Over the week of the Monday 27th April till to Friday 1st May 2015, I was super privileged to complete a training in Agroecology with leaders in the field, Miguel A Altieri and Clara Nicholls. I was extremely grateful to receive financial support from Schumacher College in order to make it.
I arrived on the Monday, hesitant about this ‘weird and wacky’ college that had been described to me by friends who had studied there. Over the course of the week I came to see the patterns of the college and how they are grounded in attempts to support people to connect and cooperate, for example everyone doing collective housework, shared meals, a head/heart/hands orientated program. While I still felt of a class barrier to feeling like it was a ‘home’ like we were encouraged, I still enjoyed my time there.
Miguel & Clara are both professors at the University of California. They have been leaders in the field for a long, long time. Aiding their research skills and passion for agroecology to learning from small scale peasant farmers in the Global South, they have cultivated the ground for agroecology to flourish. I’d like to share my deep gratitude to the talks and materials that formed the basis of the course.
What stayed with me most was the recognition that my role in the field of agroecology is an organiser. I want to build a movement of food sovereignty in this country that can redistribute land ownership, confront industrial agriculture and support the thriving of autonomous communities moving away from the state.
What I learnt in terms of the principles and practices of agroecology could be spread across several blogs! This will have to be a job for the winter when the growing season has subsided. Until then check out the photos from the course below: