Dolmetscher_innen kommen aus der Gruppe der sich treffenden – vielleicht hast du ja auch Lust das Dolmetschen beim Treffen zu unterstützen! Bei der Anmeldung gibt es die Möglichkeit deine Sprach-Bedürfnisse und eventuelles Dolmetschen das du anbieten möchtest anzugeben.

Anmelden
Es wird noch ein Link herumgeschickt werden unter dem mensch sich anmelden kann. Das ermöglicht uns auf die korrekte Anzahl Menschen vorzubereiten, sodass wir wissen wieviele Leute kommen und was vorbereitet werden muss.

Kontakt
Wenn du Fragen zum Treffen hast (z.B. zur Unterbringung oder Inhaltliches) schreibe an: contactrtf@riseup.net

Über die Gastgeber_innen ROD:
ROD ist ein unübersetzbares Wortspiel. ROD ist die Abkürzung für Rodzinne Ogrody Działkowe, was Familien Schrebergärten bedeutet. Aber wir haben es als Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe übersetzt: Radikale Schrebergärten.
Die Hauptziele des ROD Kollektivs sind:
Die Grundlagen der Gruppe sind autonome, freiwillige und selbstorganisierte Initiative, frei von jeder Hierarchie und Diskriminierung. Die Mitglieder des Kollektivs versuchen in der Reclaim the Fields Bewegung teilzuhaben indem sie das Areal der Schrebergärten besetzen und ökologisch nutzen um es vor der Zerstörung durch die Stadtentwickler_innen zu schützen.

Im Landgrabbing Kontext hat Warschau besondere Bedingungen. Das Hauptwerkzeug, das von großen Unternehmengenutzt wird um sich Land rechtlich abgesichert unter den Nagel zureißen, ist ein sogenannter „Re-Privatisierungs“-Prozess. Der Warschauer Stadtrat versucht Nachfahren von vor-Kriegs-Besitzer_innen Land und Gebäude „zurückzugeben“. Das betrifft ca 80% von Warschau. Der gleiche Prozentsatz der Stadt wurde im Krieg zerstört, und durch Mieter_innen/Pächter_innen und Menschen aus ganz Polen mit öffentlichen Geldern wieder aufgebaut. Jetzt erforschen sogenannte “Entwicklungsunternehmen” Nachfahren (oder finden Falsche) um ihnen Land oder Gebäude für einen lächerlichen Preis abzukaufen und die neuen Besitzer_innen zu werden.

Einer der Effekte den dies hat ist, dass jetzt 600.000 gewerbliche Immobilien leerstehen, wo einige Jahre zuvor noch Stadthäuser standen. Darüber hinaus stehen zehntausende alte Wohnungen leer. Zur gleichen Zeit wachsen an den Stadträndern geschlossene (private) Siedlungen, die von den gleichen Unternehmen gebaut werden.

Das vom ROD Kollektiv besetzte Land wurde sich von Unternehmen in diesem “Re-Privatisierungs”-Prozess gegriffen. Das ist aber nicht der einzige Grund für unsere Besetzung. Wir haben es ausgesucht weil es ein guter Ort war um anzufangen Informationen über Landgrabbing zu verbreiten und eine nachhaltige Lebensweise durch die Widerstands-Taktik Besetzung in der Praxis zu zeigen. Trotzdem war es für uns klar, dass früher oder später etwas passieren würde. Das Gebiet war einfach zu gut um nicht interessant für einige “Entwickler_innen” zu sein. Wir suchen aber nicht explizit nach Konflikt, sind aber durchaus bereit welchen zu haben.)

ROD ist eine Art Labor in dem wir uns in radikaler und freundlicher Atmosphäre Wissen und Fähigkeiten zu Gemüse- und Kräuteranbau, Energiegewinnung durch erneuerbare Ressourcen, Nahrungsmittelverarbeitung, Räume errichten, Werkzeugen, Dingen für den täglichen Gebrauch und der Organisierung eines sozialen Lebens der Gemeinschaft und Nachbarschaft anzueignen, indem wir die verschiedenen Strategien von Widerstand und Kampf gegen den Kapitalismus nutzen. Wir streben nach Selbstversorgung und arbeiten nach dem Do it Yourself -Prinzip.

