Pam Warhurst: How We Can Eat Our Landscapes.

From ted.com

Pam Warhurst is the Chair of the Board of the Forestry Commission, which advises on and implements forestry policy in Great Britain. She also cofounded Incredible Edible Todmorden, a local food partnership that encourages community engagement through local growing.

Incredible Edible started small, with the planting of a few community herb gardens in Todmorden, and today has spin-offs in the U.S. and Japan. The community has started projects like Every Egg Matters, which educates people on keeping chickens and encourages them to sell eggs to neighbors, and uses a ‘Chicken Map’ to connect consumers and farmers.

Incredible Edible Todmorden empowers ordinary people to take control of their communities through active civic engagement.

“I wondered if it was possible to take a town like Todmorden and focus on local food to re-engage people with the planet we live on, create the sort of shifts in behaviour we need to live within the resources we have, stop us thinking like disempowered victims and to start taking responsibility for our own futures.”

Pam Warhurst

The SEKEM Initiative, Cairo.

SEKEM is a producer, processor and marketer of organic products. It has also established schools, kindergartens, training centres and other social and cultural institutions.

From Wikipedia:

The organization SEKEM (Ancient Egyptian: ‘vitality from the sun’) was founded in 1977 by the Egyptian pharmacologist and social entrepreneur Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in order to bring about cultural renewal in Egypt on a sustainable basis;[1][2] Located northeast of Cairo, the organization now includes:[3]

  • biodynamic farms;
  • trading companies for produce and processed foods (Hator and Libra), herbal teas and beauty products (Isis), medicinal herbs and medicines (Atos), and organic cotton products (Conytex);
  • a medical center;
  • a school based on the principles of Waldorf pedagogy open to pupils from any religious or ethnic background;
  • a community school catering specifically to the needs of children from disadvantaged groups;
  • a vocational training center;
  • a college (Mahad Adult Education Training Institute) and research center (Sekem Academy for Applied Art and Sciences);

SEKEM’s goals are to “restore and maintain the vitality of the soil and food as well as the biodiversity of nature” through sustainable, organic agriculture and to support social and cultural development in Egypt.[1] Revenue from the trading companies grew from 37 million Egyptian pounds in 2000 to 100 million in 2003. By 2005, the organization had established a network of more than 2,000 farmers and numerous partner organizations in Egypt[4] and began increasingly to seek to extend its “experience and acquired knowledge” to other countries, including India, Palestine, Senegal, Turkey, and – in partnership with the Fountain FoundationSouth Africa.[3]

De Blauwe Bloem: Economy, Another Way.

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“De Blauwe Bloem” (translation: the blue flower) is a business in Ghent, Belgium that promotes associative economics, a way of trading, which puts customers in direct contact with farmers.

Associative economics: where producers and consumers make conscious interactive decisions, instead of leaving them to the unseen workings of market forces.

A Short translated resume from their site:

The quality of our food:
Organic food is ‘in’, but the absence of harmful products is insufficient to call it quality food. At least as important is the question what it should contain! It should have a natural life cycle, healthy nutrients and be treated with biological pest repellents. If an animal has received good food and has had a healthy and good life, then it will produce good meat. Biological agriculture uses compost instead of artificial fertiliser and when necessary will use non-toxic, natural pesticides.

Bio-dynamic agriculture will grow vegetables organically and keep livestock fed with these same vegetables.

‘De Blauwe Bloem’ is a shop in the center of Ghent that has functioned as a practice field for associative economics since 1988. Customers participate consciously by ordering in advance what they will need and help set the prices in a twice-yearly meeting. Such a practice leads to little or no waste and an excellent relationship, which offers benefits to both parties.