Volatility

September 28, 2011

The Food Movement Must Be the Food Sovereignty Movement

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The other day I offered some basic criteria and priorities for the food freedom movement. To recap, these criteria were:
 
A. Food system resiliency; B. Public health; C. Economic democracy.
 
The movement imperatives:
 
1. Food for post-Peak Oil; 2. Socioeconomic reason and practicality; 3. Democracy and justice.
 
There’s some detail on these in the prior post, in more in countless previous posts. And I’ll be writing lots more on how these specifically infuse the food movement.
 
Today I’ll add Food Sovereignty as a core moral/political principle and objective, as the main form of true democracy itself. Where it comes to Food Sovereignty we don’t need to define it and lay out its principles as this has already been done in a seminal way by La Via Campesina.
 
Food Sovereignty is, as described here:
 

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers. Food sovereignty prioritizes local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just income to all peoples and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition. It ensures that the rights to use and manage our lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food. Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes and generations.

 
The first sentence expresses both the physical and the democratic/moral priorities. These are bound together. We can assume that freedom and democracy would define their systems according to what’s most healthy and culturally appropriate. Democracy and socioeconomic equality are necessary for health, as we see with the way environmental and public health devastations are rationed according to (lack of) wealth.
 
Right now within Western countries what’s culturally appropriate isn’t easily definable in an affirmative way, but we know that the corporate assault is the assault on all culture and all possibility of culture. The only road to rediscovering human cultures is to rebuild human communities and economies. True democracy is a prerequisite for this, and perhaps shall help constitute the culture itself once freed of all the baggage of fraud and consumerist decadence it must now carry.
 
Putting producers and eaters at the heart of systems “rather than markets and corporations” implies the eradication of (non-local/regional) markets and corporations, since these and people are in a zero-sum war.
 
The invocation of the next generation emphasizes how we’re born in debt to ancestors and as trustees for descendents.
 
The specific practices emphasized are democratically normative, and the evidence proves they’re more productive than corporate agriculture as well.
 
Transparent trade is part of the principle that all trade must be bottom-up, based on actual demand, rather than imposed from the top down and based on non-existent or astroturfed “consumer” demand. “Trade” has become the tail that wags the dog. But food markets are, to an overwhelming extent, local and regional. That food production and distribution in general has been hijacked by the naturally miniscule commodification part of trade is one of the great practical depravities and moral abominations of history.
 
Socioeconomic inequality aggravates the other forms of conflict listed here, while breaking free of it to establish economic democracy shall provide the basis for the only lasting solution of these problems as well. (But as history has proven all other social problems are unsolvable under capitalism, which does all it can to perpetuate and worsen them.) 
 
As the manifesto says, all resource rights belong only to those who produce food, while those who eat have a right to healthy food. Given the totalitarian premises of the globalized corporate system, these self-evident truths are radical and implicitly revolutionary. But they’re really moderate and common sense from any human point of view.
 
I’ve written before about Via Campesina’s Seven Principles of Food Sovereignty. I discussed how a basic movement strategy relates to them, and how they could be part of the philosophical basis of a constitution. Today I’ll revisit them to relate them to the three criteria and food imperatives.
 

1. Food: A Basic Human Right. Everyone must have access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in sufficient quantity and quality to sustain a healthy life with full human dignity. Each nation should declare that access to food is a constitutional right and guarantee the development of the primary sector to ensure the concrete realization of this fundamental right.

2. Agrarian Reform. A genuine agrarian reform is necessary which gives landless and farming people – especially women – ownership and control of the land they work and returns territories to indigenous peoples. The right to land must be free of discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, race, social class or ideology; the land belongs to those who work it.

3. Protecting Natural Resources. Food Sovereignty entails the sustainable care and use of natural resources, especially land, water, and seeds and livestock breeds. The people who work the land must have the right to practice sustainable management of natural resources and to conserve biodiversity free of restrictive intellectual property rights. This can only be done from a sound economic basis with security of tenure, healthy soils and reduced use of agro-chemicals.

4. Reorganizing Food Trade. Food is first and foremost a source of nutrition and only secondarily an item of trade. National agricultural policies must prioritize production for domestic consumption and food self-sufficiency. Food imports must not displace local production nor depress prices.

