communities where organic vegetable gardens are everywhere. Every spare piece of space no longer needed for car parking is planted with vegetables tended by older members of the community, teaching young children the joys of growing vegetables and flowers.
They relish getting messy collecting organic waste from neighbours and making compost to supply nourishment for next year’s crops. So there is produce everywhere and when there is surplus it is simply set out for people to take.
In some unexpected spots you come across little shrines of gratitude for nature’s abundance. Everything that you need to nourish yourself is available nearby. Water is harvested in the rainy season, and runs clear and pure. When there is drought, de-salination plants are turned on and water re-cycled and hydroponic cultivation takes over production of vegetables.
Children are taken to slaughter houses to see what has to happen for an animal’s meat to reach their table. The effect of this is to gradually phase out the eating of meat.
Everyone knows that it takes 13,000 litres of water to produce a kilo of beef, so one result is that vast quantities of water become available. They also know that livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Burning fuel to produce fertiliser to grow feed, to produce meat and to transport it – and clearing vegetation for grazing – produces 9 per cent of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.
Women work in agriculture as farmers on their own account, as workers on family or other farms and agricultural enterprises. They care for the renewal of soil and water, as a key resource for the vitality of ecosystems. According to the UN, in the developing world women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labor force. When claiming economic independence, women often start food businesses or undertake large-scale landscape restoration.
Local Food Systems already exist in many parts of the world. They are an innovative way to catalyze local community’s creativity, collaboration and connections for greater local food prosperity and abundance. A Local Food Lab is a way for place-based institutions to host producers, eaters and activists from every part of the living food system. It is a place where women can reclaim that long-term potential of being nurturers. It has never been more needed than now!
Thais Corral, Vicki Robin and many others are part of a movement that is mobilising Local Food Labs to ignite this hidden potential, where women can be the leaders and the stewards of this necessary revolution.
For generations, feeding the family was women’s work. In the 21st century, feeding our communities with fresh, whole, natural food can again be women’s work – not just in kitchens or gardens, but fundamentally at the level of social change.
The Pioneer for this Constellation is Thais Corral