Reclaim the Fields European Assembly 2017

Check out the call-out from Reclaim the Fields for the next European Assembly:
http://reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/assembly2017-poster-1024x724.jpeg
You are invited to join the European assembly of Reclaim the Fields 2017, which will take place in Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany, between 18th and 22nd of January 2017. The meeting will be hosted by the community-supported agriculture project Gartencoop and will take place in the autonomous center “KTS”.

 

***About the assembly***

 

The  assemblies happen every year during winter. Generally they bring together people active in RTF constellation, but everybody is welcome. 
The goals of the assembly are:
  • meet and exchange information amongst the stars and local groups since last year;
  • exchange and debate on themes that matters to us across Europe and beyond;
  • 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 we have;
  • to have fun and build relationships between us!

 

The last European Assembly happened in January 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, and was hosted by the Radical Allotment Gardens, the Polish RtF star. You can check the last Reclaim the Fields Bulletin here.

 

***Registration form***

 

If you or your group will join the assembly please fill in the Registration Form. This is very important for the people that do the organisation, so that everything will be prepared good when participants arrive. 
If you have any suggestion for the program, there is a special place in the form where you can let us know in advance about it.

 

***Local context***

 

This year the assembly takes place in the so called “green-city” of Freiburg, Germany. The very contradictory ecologists-capital was strongly part of the uprising anti-nuclear movement, which started by empeaching the construction of a nuclear-plant at Wyhl in the 70’s. But even if throughout the 80’s a militant ecologist, squatting, feminist and antagonistic movement played an important role, social movements decreased progressively, like in most western-european towns, after the wall came down.

 

 
In our days, the 220.000 inhabitant city still has a big amount of alternative institutions and projects, for example in left media (rdl.de, cinerebelde.org, linksunten.indymedia.org), housing (syndikat.org, schattenparker.net), antira-struggle  (aktionbleiberecht.de, iz3w.org, freiburger-forum.net) or alternative food-production (gartencoop.org, lebensgarten-dreisamtal.de, luzernenhof.de).

 

But the “green rebels” from the 70’s are in power, in Freiburg and in the region, and keep cultivating the lie of green capitalism. They are bright actors, within the neoliberal and repressive evolutions we live in.

 

The people welcoming you are involved at the 300-household agricultural-cooperative GartenCoop as well as in different of the abovely named struggles. The social/autonomous Center KTS Freiburg exists since the mid-90’s and has been legalized about 18 years ago. The biggest part of the meeting will take place at the center – some of the program might be visiting farms and projects in the surroundings. We’ll shurely spend time at the asperagus, strawberry and corn-dominated countryside as well – and there is the black forrest in walking distance for walks and talks.

 

***Practical info***

 

Freiburg finds itself between Colmar, Basel and  Offenburg
and is best accessible by train and busses or the A5-motorway. (The two petrol-stations on the motorway are a bit shitty in therms of accessibility)

 

There are many airports in Zürich, Basel/Mulhouse or Strasbourg (all are between 45 and 70 minutes drive)

 

In Freiburg Bus no 11 and Tram no 5 (better) stops at “Pressehaus”. The KTS finds itself behind the railway-bridge above the main road, just  take the stairs to your left behind the bridge.

 

KTS, Baslerstrasse 103, 79100 Freiburg
+0049 /0/ 761 / 400 20 96

 

Depending  on the number of people, the accomodation will be decentralized. About 40 people could sleep at the KTS at most, others will stay at other housing-projects, wagenplatz or private flats. Accessibility for people with a disability is limited in the center. There are bathrooms and a  medium-size kitchen, computer-rooms, screen-printing and a free shop. We will have vegetables from the cooperative-farms and other friends. Hopefully the baking-cooperative can make bread for us.

 

***Contact***

 

Please spread this invitation to the stars in your region.

 

Talk at the People’s Harvest Forum 2016

missionmural1I had the privilege of being invited to speak (via skype) at the second People’s Harvest Forum in San Francisco, USA.  I was asked to speak about Food Sovereignty and Vegan Agroecology.

About the forum:

The People’s Harvest Forum is a grassroots event on working towards food justice and food sovereignty. We speak about the widespread impacts agribusiness has on our society and on the environment, and discuss ways to build alternatives and reclaim our food systems. This forum is unique in that we integrate an animal rights perspective in working towards food sovereignty. It promotes veganic gardening and farming, setting them at the intersection of food justice and animal rights movements.