5. Ending the Globalization of Hunger. Food Sovereignty is undermined by multilateral institutions and by speculative capital. The growing control of multinational corporations over agricultural policies has been facilitated by the economic policies of multilateral organizations such as the WTO, World Bank and the IMF. Regulation and taxation of speculative capital and a strictly enforced Code of Conduct for TNCs is therefore needed.

6. Social Peace. Everyone has the right to be free from violence. Food must not be used as a weapon. Increasing levels of poverty and marginalization in the countryside, along with the growing oppression of ethnic minorities and indigenous populations, aggravate situations of injustice and hopelessness. The ongoing displacement, forced urbanization, repression and increasing incidence of racism of smallholder farmers cannot be tolerated.

7. Democratic control. Smallholder farmers must have direct input into formulating agricultural policies at all levels. The United Nations and related organizations will have to undergo a process of democratization to enable this to become a reality. Everyone has the right to honest, accurate information and open and democratic decision-making. These rights form the basis of good governance, accountability and equal participation in economic, political and social life, free from all forms of discrimination. Rural women, in particular, must be granted direct and active decision-making on food and rural issues.

 
1. Food as a Basic Human Right emphasizes sustaining a healthy life with full human dignity. This is impossible without a food system truly dedicated to public health, as well as to economic and democratic justice. The language of rights, if it’s not to be mere ornamentation for the oppressive state, has to refer only to the soil-driven citizen seizure and self-enforcement of the right, as the practice of true democracy itself. The same applies to all the demands of these Principles.
 
2. The call for Agrarian Reform, for ownership and control of the land to be free of social and ideological discrimination (including the propertarian ideology) is implicitly the demand for full economic democracy. “The land belongs to those who work it”. Can economic democracy be better crystallized than this?
 
3. The sustainable care and use of Natural Resources goes to the core of how Food Sovereignty is the only concept capable of facing the physical challenges of the end of the Oil Age and building a new resiliency for food production and distribution. Both of these are doomed in their fossil fueled incarnations, perhaps soon and catastrophically. The same applies to the synthetically zombified soil the synthetic arms race of pesticide vs. superbug, herbicide vs. superweed, and the whole monocrop regime which renders all of agriculture one big hothouse flower soon to be exposed to chill winds. GMOs have radically intensified this lack of robustness and resiliency. Food Sovereignty rules out all of these.
 
4. “Food is first and foremost a source of nutrition and only secondarily an item of trade.” This demand to Reorganize the Food Trade goes to the core of the entire relocalization movement, confirming its physical and democratic imperatives while attacking the core of globalization, its alleged efficiency and its immorality. The priorities of food as nutrition and self-sufficiency as a basic political/economic criterion seek to solve the physical energy and social justice crises simultaneously.
 
5. Ending the Globalization of Hunger is the most reformist Principle. Given the existence of speculative capital, we demand its regulation and taxation. But the existence of globalization and speculative capital is already implicitly ruled out by the other Principles.
 
6. As the call for Social Peace recognizes, food commodification is violence in every way, from the most brutally literal to the most sublimated in the “five sovereign fingers” wielding the “treaty” pen. The ongoing displacement and forced urbanization represent both environmental and socioeconomic violence. A shantytown is embodied violence. “Food must not be used as a weapon”. This means the food movement must fight for its socioeconomic, democratic, and moral imperatives. Public health shall also remain impossible until the rancid separation of city and country is transcended.
 
7. The demand for Democratic Control, for smallholder farmers having direct democratic input, speaks for itself. I’ll add one critical implication. We know that true democracy is impossible in the form of “input” given to processes run by top-down elites. Rather, the process must run itself from the soil up and requires no special input, as it’s expressed and enacted naturally by the people on the ground. We also know that smallholder farmers need no levels above themselves to force them to farm a certain way, and do far better (all people do far better) in the absence of such hierarchy. So this Principle is really a call for Full, True Democratic Control.
 
For each of those I emphasized one or more of the movement criteria and imperatives, but I could have linked any of these with almost any other, they’re so interwound.
 
I avow the basic Food Sovereignty manifesto and these Seven Principles. I think we must avow and apply them not just in the Global South but in America and the West as well. To the extent that our future shall exist as an identity at all, we’re becoming these same beleaguered peasants. So I propose that food movement participants and supporters adopt this term, its concepts, and avow Via Campesina’s principles, although the strategy and tactics will have to be adapted to regional circumstances. We can formulate our own specifics out of what it directs and implies. This will be part of honing the sharpness of the so far often vague and conflict “global food movement”.
 