Mehr Infos über Reclaim the Fields Polen auf: http://reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org

Hintergrund der RtF-Treffeng
Wir verstehen RtF als eine organisatorische Konstellation von Sternen, die ein Prozess und konstant in Bewegung ist. Sterne sind Personen, Kollektive oder Projekte, die die Ideen von RtF teilen und sich selbst und ihre Arbeit zu RtF-Zielen in beziehung setzen. Die Sterne sind lokal organisiert und treffen sich in lokalen Netzwerken, die autonom sind und ihre eigenen Ziele haben. Die lokalen Netzwerke sind die Basis der RtF-Konstellation, denn die Arbeit “von unten” ist wichtig für RtF. Neben den lokalen Netzwerken gibt es Arbeitsgruppen und thematische Gruppen.

Auf der “europäischen” Ebene gibt es drei verschiedene Treffen:

-Organisations-Treffen jährlich im Winter. Das Ziel hier ist feedback von den Arbeitsgruppen zu geben, das RtF-Camp zu planen, Neuigkeiten von den lokalen Netzwerken zu teilen, und einen Austausch darüber zu bekommen, was in den verschiedenen lokalne Kontexten geschieht.
-thematische Treffen gibt es wann immer Menschen/lokale Netzwerke/Arbeitsgruppen welche organisieren. Die Idee hierbei ist an spezifischen Themen zu arbeiten. Das kann z.B. eine Diskussion von Konzepten, Austausch landwirtschaftlicher Techniken und Wissen, oder die Unterstützung eines lokalen Kampfes (?) sein.
-Camps finden im Sommer statt und sind großer und länger als die anderen Treffen. Ziel ist RtF zu vergrößern indem wir an neue Orte gehen, lokalen Kämpfe unterstützen und Wissen und Ideen zu teilen. Das letzte Camp war in Großbritannien gegen einen Riesenknast – http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/09/06/reclaim-the-fields-international-action-camp/%29

Hier findest du das letzte Buletin vom Treffen in Nottingham: http://reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/bulletin10_1EN.pdf

Forget the summer, it’s all about the SPRING Soil School!

DIY Soil Care Strategies // Composting // Mycorrhizae Green manures // Plant teas // Mulching // Biochar

IMG_3835Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th March 2016, near Glastonbury

The course will cover:

• Identifying different soils, and understanding their
structures, strengths & weaknesses
• The soil food web & the billions of microorganisms that live in soil
• No dig gardening & soil health
• The politics of soils – why they are eroding around the world & what we can do about it.

Plus how to:

– use mycorrhizal applications to increase the health of your soil – make amazing compost & explore the different composting techniques
– make and use compost and plant teas
– master mulching
– use green manures & cover crops to build fertility – use and make biochar

The course will involve practical, participatory sessions to make soil science accessible and understandable. It aims to share
agroecological approaches that can support our communities to feed themselves, while minimising inputs and creating systems that build soil health by working with nature.

The course is led by experienced horticulturalists and growers from workers cooperative, Feed Avalon, as well as external tutors who are leaders in their field.

The course includes a home-grown, home-made lunch and salad, as well as refreshments. Camping accommodation is available for £5 per night at Brook End, the LAND Centre that is hosting the course.

Cost: The cost of the course is banded on the basis of income:

  • Up to 14K p/year £60
  • 14K-20K p/year £100
  • 20K upwards £120

There is a limited number of free places for adults in receipt of state benefits in Somerset. Please contact us as soon as possible if you have child care or additional needs, so we can support you to participate.

How to book: To book please email eat@feedavalon.org.uk

This course is supported by Somerset Skills & Learning.

Spring Soil School 2016

Don’t miss the first Community Food Forum of 2016

Feed Avalon are organising three yearly community food forums. The aim is to bring together interested individuals and groups from the local area who are currently active, or interested in becoming active, in reclaiming our food system.

They are informal events where we can talk, share food and build relationships.

The next forum is:

6.30 – 8.30pm on Wednesday 27th January 2016 at the Red Brick Community Building in Glastonbury

Please bring some food to share!

Food Forum Jan16

From Animal Liberation to Food Sovereignty: Talk for the People’s Harvest Forum

I felt really humbled to be asked to present at the People’s Harvest Forum in San Francisco. I gave a talk over skype, which I’ve shared below. I was super inspired by the other speakers that I could hear and all the work they are doing towards food sovereignty and social justice for non humans. I would be really keen to organise a similar event in the UK. For more info about the forum check out: http://pplsharvest.org/

Potrero-Garden

From Animal Liberation to Food Sovereignty: A Personal Story

Hey Everyone,

I’d like to say a huge thank you for being invited, it is an honour to speak and I’m gutted I can’t be physically with you all right now! I’ve been asked to focus on my personal story and introduce some perspectives on food sovereignty/food justice from an animal liberation perspective.