Food Sovereignty and Vegan Agroecology

Below is a copy of my talk on the day. Please drop me an email if you are keen to connect these struggles too – nicole@emptycagesdesign.org

Hi Everyone,

 

It’s a privilege to be invited to speak for a second time at the People’s Harvest Forum. I’m super jealous I can’t be there. I hope you’ve had a great weekend. It is really inspiring to know events such as these are taking place, with such a strong intersection of different struggles and movements.

 

I have been asked to talk about Food Sovereignty and Vegan Agroecology. I hope to talk for about 20 mins and then leave the time open for questions and discussions within the room. Just to set the context of my work and engagement in this field – I am based in Somerset, in the south west of the UK, where I help manage four acres of land that is designed and cared for on agroecological principles. Our site is “vegan organic” in that we don’t use any inputs from farmed animals or pesticides etc. We grow organic salad and food for events that we host – which are mostly educational courses for folks in our area.

 

Three years ago I helped to start Feed Avalon, which is a workers cooperative set up to to support the establishment of socially-just and ecological food production in our local towns of Glastonbury and Street, and the surrounding areas. There are six of us, all working-class women who survive on low incomes in our community. I am the EAT Project Coordinator, EAT stands for education and training. So I organise courses in food growing and cooking and other related skills (such as community organising and popular education) for low income individuals and families in our area. We also have two community gardens, a hand-built community kitchen and a whole bunch of other projects.

 

Until I turned 21, I had never even managed a garden and I actually learnt how to grow food during a prison sentence. So for me, food growing has been truly transformational and part of this journey has been politicising my growing work and engaging with struggles for food sovereignty.

 

So food sovereignty, I believe, is something you’ve already talked about this weekend and many are most likely familiar with the term. But just to recap for folks: Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It was defined in 2007 at a forum in a village called Nyelini in Mali in Africa. It is important to note that the food sovereignty framework has come from the Global South and was birthed by La Via Campesina. LVC is the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. LVC is made up of over 164 local and national organizations in 73 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Altogether, it represents about 200 million farmers. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.

 

So that’s a super brief intro to food sovereignty… but for me doing this work… It was really clear for me that while I was really enjoying food growing and community food work, there were still so many people without access to land, so many folks in my area without access to decent food because of poverty… or ultimately that myself and others, were being fed by a global food system that is highly exploitative and destroying ecosystems worldwide, accelerating climate change and so forth.

 

A close friend of mine, Isy who wrote the “Another Dinner is Possible” cookbook wrote that:

 

“Many of these community food projects present us with amazing opportunities to collectively make our lives better, more sustainable, meaningful & interesting. However without a context of explicitly addressing & challenging the global exploitative food system as a whole they are basically reinforcing privilege. The system will not change because a few of us eat better.”

 

Therefore I tried to seek allies who were resisting and attempting to dismantle the capitalist food system. And in March 2011, 10 weeks after coming out of prison, I found Reclaim the Fields, who had their first gathering in the UK that month at a site called Grow Heathrow – a squatted land project set up to fight the expansion of Heathrow Airport in London.

 

Reclaim the Fields is a constellation of people and collective projects across Europe willing to go back to the land and reassume the control over food production. RTF began in 2007 as a kind of youth break-out group at a La Via Campesina gathering. The people that started RTF wanted an alternative to the NGO-dominated, euro-centric, neocolonialist organisations who didn’t think critically about race, class and gender and other issues.

 

I thought I would read the “Who we are statement” written collectively by stars in the RTF constellation (that’s how we like to think of projects – as part of a constellation, looser than a network but somehow more powerful). So I just wanted to set the scene of the this struggle and one of they key actors in Europe. Ok…

 

“We are a group of peasants, landless and prospective peasants, as well as people who are taking back control over food production.

 

We understand “peasants” as people who produce food on a small scale, for themselves or for the community, possibly selling a part of it. This also includes agricultural workers.

We support and encourage people to stay on the land and go back to the countryside. We promote food sovereignty (as defined in the Nyéléni declaration) and peasant agriculture, particularly among young people and urban dwellers, as well as alternative ways of life. In Europe, the concept ‘food sovereignty’ is not very common and could be clarified with ideas such as ‘food autonomy’ and control over food systems by inclusive communities, not only nations or states.

 

We are determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real-needs-oriented, small-scale production and initiatives. We are putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles.

 

In order to achieve this, we participate in local actions through activist groups and cooperate with existing initiatives. This is why we choose not to be a homogeneous group, but to open up to the diversity of actors fighting the capitalist food production model. We address the issues of access to land, collective farming, seed rights and seed exchange. We strengthen the impact of our work through cooperation with activists who focus on different tasks but who share the same vision.

