Sunday, 13 November 2011

women farmers feed the world

As we enter the Season of Night, here in Vancouver, many other parts of the world are entering their harvest season.  We will have less activities in our own garden to report on and in turn will be sharing articles and other initiatives surrounding urban agriculture, agroecological practices, and garden-based learning.

Click here to read an excellent article from Yes! Magazine on the struggles of growing food in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Following the failure of the Green Revolution in Latin America and Asia, many small-scale West African farmers (predominantly women) are skeptical of similar initiatives planned for their land.  The Green Revolution is proposed as a solution to food security in a climate where several months of the year endure the "Season of Hunger".  But many farmers reject the chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and genetically modified seeds that encompass the Green Revolution project.  The West African female farmers in this article prefer to work with the land they are given, using indigenous and agroecological knowledge of the appropriate plants and practices to use.  "Food Sovereignty" is another term explored in this article, and while we Vancouverites are incredibly fortunate to live in a land of ample rain and easy access to food, the concept of being independent of large agricultural corporations is important for us to consider.  Being self-reliant on our own contextual farming/gardening practices can be enormously empowering.

Julia also reminded me that our Orchard Garden team is largely comprised of young women- here's a token of gratitude for all the women farmers of the world.  Hope you enjoy the article!

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