In this talk I’ll introduce ‘where I’m at’ and what has led me to be organising for food sovereignty. Hopefully it will generate lots of questions for critical thinking and reflection.

So, I’m Nicole. I’m 27 and live over in Somerset in the South West of England. It’s a rural county with a large mix of large/industrial landowners, and more working class communities in the towns. People are increasingly pushed out of the countryside, unable to afford rents or participate in agriculture. The UK is an extremely class stratified society and this has had a huge influence on my life. I was brought up by a single mum on state benefits. We faced most things people face – poverty, domestic violence, poor mental health & lack of access to decent food or land. Before moving to Somerset at 10, I grew up on the outskirts of Bristol where one of the first Asda (walmart) stores was open. My Nan was a key caregiver in my life and as a result, I’d spend lots of time with her where she was from in the countryside. As a result, I had a lot of interactions with animal agriculture from a young age.

When I was 9 she took me to collect eggs from a local farm that was a battery farm. I remember seeing row upon row of hens in cages. The smell overwhelmed me and the emotional impact was intense. I went vegetarian and wrote to animal advocacy organisations asking what I could do to stop this horror. This began a big process of a politicization from a very young age. I started my first animal rights group at school when I was 10 (ironically I also started an amnesty international chapter, so prisoner support has been a huge current of my life for a long time too).

Around this time the SHAC Campaign started – Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty – it was a grassroots campaign to close down Europe’s largest animal testing company, Huntingdon Life Sciences, who kill 200,000 animals a year and mainly test fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural chemicals and so forth. At this time the animal liberation movement was on fire in the UK. Supplier after supplier to animal labs were being closed down through grassroots pressure and direct action. I wrote to SHAC aged 11 after getting their first newsletter, I did street stalls and made prank calls to companies. I went on their first national demonstration. It all kicked off, with riot cops, thousands of people tearing through the streets. People were wearing ALF t-shirts and talking about supporting prisoners. It was electric. It felt very working class, it felt powerful. I realised the feeling of power you can get working with others as part of a movement.

So that was my life for a long time. I worked three nights a week washing up in a pub while I was at school. The weekends I was hunt sabbing, or going to demos or organising with the Anarchist Youth Network. I eventually left home when I was 16 to do organising full time. My first partner got sent to prison when I was 16, and then a different partner when I was 18. Finally at 19, my door came through for the third time as I was raided by the police and arrested for ‘Conspiracy to Blackmail’.

32 homes had been raided, with the police whittling down to 12 of us that were charged. Three people were remanded to prison while the rest of us spent nearly two years on bail awaiting trial. The first six went through a 3 month trial and were found guilty. I later pleaded guilty and entered prison in March 2009. After 19 months on remand I was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison (with two years taken off due to my plea bargain, otherwise I would have done 5.5 years).

I won’t go into details of the case or charge right now for brevity’s sake, but they were basically aiming to link the above-ground work of the SHAC campaign with the underground actions of the animal liberation front. And to these ends, they were fairly successful. They’d spent 2.5 million keeping a handful of us under surveillance for two years. They criminalised us with new laws, and were very effective in their use of repressive tactics to stop the movement in its tracks.

Prison changed my life in untold ways. I’d lived in 21 houses by the time I was 18, being inside actually took away a lot of the poverty related stress I’d experienced growing up, being shifted about and worrying constantly about money. At the time, prison was the longest place I’d lived anywhere. I felt quite grounded and able to focus on my personal development.

Obviously it was also hellish in lots of ways. Abuse/violence/sexual predation from officers was rife. The levels of self harm and suicide attempts are unimaginable, and ultimately your freedom and life is completely controlled. You are quite literally caged.

I was determined to make the most of my sentence. I got a job working in the gardens in the jail. While it was mostly frustrating maintenance work, I finally convinced them to let us grow vegetables. So we started a garden in the main courtyard, and also a large herb & veg garden in the mother and baby unit. I applied for a grant & completed a distance learning certificate in horticulture, which included a permaculture design certificate.

In those walls I learnt about how patterns of land use have shaped societies. I learnt about everything from soil science to seed sovereignty. I devoured over 250 books and started to think even more critically about the world around me. I had always been concerned about agriculture due to my veganism, and also from fighting HLS customers, who were predominantly large agr companies, however for the first time I could actually see a viable alternative to capitalist agriculture.