 

Nevertheless, our openness has some limits. We are determined to take back control over our lives and refuse any form of authoritarianism and hierarchy. We respect nature and living beings, but will neither accept nor tolerate any form of discrimination, be it based on race, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or social status. We refuse and will actively oppose every form of exploitation of other people. With the same force and energy, we act with kindness and conviviality, making solidarity a concrete practice of our daily life.

 

We support the struggles and visions of la Via Campesina, and work to strengthen them. We wish to share the knowledge and the experience from years of struggle and peasant life and enrich it with the perspectives and strength of those of us who are not peasants, or not yet peasants. We all suffer the consequences of the same policies, and are all part of the same fight.”

 

Since 2007 RTF has:

  • organized several European camps attended by hundreds of people – these tend to be in places seeking solidarity, such as fighting gold mining in Romania, or defending La Zad, a land occupation resisting an airport in France,
  •    RTF have also participated in global mobilisations with La Vía Campesina,
  •    took direct actions to fight for the land,
  •    and held assemblies each year from Sweden to Catalonia and Hungary.

 

Last summer, we organised a huge international action camp against the building of a mega-prison in Wales. It was hosted at an anti-fracking camp, and bought together people from all different struggles. We blockaded the prison construction site, built new gardens at the camp, and had tens of workshops on subjects like food sovereignty, migrant solidarity, composting gender and more.

 

So for me as a grower, and as someone seeking to build alternative models to industrial agriculture. As well as someone brought up with no land-based skills or heritage, living in the oldest industrialised country in the world, it was clear there was a lot to learn.

 

In order to build the food systems we are desiring, to achieve food sovereignty, it’s clear that we need integrated knowledge systems that draw on both traditional and indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, as well as holistic science and ongoing participatory research. This is where agroecology comes into its own.

 

Agroecology is the application of ecology to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems. It is a whole-systems approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture, and local food system experiences. It has been described as a science, movement and practice.

 

In a past training I undertook with Miguel Altieri and Clara Nicholls, both Professors of Agroecology at the University of California, Berkeley. They shared the key principles of agroecology, that can be applied to different agroecosystems around the world:

 

  • Enhance the recycling of fertility and optimise nutrient availability without reliance on imported fertiliser
  • Create favourable soil conditions for plant growth by managing organic matter, improving soil structure, cultivating ground cover and enhancing soil biotic activity;
  • Minimise the loss of resources by way of microclimate management, water harvesting and soil management;
  • Promote agricultural biodiversity in time and space;
  • Enhance beneficial biological interactions in agricultural systems

 

As you can see – plant-based systems, without farmed animals, can put all of these principles into practice.

 

When I teach on the vegan permaculture course, I ask the students, ‘What is your favourite animal in a permaculture system?” They kind of look at me in horror thinking this course was meant to not be about farming animals. But then I ask them what about wildlife, and suddenly the go-round becomes rich – birds, butterflies, bees, moles, worms… and we begin to see that actually plant-based permaculture systems are rich with animals. They are rich with biodiversity. The difference is the animals interacting with the system are not enslaved, they are not exploited, they are self-determining. And this for me is the most beautiful thing about this work.

 

And while we are transitioning from animal agriculture, attempting to restore ecosystems and build food sovereignty, domesticated animals of course have to have homes and habitats in our landscapes. I’ve done some design work with animal sanctuaries that are planting nut trees, fruit trees and other gardens to help keep their costs down in their work rescuing abused animals, as well as supporting animal health and habitat establishment.

 

What a vegan agroecology could look like is a beautiful, beautiful vision – community gardens and farms, market gardens with quality living soil nourished by composts and compost teas, mycelium and mulching. Mushroom farms. Agroforestry projects, nut trees and fruit orchards, small-scale grain raising, allotments, medicinal plant sanctuaries… hillsides currently grazed by sheep restored into woodlands rich with wild foods for foraging and habitat for wildlife to return. Restored streams no longer polluted by fish farms and industrial agriculture. Over-fished oceans returning to life with incredible biodiversity and health. If these systems were the outcome of a food sovereignty movement, then we would also see social justice and community self-determination for human communities.

