The best way to restore justice and foster equality is to remediate the land. Respect for ourselves derives from respect for nature, first and last. If we do not respect the system of life, we will have no moral ecology. Nature is a church and its rhythm a prayer. The democracy of food, that most basic human right, is the stewardship of our humanity. If we do not regain control of our food’s narrative—its quality, origin, price, preparation—we will become victims instead of protagonists. If we do not make affordable access to fresh, healthy, organic food the premise of our new system—if it remains distant, contrived, boutique—we will duplicate the systems of oppression we seek to usurp.
Oh man, we just love this: Seven Lessons for Leaders in Systems Change. Great for educators, activists, community leaders, farmers, and– generally– everyone who gives a damn.
Here’s a taste, but please click-through to read the full piece at at the Center for Ecoliteracy.
Lesson #1: To promote systems change, foster community and cultivate networks.
Most of the qualities of a living system, notes Fritjof Capra, are aspects of a single fundamental network pattern: nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities. Lasting change frequently requires a critical mass or density of interrelationships within a community. For instance, we’ve seen from research and our experience that curricular innovation at a school usually becomes sustainable only when at least a third of the faculty are engaged and committed.
“If nothing exists in isolation,” writes famed essayist Wendell Berry, “then all problems are circumstantial; no problem resides, or can be solved, in anybody’s department.” Even if problems defy solution by a single department, school districts are often structured so that responsibilities are assigned to isolated and unconnected divisions. Nutrition services may report to the business manager, while academic concerns lie within the domain of the director of curriculum. To achieve systems change, leaders must cross department boundaries and bring people addressing parts of the problem around the same table. For example, we’re currently coordinating a feasibility study with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). It requires looking simultaneously at ten aspects of school food operations (from teaching and learning to finance and facilities) identified in our Rethinking School Lunch framework.
In the push to make decisions and produce results quickly, it’s easy to bypass people — often the very people, such as food service staff and custodians, who will have the task of implementing changes and whose cooperation is key to success. It’s necessary to keep asking: “Who’s being left out?” and “Who should be in the room?”
Located at the very center of North Carolina’s local food and farming scene, the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College is a unique opportunity for sustainable agriculture education.
At CCCC’s sustainable agriculture program students have the opportunity for “Real Farming- Right Now”. The Pittsboro, NC based program has an on-campus, year-round certified organic farm that is an integral part of teaching and learning. Field and hoophouse production, pasture-based heritage breed chickens and a commitment to incorporating sustainable technologies (solar, biofuels, reduced tillage) make this established and accessible program the place to get started in organic farming.
Students have the opportunity to meet and network with a wide variety of sustainable farms, businesses and organizations while participating in focused, practical education and training. Whether you are exploring the possibilities of a career in sustainable farming or you are already farming and recognize the need for some targeted learning opportunities (soil science, marketing, business plans!) you are welcome at CCCC Sustainable Agriculture Program.
Interested students may apply online: http://www.cccc.edu/admissions/apply/
Fall 2016 registration for new students is open now; Fall classes will begin August 15th.
www.cccc.edu/agriculture/ Affordable, convenient, established
with Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens
June 24 – July 3, 2016, at Heartwood Institute
Scholarships available. Apply early.
In this nine-day intensive course, you will dive deeply into the vision,
theory, and practice of designing wholesome, dynamic, and resilient edible
ecosystems. Dave Jacke and his teaching team will offer lectures, site walks,
experiential classes, and design exercises to help you understand how the
architecture, social structure, underground economics, and successional
processes of natural forests apply to the design of edible ecosystems of all
You’ll learn a variety of ecological design processes while designing a range
of food-producing ecosystems for the Heartwood Institute. You’ll provide
detailed polyculture designs for an actual food forest at Heartwood. We’ll
also engage with issues of garden management, economics, and the deep
paradigmatic shifts required to succeed at co-creating “HumaNatural”
landscapes and cultures. You will leave inspired and empowered to design food
forests at home for yourself and your friends, neighbors and clients.
Dave Jacke is the lead author of the award winning two-volume book Edible
Forest Gardens. Dave has been a student of ecology and design since the 1970s,
and has run his own ecological design firm – Dynamics Ecological Design in
Greenfield, MA – since 1984. Dave is an engaging and passionate teacher of
ecological design and permaculture, and a meticulous designer. In addition to
extensive teaching, he has consulted on, designed, built, and planted
landscapes, homes, farms, and communities in the many parts of the United
States, as well as overseas. A cofounder of Land Trust at Gap Mountain in
Jaffrey, NH, he homesteaded there for a number of years. He holds a B.A. in
Environmental Studies from Simon’s Rock College (1980) and a M.A. in Landscape
Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design (1984).
Come learn & grow with us at Heartwood!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Where you live should not determine how long you live. New research shows it does.
Americans have enjoyed increasingly longer lives over time. Advances in medicine, a decline in fatal car accidents, and falling violent crime rates mean we are living longer.
But new research shows a reversal of this trend for some. If you are rich, geography doesn’t matter. Your expected lifespan is still increasing. But if you are poor, geography matters. In parts of the country we see an actual reversal of the trend.
The trend is also correlated with increasingly fractious politics. The Washington Post found that the places where middle-aged whites are dying fastest are the same places where presidential candidate Donald Trump is performing best.
To read more of this article from the Center for Rural Affairs, click HERE!
11th June sees the second year of the Franklin Fork to Fork Festival, a celebration of food, drink, music and the buzz of a strong, engaged and active community! There will be food from Kitty Fisher’s, the River Café, etc etc etc…..
The aim is to raise funds for the Open Air Classroom project at Ark Franklin Primary Academy where we are building an inspirational garden space that will be open to both the school and the local community. The aim of the garden is to provide an enriching, exciting and educational space for children to learn the fundamental elements of healthy nutrition alongside mathematics, English, science and the wider curriculum, bringing their learning to life. A place where pupils and the wider community can experience the joy of discovery, solve problems, be creative, develop self-confidence and mature both socially and emotionally.
Our plans include a pond, raised beds, an outdoor kitchen, space for productions and a weather station, affording our children daily opportunities to physically engage with their environment. We hope the garden can help reverse the trend that currently sees children in the UK spending less time in green spaces than the population of our prisons. Our garden will give children access to the outdoors, reversing trends in obesity and childhood depression and giving our children space to reflect and grow. To visit this website and watch the video, click here!