In the UK you generally do half of your prison sentence inside, and half on probation (like parole in the US). If anything happens you get recalled back to prison. Three days before my release I was given my license conditions – that I couldn’t speak to anyone concerned with animal welfare, or work for animal welfare in anyway. My movements were to be totally controlled, internet access restricted. I had to get permission even to have a relationship with someone. My solicitors were unable to challenge these legally and so began 21 months of my life where I could no longer speak to my closest friends in the world, lovers or comrades.

This was almost harder than prison. In an attempt to politically and socially isolate you, many of my comrades completely dropped out of the movement. My ex-girlfriend had rinsed me of the money I’d saved for my release and probation told me either I live with my mother or I go to a bail hostel (nearly worse than prison). My mum had re-married after I left home. I was nervous of living with her partners, who had a pretty bad track record of being dominating abusive men. Her now current partner, Ian, had built his own house and accumulated some capital. He bought a small house with 4 acres of land, called Brook End, where I would have to live on release.

You’ll be pleased to know it has all worked out. Ian is one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. But here I am, having studied permaculture, suddenly with access to four acres of land. It was like a fairytale. So began a massive design process, that is of course ongoing. We observed the land for a year before preparing designs and making decisions. I built huge vegetable beds, where we now grow salad to sell, vegetables for courses and the family, fruit & more. I built a 30m2 medicinal herb garden. It’s a beautiful site with huge biodiversity and we manage it without animal manure or inputs from exploited animals.

I got further grants and completed a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and also worked to finish a degree in ecosocial design with Gaia University, a radical alternative education institution.

In March 2011 a call out went out for a group called Reclaim the Fields. I picked it up and edited their description, gave it to my probation officer, got permission and three months after prison I’m organising a national gathering to bring together anti-capitalist food growers.

Reclaim the Fields is a constellation of people and collective projects willing to go back to the land and reassume the control over food production.We are determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real needs oriented small scale production and initiatives, putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles.

I became active in the food sovereignty movement, organising local events and national gatherings. I worked with a local food charity doing food poverty work, teaching food growing & cooking in working class communities. Finally in 2013 I helped to start Feed Avalon, a workers cooperative dedicated to working for food justice in Street, Glastonbury and surrounding villages. Basically everything I’d been doing but in a more intimate area, where relationships can be more resilient and long term.

So beyond my personal story, how does animal liberation connect to food sovereignty? Are these worldviews complementary or conflictual?

I gotta be honest, and that it’s been a hard journey that has really revealed to me the complexities of social change and how to navigate different worldviews. In fighting fracking and unconventional gas exploitation in my local area, I’ve had to work with dairy farmers, do public meetings with large landowners, very aware that people that are opposed to the developments probably hunt foxes at the weekend.

In organising for food sovereignty, I’ve had to give out leaflets that speak of the rights of people to farm animals or fish (such as in the nyeleni declaration that highlights the rights of pastoralists or small scale fisher folk). I’ve had to sit next to farmers on courses that maybe send animals to slaughter. It’s been like political growing pains, emotionally difficult beyond belief. But I really believe, unless animal liberationists become part of defining new food systems in all their aspects – social justice, freedom for animals, ecological defense & restoration – that we will be left out of the conversation. I do believe we face a common threat that is the capitalist food system.

Imagine our power if we work in solidarity more with each other. Like at this gathering now, if we challenge gentrification, resist global corporations like Monsanto or challenge the environmental racism of factory farms for a handful of brief examples. I think the time is over for single issue campaigns or movements. We gotta work together more in every single way. For me, being an anarchist means attempting to eradicate all forms of domination. In a recent book I’ve been reading the author writes how “We don’t want to build an anarchist world. We want to build a free world.”

I believe we need to be present in food sovereignty movements. We need to create beautiful inspiring models of plant based food production, while also being active comrades in struggles for self determining communities, whether that’s tearing down the prison industrial complex, resisting gentrification or fighting GM. While active in these movements we can have an influence with our worldview that animals are not ours to ‘farm’, enslave, control, cage, slaughter, or accumulate wealth from. We can keep returning to the commonly supported idea that multiple forms of oppression intersect and demand an analysis and practice that recognises the totality of different forms of domination. I know from just being consistently involved in the food sovereignty movement in the UK that my presence has ensured vegan food, or the presence of the Vegan Organic Network at events for example. We need to be actively part of all of these events and conversations, for the sake of the nonhumans we are fighting for.

Like Nassim mentioned, we have to challenge the social norms that we have to default back to animal agriculture.