 

As an animal liberationist, working in this way by building thriving systems, is nourishing and strengthening. I have fought the state so hard (and still am in my work organising against the prison industrial complex). The industries that commodify animals and profit from their bodies are huge and overwhelming. And defeating them through ongoing grassroots resistance, direct action and campaigns is essential. However, part of this work, also needs to be re-designing our food systems – the biggest exploiter of animals on this planet, and the biggest factor determining our landscapes globally right now – therefore, I hope others can see that working to amplify agroecology and food sovereignty is essential in the struggle for animal liberation and to eradicate all forms of oppression.

 

I was also asked to share a bit about my work so I’ll end with some shameless plugs. I have a website called Empty Cages Design – it aims to bring together threads around permaculture, food sovereignty, veganism and more, as well as struggles against prison and repression. I host an annual vegan permaculture course where participants come together for 10 days in two blocks, to learn about grassroots design methodologies, gain practical skills and experience how it feels in practice. We have a unique bursary system, and unlike many other courses taught in the UK, generally have a much more diverse group coming together to learn permaculture design. I teach with Graham Burnett, who wrote the Vegan Book of Permaculture, who is a fantastic guy committed to using permaculture for liberation.

 

I have also supported the Vegan Organic Network, more intensely in past years. My current projects are developing a distance learning course that could spread veganic agroecology and plant based permaculture principles and strategies more globally and help plug the gap in this learning provision. We are also preparing for our next Reclaim the Fields assembly in Germany this January and continuing to work on a super local grassroots level with Feed Avalon. I also study and work with an organisation called Gaia University, who I can’t recommend highly enough.

 

And finally, I’d like to thank Nassim for their hardwork in making this event happen – and all the other people behind the scenes who I haven’t met yet. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you’ve been inspired this weekend to take action to transform our food systems and our world.

 

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

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

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

Bookings now open for the Growing to Sell Course 2016

Are you interested in market gardening? Or starting a CSA project? Or simply growing on a larger scale and selling your surplus? Want to create a livelihood from the land? This course is for you!

A 2 day course in how to scale up and sell or share produce to feed your community

24th & 25th February 2015

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At Brook End LAND Centre, Compton Dundon (near Glastonbury/Street), Somerset

This two day course introduces all of the factors you need to consider when scaling up your production. Learners will be supported to explore how they can create their own land-based livelihoods, while supporting the local area to increase its ability to feed itself. Learners will be able to meet experienced growers, as well as local agencies that can give you further business mentoring and support.

Sessions will include:

  • Different business and production models, such as market gardens, nurseries, Community Supported Agriculture schemes, cooperatives, box schemes, nurseries, country markets, intermediate markets, direct sales, farm gate sales and more
  • Agroecological practices for growing on a larger scale successfully
  • How to manage internal systems such as stock taking, book keeping and records management
  • Designing your own livelihood and using permaculture principles to design a sustainable enterprise congruent with your needs and ethics
  • Deciding what to grow in relationship to markets (value adding and so forth)
  • Legal necessities (such as labeling, licensing, health & safety, trading standards requirements, environmental health compliance, traceablity and so on)

Financial contribution

The course is designed on a sliding scale basis with low income learners £60 – £120 (£15k and above per year). Please email if you are unable to afford the lowest rate.

About the Tutors

urlTim Lawrence is a community development worker, community gardener and founder and previous staff grower at Sims Hill Shared Harvest, a successful CSA based in Bristol. He has diverse experience in establishing projects and supporting small-scale, sustainable food production.

Carol Stone is an experienced food grower and has supported a number of establishing enterprises in her work with the HogCO (home grown community owned) Project in Devon. She is now a co-director-member of Feed Avalon CIC and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and is passionate about involving more people in food production, community food growing and cooking, and building more sustainable and resilient food systems.

How to Book

Please email eat@feedavalon.org.uk for a link to an online booking form and more information.

GTS 2016

The People’s Harvest Forum: Food Sovereignty & Animal Rights

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I feel so privileged to be part of this amazing upcoming event – The People’s Harvest Forum. I’ll be joining everyone over skype! It’s not often people are talking about food sovereignty and animal rights/liberation in the same space, let alone decolonisation and broader social justice issues. I would love to organise something like this in the UK. But for those of you the other side of the sea, don’t miss it:

The People’s Harvest forum is a Millahcayotl project: a two-day event on working towards food justice and food sovereignty. Taking place December 5 and 6, 2015 in San Francisco. 

We will speak about the impacts of agribusiness on the environment, animals and people and discuss ways to build alternatives and reclaim our food systems. This forum is unique in that we will integrate an animal rights perspective in working towards food sovereignty. We don’t believe that animals are food or that we need to exploit them to grow food.