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26 Comments

  1. I have been thinking about local currency/time banking and the logistics of “backing” a new currency with something perishable like food. Our farm site here is going into production next spring and I am really eager to see volunteer hours converted into claims on future production as the basis of a time bank.

    Would a time bank require, or benefit from some type of convertibility to dollars until some critical mass is reached. Example, letting people purchase “timebucks” to buy farm produce at a discount to the dollar prices. Possession of some time dollars is inclusive and makes one an investor in the local food sovereignty movement (FSM an okay acronym?) attached to each particular time bank. So that’s important for creating identity with the FSM.

    If the FSM goal is to redefine terms of trade, we will need to wield some type of control over the terms of trade of our new production. How do we put backbone to principle number four? Is a new means of trade as important as redefining the terms of existing trade?

    Comment by Ross — September 28, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    • Well, to begin with any kind of conversion to dollars is no good because it renders the transactions “legally” taxable barter, and it undercuts the whole anti-dollar imperative of the thing.

      But there have been lots of experiments with including food as part of transactions. One DC food bank, for example, added ten pounds of food to the per-hour T$ which members earned working for it. This kind of thing has mostly been done with food banks, and I haven’t seen specific examples of incorporating it into CSAs, for example. But the principle would be the same. I’ve heard in principle of some integrated food relocalization/time bank projects, but I haven’t researched that yet.

      I’ll give the link to one of the most famous, Lyttelton in NZ. But I haven’t read about them in detail yet.

      http://www.lyttelton.net.nz/timebank

      I’m also very interested in their use of the time bank for relief following a recent earthquake. Our interest in what time banks can do during and after “natural” disasters is obvious.

      I agree that as much as possible we must try to make these cash-free loops. One interesting possibility is to base food shares on time worked in growing it. (I suppose this would be prorated based on contributions to the various stages of work.) That’s a possibility as far as using T$ for goods in general.

      FSM sounds good to me for a tentative abbreviation. (A quick search didn’t turn up anything outrageous by that acronym.) Out trade imperative is to restore natural trade, based only on natural demand, and in the case of food predominantly local/regional markets. (Large-scale trade beyond that geography isn’t possible without massive applications of fossil fuels and corporate welfare.)

      The limits of oil and of “growth” will restore that balance regardless, which is why we need to relocalize food as much as possible in anticipation of this restoration. I don’t yet have an ironclad plan for how to do that, just the Basic Strategy I laid out previously

      https://attempter.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/basic-movement-strategy/

      and which I now want to flesh out in as much detail as possible where it comes to food and alternatives to cash.

      Some things for starters are obvious – grow as much of our own food as possible, buy local, reject the legitimacy (and alleged necessity) of corporatism and globalization, wherever possible educate others about this, fight further encroachments of Big Ag in one’s region and, wherever possible, on the general political front. (As I’ve said before, although I reject reformism in general, I do think it can in some cases have a limited negative application, and food issues may be one of those cases.)

      Sorry if that’s pretty vague and unhelpful right now. It’s just a basic starting point.

      Comment by Russ — September 28, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    • Ross, does your farm have a blog? There are a lot of people who could benefit from documentation of your experiments in hitching a time bank to a CSA! If you don’t have time for it, please keep posting your experiences here so they can be collected. Thanks!!

      Comment by paper mac — September 28, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

      • paper mac, here is the website; http://www.thetalkingfarm.org/
        It’s not “my farm,” I’m just a lowly member of the farm operations committee. This is a non-profit with some city and village backing going on. It’s a pretty big project and while I have planted the seeds on a time bank to the head honcho, I am nervous because of how “mainstream” this project is intended to be. So the idea of a time bank CSA, a “workshare” is something I keep tossing back here so I can have some vanilla logistics to offer without the political implications.

        “My farm” is in grandma’s backyard and I ought to start blogging that. I think I’m going to plant a few apple trees this coming week but I’m running out of time since the first frost is probably less than a month away now.

        Comment by Ross — September 29, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      • That looks great, Ross. It’s a working farm on a non-profit basis? We were eyeing a piece of town-owned land with a vague idea like that in mind, but so far nothing’s come of it. (The tract still sits there tantalizingly, the subject of various schemes. So long as the NJ Highlands Act remains intact, anything so gauche as would involve paving it seems off the table.)

