Food & Agricultural Systems

Community food security is a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.

~Mike Hamm and Anne Bellows (CFSC)

This section will include resources on community supported agriculture, food co-operatives, farmers’ markets, organic and bio-intensive farming methods, urban gardening, food assessments and aspects of permaculture, food preservation, and food security.


The strategy of Relocalization mandates a drastic reduction in consumption and advocates increasing the local production of goods. This ‘reduce and produce’ concept is particularly applicable to food. Food is energy. It takes energy to grow, harvest and move food around, and we need to start diversifying the food that is produced in our regions and supporting farmers that use natural, bio-intensive farming methods if we are to adapt to an energy constrained future. Simply put: with current industrial agriculture methods, we are using too much energy to produce the food energy we need and destroying the soil and biodiversity of our localities in the process.

Many people reading this will have first hand experience in growing or eating locally produced food at some time in their life. The idea that we can eat whatever we want, whenever we want – mangoes in the winter, Thai spices in Northern Canada or an American burger in Delhi for cheap - is still pretty new and is highly problematic.

In North America a revival is taking place. More and more communities and towns have at least one farmers market. Awareness is spreading. Some people consciously choose to buy local produce when they go grocery shopping or belong to a box scheme or even pick herbs, fruits and veggies from their gardens in the warmer months. Reducing consumption and starting to produce locally is sometimes easier said then done, but this is an area where there are plenty of resources and examples of community groups and also lots of potential for individuals and communities to learn and succeed at various levels.

It is important to begin to recognize what is happening in your locality. A good way to start is by looking at the space around you, the farm land and initiatives that are already in place. There may be local garden plots, fruit picking initiatives or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). We have provided links to the 100 mile diet, slow food movement and other local food systems. There are also resources that feature the reality of current food consumption, and the cultural disassociation between producers and consumers.

Let us know how you do and what else we should add to this growing list.




Check out:


Articles & Reports

-Online Publications-

Permaculture Magazine
www.permaculture.co.uk

Permaculture International Journal
www.permacultureinternational.org

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Books

-Permaculture-

Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren
Holmgren, David. 2002. Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability. Victoria, Australia: Holmgren Design Services. (www.holmgren.com.au)

Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison
Mollison, Bill. 1994. Introduction to Permaculture. Tyalgum, Australia: Tagari Publications.

The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps to Create a Self-Sustainable World by Graham Bell
Bell, Graham. 2005. The Permaculture Way: Practical Steps to Create a Self-Sustainable World. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield
Whitefield, Patrick. 1993. Permaculture in a Nutshell. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

How to Make a Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield
Whitefield, Patrick. 1992. How to Make a Forest Garden. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway; Foreword by John Todd
Hemenway, Toby. 2001. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Plants for a Future: Edible and Useful Plants for a Healthier World by Ken Fern
Fern, Ken. 1997. Plants for a Future: Edible and Useful Plants for a Healthier World. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing.

Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings by John Roulac
Roulac, John. 1997. Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings. Harmonious Technologies.

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-Food Systems-

Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil
Smil, Vaclav. 2001. Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch and the Transformation of World Food Production. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

From the Ground up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture by Peter Goering, Helena Norberg-Hodge and John Page
Goering, Peter, Norberg-Hodge, Helena and John Page. 2001. From the Ground up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Todd Merrifield and Steven Gorelick
Norberg-Hodge, Helena, Merrifield, Todd and Steven Gorelick. 2001. Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness. London: Zed Books Ltd.

The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalized Economy by Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen and Maria Mies
Bennholdt-Thomsen, Veronika and Maria Mies. 2000. The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalized Economy. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe
Lappé, Frances Moore and Anna Lappé. 2002. Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.

Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket by Brian Halweil
Halweil, Brian. 2004. Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Goods by Gary Paul Nabhan
Nabhan, Gary Paul. 2002. Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Goods. Norton Paperbacks.

Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity by Gary Paul Nabhan
Nabhan, Gary Paul. 2006. Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity. Washington D.C.: Island Press.

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-Slow Food-

Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food by Slow Food Movement (Corporate Author), Carlo Petrini (Editor), Benjamin Watson (Editor)
Slow Food Movement. 2001. Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

In Praise of Slowness: How a Worlwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore
Honore, Carl. 2004. In Praise of Slowness: How a Worlwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed. Toronto: Vintage Canada.

Slow Living by Parkins W & Craig G
Analysis of slow Food movement and offshoots like Slow Cities and concept of 'slowwness'.
Parkins W & Craig G. 2006. Slow Living. University of NSW Press, Sydney. ISBN 0 86840 987 1.

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-Community Supported Agriculture-

Farms of Tomorrow Revisited: Community Supported Farms Farm Supported Communities by Trauger Groh and Steven McFadden
Groh, Trauger and Steven McFadden. 1998. Farms of Tomorrow Revisited: Community Supported Farms - Farm Supported Communities. Junction City, OR: Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association. (www.biodynamics.com)

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DVDs

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil - Community Solutions

The Future of Food – by Deborah Koons Garcia

Click here to view resources for organizing screenings.

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Web

General

Slow Food International
www.slowfood.com

Organic Consumers Association
www.organicconsumers.org

National Center for Home Food Preservation
www.uga.edu/nchfp

EarthSave International - EarthSave promotes a shift to a healthy plant-based diet.
earthsave.org

The Soil Association - The UK's leading environmental charity promoting sustainable, organic farming and championing human health. Browse relevant info on organic, local produce, farmers markets and other related issues.
www.soilassociation.org

Local Harvest - A network of local farmers, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, and cooperatives across the United States
www.localharvest.org

Cooperative Grocers' Information Network - A collaborative initiative formed by U.S. retail food coops to help them share information and resources
www.localharvest.org

NEW!

Click here to download the PDF copy of an excellent guide by the Cooperative Grocers' Information Network on How to Start a Food Coop.

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-Community Food Security-

Community Food Security Coalition
www.foodsecurity.org

FoodRoutes
www.foodroutes.org

US National Farm to School Program
www.farmtoschool.org

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List Serves

Living on the Land
A healthy soil and sustainable growing listserve.
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/livingontheland

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Have resources that you'd like to share? Please send us an email.