Check out all the info & register here: http://veganic.space

More about the event:

This first event will emphasize food struggles in the Bay Area and urban spaces. How can we create and gain ownership of healthy food systems in cities? We will bring the concept of reclaiming the fields to urban spaces: reclaiming the streets and the right of the people to the city is central to building healthy, resilient and autonomous communities.

This will be a space to share ideas and skills to approach these issues from different angles and build a robust movement. It will include presentations and workshops on veganic gardening and farming, setting it at the intersection of food justice and animal rights movements.

Whether you wish to advocate for food sovereignty within a new paradigm or simply take some new skills back to your garden or potted plants, we hope you will join us!

Announcing the Food Sovereignty Course – October 2015

Food Sovereignty – Each One, Teach One

3 Day Course exploring the principles & practices of Food Sovereignty in a UK context

2nd – 4th October 2015

At Brook End LAND Centre near Street/Glastonbury, Somerset (1hour south of Bristol)

Supermarket protest begining 690This two day course will introduce you to, or deepen your knowledge of, what Food Sovereignty means in a specifically UK context. It will also demonstrate the different ways in which you can enthuse others in your community of the importance of engaging with local food systems for social change.

What will happen over the weekend?

  • Together explore the fundamentals of food sovereignty in the UK, nationally and regionally
  • Look at the political and social issues around how marginalised groups are affected by the food systems of the UK
  • Examine the historical context of how food systems have developed in the UK and how they create injustice and inequality as well as obesity and poor food access currently
  • Look at a range of popular educational tools for communicating with your community
  • Become familiar with the different food movements in the UK as well as globally
  • Share best practice for designing and running a food conversation workshop in your locality

By the end of the weekend…

You will be a confident food system activist, ready and willing to support others to participate more in discovering and recovering their power to say what they want to eat, when, how and where.

What this means for you…

You are a leader in your life, your household and your community because you care about the future of food in the UK and beyond. This weekend will help you gain the skills and confidence to take your passion further. You will be linked to a centre for excellence in popular education on issues you care about and you will be able to network with like-minded others.

DSC_8045-630x419We will support you financially to participate and you will be encouraged to participate in the UK Food Sovereignty Movement, which will be having a national gathering in October 23-26 near Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, which is organising around bringing a change to the UK food system.

How to Book

Places limited. Please book ASAP.

To find out more email:

  • Mama D: communitycentredknowledge@gmail.com
  • Nicole: nicole@feedavalon.org.uk

For more info about Food Sovereignty:

Pillars of Food Sovereignty:

  • Focuses on Food for People: rejects food as commodities & places people at the centre of food systems
  • Values food providers: asserts food providers’ right to live and work in dignity
  • Localises food systems: local and regional provision takes precedence over supplying distant markets
  • Puts control locally: places control in the hands of local food providers
  • Builds knowledge and skills: builds on farmer generated knowledge & rejects technologies like GM
  • Works with Nature: works with nature to develop diverse, low-input agroecological production

The course is taking place to feed into the Food Sovereignty Gathering – A national gathering to build a stronger movement for
food sovereignty in the UK in Todmorden, Yorkshire over the weekend of 23-26 October 2015.

Food Sovereignty Gathering in the UK this October

Since our last energising national gathering in 2012, the food sovereignty movement in the UK has grown with hundreds of projects thriving across the UK. It is time to gather again, share the amazing progress we have made over the past few years and plan perspectives for the future.

This is a call out for you to save the date and join us for four days of discussions, organising, skill sharing and action planning. All aimed at strengthening the movement for a democratic, sustainable and fair food system in the UK and globally.

The plans so far:

When: October 23-26 2015
Where: Hebden Bridge/Todmorden (West Yorkshire HX7)

Sign up above and we’ll keep you up to date with the plans.  Details of a suggested donation towards event costs and food will be released when we have a clearer idea of things.

We are planning four days of discussions, organising, skill sharing and action planning aimed at strengthening the movement for a democratic, sustainable and fair food system in the UK and globally.

This event will be about planning the future of the movement for food sovereignty in the UK. We want to:

  • Celebrate the strengths of the food sovereignty movement
  • Build a community of friends and networks
  • Be inclusive to people who have not yet engaged with food sovereignty
  • Agree a set of targets and policies to focus on as movement
  • To create representative, diverse and fair structures with which we can make decisions with as a movement

More details of this event will be confirmed later on in 2015. Sign up now and then we’ll keep you in touch with the plans and developments.

Any questions: Contact info@foodsovereigntynow.org.uk

For updates visit: http://foodsovereigntynow.org.uk/