        A time bank doesn’t have to be presented with any explicit politics. Ours is studiously apolitical, at least as far as all the explicit formalities. (But in talking to people we get ready agreement with the premise that this is a way to start freeing ourselves of pernicious economic powers, and that such freedom is necessary and desirable. But the website and the promotional material say nothing explicit about that.)

        If you send people to the Time Banks USA site

        http://www.timebanks.org/

        they’ll see the idea presented in great detail but shorn of all politics.

        It seems like a time bank/CSA combination should be easy to set up, especially for a non-profit operation (which is what the idea was invented for in the first place). The principle is self-evident – shares of produce based on time contributed.

        I suppose if the time bank were on a broader basis than just the CSA (i.e. people were earning hours for every kind of service, not just farm work), then there would have to be a limit on how many T$ could be exchanged for the produce.

        If you have any more specific questions I’m failing to answer, let me know.

        Comment by Russ — September 29, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

      • Thanks, Ross! I’ll keep on eye on that.

        Comment by paper mac — September 29, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

  2. A little off topic, but on the raw milk front here:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/09/28/toronto-raw-milk-appeal.html

    I had thought when this guy was acquitted, that was that, but I guess not. My favourite line:

    “During Schmidt’s trial last year, food scientists and health experts testified that mandatory pasteurization laws are needed to protect public health.“

    ie “During Schmidt’s trial last year, people who were taught that mandatory pasteurization laws are needed to protect public health (but who have not conducted any experiments to determine the veracity of this claim) testified that mandatory pasteurization laws are needed to protect public health.“

    Comment by paper mac — September 28, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

    • In some ways Canada’s laws are even more fucked up than those here. No double jeopardy protections, evidently, and free speech is even more tenuous. (Of course double jeopardy protections have been eroded here as well.)

      “Public health”, in that context (and I should probably come up with a better term for what I’m writing about), just like “food safety” and “war on terror”, is an Orwellian euphemism which refers to nothing but State control. Obviously no country engaged in extracting the tar sands, just to give one example, can say with a straight face that it actually cares about public health. (In reading a book about that I learned about what the government itself can do in Canada against scientists who actually act as ethical scientists rather than as state/corporate flunkeys.)

      Comment by Russ — September 29, 2011 @ 3:31 am

      • We actually do have a double jeopardy protection, except it allows the prosecution to appeal if an error (any error, regardless of its effect on the verdict) was made in the acquittal. Totally bizarre and utterly defeats the purpose of the protection. Canada is the “polite dictatorship” (really a dicatorship of bureaucrats)- if the state decides it doesn’t like you, it will slowly, methodically, with no ado, grind you into dust. You might never go to jail, or even get convicted, but you will be ruined one way or another. Canada is, as far as I know, the only federal state where the federal police (RCMP) report to a politically appointed minister, and where all investigations by the federal police as well as the security services (CSIS, CSE) are revealed, entirely in secret, to a body of unelected bureaucrats and power brokers (the Privy Council Office). The results are pretty fucking predictable. Corruption is rampant, foreign spies run wild and free as long as they’re paid up with the Desmarais family, and no one but the little guy gets stepped on. The only reason that this place isn’t an intolerable third world dictatorship (the laws and governmental structure allow for it) is because none of the stupid assholes who get elected have enough imagination to make that happen, although we’re getting there.

        Comment by paper mac — September 29, 2011 @ 6:17 am

      • It was several years ago that I read Nikiforuk’s book, but IIRC this scientist (or maybe he was a doctor, I forget) who was publicizing the catastrophic health effects on tribes downriver from the extraction zone was directly threatened with credential revocation, civil, and even criminal prosecution by the government itself.

        I guess that’s a refinement on the less advanced US model where the corporation has to file the SLAPP suit itself, and (for now) has no criminal recourse.