Learning about permaculture has made me really feel like I know what I’m wanting to create not just resist. If you’re unconvinced I’d just say go visit a permaculture farm somewhere that doesn’t farm animals. See the soils full of life. See the amount of birds and wildlife that are free and self-determining. Taste the vegetables. This is how we could be feeding ourselves. Animal oppression isn’t necessary. We can invest our organiser energy in re-designing the world to eradicate all forms of oppression, including the commodification and exploitation of animals. This is what my heart beats for.
Thank you for listening

Composting Gender Workshop Design

This is the outline of the Composting Gender workshop I designed. I facilitated this at the Food Sovereignty Gathering in October 2015 in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire.

Overview

genderunicornsmall11. Introductions

– Go round, incl. Everyone’s preferred pronouns. What you want out of the workshop.
– Safer spaces
– Origins of workshop e.g. From Reclaim the Fields article & subsequent workshops
– Aims
– Intro to terms cis and trans
– Reassure everyone that we will all fuck up, and that’s ok – we want to create a supportive workshop culture, not one of fear.

2. Spectrum line of confidence with terms. Split into small groups.

3. Look at the Gender Unicorn Trans-Nonbinary Factsheet in small groups.

– Discuss any terms you are unfamiliar with.
– Answer any clarifying questions.

4. Ask whole group to discuss in small groups: “Where are we still seeing and experiencing homo/queer/transphobia in our groups and movements? Where are we still seeing & experiencing sexism?

5. Feedback into larger group. Ask if people would like to change their group or happy in same places (also observe dynamics before offering the choice)

6. In small groups discuss how we can respond. What ideas and solutions (if possible) do people have.

7. In small groups building on all of the above ask:

– How can this learning feed into the statement
– What should the priorities be for the food sovereignty movement
– What is our key message to the wider world

Dates announced for the Vegan Permaculture Design Course 2016

IMG_5152

Very excited to announce the dates for the Vegan Permaculture Design Course 2016! If you are interested in booking please email nicole@emptycagesdesign.org ASAP.

Do you seek to live compassionately without the unnecessary exploitation of people, animals and the environment? Are you concerned about climate change, peak oil and future generations? Are you interested in changing how we interact with other species, ecosystems and our human communities?

Then this full permaculture design course is for you.

Course Content

The course will be covering universal permaculture ethics, principles and design methods, however please note the focus will be on non-animal based and stock-free systems & alternatives to animal exploitation.

The broad curriculum introduces all aspects of regenerative design and living in a participatory & enlivening way through group work, design practice, practicals & site visits. Areas of learning include the permaculture design process, surveying skills, soils, kitchen gardening, climate & microclimate, agroforestry & forest gardening, energy, water & sewage management, sustainable economics, bioregionalism, community organising, systems thinking, sustainable building, energy & transport plus much more…

IMG_5330Empowerment is the essence of this Design Course, and practical and theoretical teaching methods are used to create an experience that is fun, lively & inclusive, using group work, discussion, observation, guided walks, ‘hands on’ practical activities, lectures, videos, and slides as learning methods during course sessions. Participants will also work together on applied design activities that will consolidate all of the learning content and empower students to take permaculture back into their own homes, gardens, lives & community, providing essential skills for thriving in the post-peak oil world.

Course Dates & Location

Part one: 9 – 13 July (5 days)

Part two: 6 – 10 August (5 days)

Brook End, is a 4 acre smallholding and LAND demonstration centre designed & managed on plant-based permaculture principles 5 miles from Glastonbury in Somerset. Accommodation is camping, with hot showers, wood-fired sauna & beautiful local walks. Local B&Bs can be recommended. All catering will be vegan with as much as possible grown on site & sourced from local growers.

Michele & Nicole will be growing most of the food for the course & Michele will be making delicious vegan meals.

Tutors

Lead Tutor Graham Burnett has been teaching permaculture since 1998, is a holder of the Diploma in Permaculture Design and author of Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide and the Vegan Book of Permaculture. He runs Spiralseed an ethical venture working in partnership with others who share concerns around social and environmental justice. www.spiralseed.co.uk

 

Supporting Tutor Nicole Vosper is a vegan organic grower, community organiser and permaculture practitioner based in Somerset. She sees land-based struggle & living as an essential step towards animal liberation. www.emptycagesdesign.org

Cost

£550 for 10 day course. There are also three 50% subsidised places & two expenses only places. These are on a first come first served basis. Please enquire for more details.

Accreditation

This is a full Permaculture Design Course accredited by the Permaculture Association GB.

Course participants will be awarded the Permaculture Association (Britain)’s internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design (NB, to be awarded the certificate you must attend a minimum of 70% of the course and complete a group design presentation at the end of the course).

How to Book

Email nicole@emptycagesdesign.org for an application form.