Cultivate Your Food Economy

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2013 Practical Visionaries Field Project

The 2013 Practical Visionaries Field Project Team builds upon the work done by Practical Visionaries Workshop and Field Project teams in previous years. The goal of the 2013 Field Project was to develop a collection of resources for our Steering Committee members (Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC)) that will enable these organizations to engage their constituents in discussion and action towards strengthening the regional food economy. Working with these clients, the 2013 team explored (and will continue to explore) the conditions of the food economy in several Boston neighborhoods. In order to better understand these conditions, the team developed tools for community engagement, all available at the website: http://sites.tufts.edu/foodeconomyfinalreport/.

The website and other tools (a popular education curriculum, community mapping resources, and the FEET survey) were developed with the interests of the Steering Committee member organizations in mind. However, they are also intended for use by any group interested in catalyzing community-directed action for food systems change. These resources can guide an evaluation of community food system and community economy assets and needs. The curriculum engages community members in strengthening community ownership and control of the food system (elements include: food production, distribution, processing, retail, consumption, nutrient recycling).

Our work is motivated by a common vision for a more sovereign regional food economy – this project is rooted in the belief that community-based knowledge is the root of positive change in our food economy and food system. We expect that these tools will support our Steering Committee organizations’ existing efforts, identify new opportunities for community building, and encourage collaboration between partners.

Contributors: Kathleen O’Brien, Marcy Ostberg, Rebecca Schofield, Hannah Sobel, Heidi Stucker. For more information about the 2013 Practical Visionaries Field Project team, see the About Us page and related links.

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