        Comment by Russ — September 29, 2011 @ 6:31 am

      • I don’t know which scientist that was, but it was probably someone working for Environment Canada. They get screwed around by the politicos all the time (EPA analogue). Basically if you report to a minister you can expect to be suppressed if you’re not towing the line of oil majors. There have been some tenured academics who have picked up that torch though, I’ve seen some good work showing that there’s a shitload of heavy metals in the Athabaska now, and that Dene Nation community living downstream now actually has some evidence to go on as to why their cancer rates are so much higher than the rest of the country. Unfortunately half of them work at the tar sands, too, so it’s a tough situation for them. If the Keystone XL pipeline gets finished, I dunno what’s going to happen. The one they planned out to Vancouver got scrapped by First Nations, I don’t think they made the same mistake with Keystone XL unfortunately. If that pipeline goes in, it’s going to be a fucking disaster, though.

        Comment by paper mac — September 29, 2011 @ 10:41 am

      • I’m officially annoyed because I just spent 20 minutes trying to dig up my notes on Tar Sands to find out the guy’s name, and couldn’t find them. (The book’s buried in a box somewhere.) So my pre-2009 stuff’s in an even more chaotic state than I thought. (I did find a notebook half-full of farm issue stuff I’d forgotten I had. Also some embarrassingly “reasonable” stuff on intellectual property.) Talk about a project that needs to be done… 🙂

        I haven’t really followed the Keystone XL thing. It’s too much to keep up with everything (both logistically and psychologically), and I have to do some triage. But knowing this government, corporate welfare for Big Oil (Big Coal hasn’t been doing quite as well, last I heard), its will to run roughshod over everything and everyone, and the likelihood of real resistance anytime soon, I suppose it’ll go through and be as bad as you expect.

        Comment by Russ — September 29, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

      • Keystone XL, if completed, will substantially increase the ability of the tar sands to export, and probably production as well (assuming oil prices stay high enough to justify it and/or gov’ts continue to subsidise it). James Hanson estimates there’s another 200ppm of CO2 equivalents in the recoverable portion of the tar sands. If a significant fraction of that gets burnt, that’ll push us from the 2-4 deg warming path we’re on to a 4-6 deg warming path, which will be tantamount to genocide. The KXL pipeline cannot be allowed to operate.

        Comment by paper mac — September 29, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  3. In two weeks, my wife and I are traveling south of the S.F. Bay Area to shop for a 10-acre ranch. Our intention is to do small-scale organic gardening (I can’t quite get up the nerve to say “farming”). We also intend to raise animals, mostly chickens and goats.

    We’ll be on the lookout for re-localization sympaticos. To that end, we’re meeting an established small-scale olive oil producer via a friend.

    I’ve been a gardener most of my adult life but know nothing about buying a big chunk of land. Water, of course, weighs heaviest on my list of concerns, then regulations, followed by the community’s willingness to stand up to the Federale food police when it comes to town to “help.”

    All advice and guidance welcome.

    Comment by Paul — September 29, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    • Get a soil survey map for the area you’re looking at. If you end up with 10 acres of muck, you’re not going to be growing much of anything. Real estate agents are worthless, you’ll need to do your homework on the soil quality yourself. If the parcel has a drilled well, you’ll want to check on the flow rate of the drilled well and ensure it’ll meet your needs. I don’t know much about irrigation in California, but I’d imagine your water usage will be pretty high, so you’ll probably want something that’s putting out at least a few gallons a minute. If there’s no drilled well, you need to get some water table maps, and hopefully a map of flow rates of nearby drilled wells. You want to get an idea of how deep you’re going to be digging and how much water you can expect. Wells are a bit of a crapshoot anyway, but there’s no point in getting a piece of land that’s in an area known for bad wells. Your friend with the olive farm can probably help a lot more. Good luck with it!

      Comment by paper mac — September 30, 2011 @ 1:26 am

    • Hi Paul,

      Congratulations on your soon-to-be farm. (It sure sounds like farming to me. Or if you like just call yourself a grower for now.) From what I hear you’re likely to meet growers who agree on lots of this stuff. You should look around online, if you’re interested. Here’s a few spots I have bookmarked.

      http://www.beginningfarmers.org/

      http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/talk/

      http://thegreenhorns.wordpress.com/

      https://www.usfarmer.com/forum/

      Paper mac gives good basic advice. I’d say that in the long run you can’t count on irrigation being available, given the ever-lower flows from the Sierras and how corporate ag will no doubt try to monopolize what is available. So I’d try to start planning for California’s inevitable return to its Mediterranean-type norm. Olive growing, therefore, may have a long-run future, but lots of other things, no.

      I look forward to hearing how things are going.

