Food and agriculture
When communities develop self-governance, one of their key priorities is food production and thus agriculture. In community-led initiatives, large-scale industrial mono-crop agriculture is often replaced with diverse smaller-scale poly-crop practices.
Providing for sustenance is visceral to all cultures everywhere in the world and although it expresses with immense diversity, basic principles remain the same. In the 21st century, many negative side effects of industrial farming have become obvious and communities around the world are changing the ways they do agriculture.
Many are choosing to combine ancient wisdom with modern science to mimic nature and grow more food on smaller patches of land.
Origins and history
For millennia, agriculture has been providing subsistence to entire civilisations. Some of the oldest farmers in the world can be found in the Far East, in China, Japan and Korea. The author of the book Farmers of Forty Centuries was surprised to see "the ways and extent to which these nations for centuries have been and are conserving and utilizing their natural resources ... the magnitude of returns they are getting from their fields, and ... the amount of efficient human labor cheerfully given for a daily wage of five cents and their food."
He also writes: "Almost every foot of land is made to contribute material for food, fuel or fabric. Everything which can be made edible serves as food for man or domestic animals. Whatever cannot be eaten or worn is used for fuel. The wastes of the body, of fuel and fabric worn beyond other use are taken back to the field; before doing so they are housed against waste from weather, compounded with intelligence and forethought and patiently labored with through one, three or even six months, to bring them into the most efficient form to serve as manure for the soil or as feed for the crop."
Practical application in communities
The theme of food and agriculture connects to all other themes in the CfF wiki. Communities pay attention to many practical considerations, such as:
- Self-sufficiency and sourcing food locally
- Engaging with the local economy
- Smart water management
- Minimising food waste
- Composting of all organic matter
- Innovative gardening and farming practices
- Smart use of tools and machines
Links to key examples
Research on food and agriculture in community-led initiatives
A study on Sieben Linden ecovillage has shown that with a combination of local production, sourcing and vegan/vegetarian diet, carbon footprint in the food category can be reduced by more than 50%.
- King, F. H. (2004-03-19). Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-43609-8.
- Bocco, Andrea; Gerace, Martina; Pollini, Susanna (2019). The Environmental Impact of Sieben Linden Ecovillage. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-367-14564-4. Retrieved 2019-02-11.