      Comment by Russ — September 30, 2011 @ 3:11 am

    • Paul:
      papermac’s advice regarding water should be taken to heart. The more south you go from the SF Bay Area the less water and more people there are. Have you and your wife considered heading north instead. There is much more water with less people. There is good farming land as far north as Humboldt County (actually both sides of the Trinity Alps). There is much agriculture up there (other than marijuana) and dairy farms also.
      Good luck!

      Comment by jm51 — September 30, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

      • jm51 and all, thank you very much for the feedback and suggestions. You have no idea how helpful and encouraging they are. Please keep it coming.

        Re: water south of Bay Area, I’m already getting a strong sense that it’s an issue. In Paso Robles, a lawsuit is outstanding regarding piping in water to the municipality from a lake so that the aquifers can be devoted exclusively to the vineyards. Furthermore, Paso has problems with gangs who like to steal farm equipment. (When I talk to farmers at the farmers market, beyond idle chit-chat, organized gangs stealing equipment is a near-constant problem.)

        jm51, I like your idea about heading north. We’ve spent considerable time north of S.F. along the coast and concluded that it’s too cold, damp, and dark to farm. However, north *and* inland sounds right. (I have a friend who lives north of Marin, and he tells me Humboldt County is extremely depressed since the logging industry all but stopped. But we most definitely need to put boots on the ground up there before deciding that it’s not for us.)

        Comment by Paul — September 30, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

      • Paul- assuming you are planning on being on this land for a long time, I would be inclined to go as far North as possible. You want to be someplace that is currently relatively wet and cold, because the southern US is going to get a lot drier and a lot hotter. Have a look at this drought prediction map from NCAR for the 2030-2039 period: http://www2.ucar.edu/sites/default/files/news/2010/2030-2039wOceanLabels.jpg

        As you can see, all of California is marked “-2”. For reference, -3 to -4 marks dustbowl conditions for an Oklahoma-like hydrology. So -2 in the dry southern areas of the state could be a disaster, whereas in the North, it’ll probably be tolerable. It’s worthwhile looking for more specific climate change predictions for California, I assume your state conservation authority or environmental science departments can help in this regard (probably with the hydrogeology maps you want for well drilling as well).

        Another thing you may want to consider is the suitability of the site for building materials. I’ve only spent about a week in your state, but my impression was that the South doesn’t have much in the way of timber, so that’s a consideration. The South would be more appropriate for adobe or compressed earth construction techniques because it’s so dry, but I think overall I would be more inclined to go for the North for timber availability and the ability to grow a couple acres of a grain crop w/o extensive irrigation for things like strawbale insulation. The soil map you get of the area should also tell you how deep the soil is over bedrock- if you have a spot on your plot that’s only a few inches of soil over bedrock, that might obviate the need for an extensive foundation. Or if you have some deep sandy loam, that tends to have good compressive qualities and will be fine for floating a concrete slab on, etc. Some soils are better than others for compressed/rammed earth building, if you’re thinking about doing that. This may not be an immediate consideration if you’ve got a house and barn or whatever already on site, but in the long term it will probably help if you have access to some of these materials.

        As a final consideration, consider checking out a map of average wind power density, in case you end up wanting or needing to set up a turbine. I assume you’re probably set for solar in California, I don’t think the North gets more than a couple inches of snow a year either so some passive solar panels might be an easy, no-maintenance thing to do for heating air or water.

        Comment by paper mac — September 30, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  4. The movement is spreading.

    http://www.occupytogether.org/

    And the Occupy Wall Street / Occupy San Francisco video shows a real protest with lots of participants in front of a J.P. Morgan Chase bank in San Francisco.

    Comment by Frank Lavarre — September 30, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    • These actions are good in themselves and I bet are planting seeds as well.

      Comment by Russ — October 1, 2011 @ 6:51 am

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  6. […] times, for example here (suggesting how relocalization movement strategy can be applied to them), here (showing how they coordinate with the basic principles of a food freedom movement), and here (how […]

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  7. […] and for all of humanity. I’ve written about it before many times, including here, here, and here. I also gave a basic account of the clash of agricultural corporatism against humanity in this post […]

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  8. […] fulfilling human environment. . I describe the Seven Principles of Food Sovereignty (quoted here) as described by the global farmer movement Via Campesina: . 1. Food Sovereignty affirms healthy […]

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