Hi Kylie! Reading through the work you and your team are doing and your vision for 2050 it is invigorating to read about such good, community-driven work being done! We've been talking about the power of story-telling as a tool for systems change within our work of food sovereignty as well. I am curious- do you see these small garden plots as spaces to grow produce to sell or would some of these spaces be available for community members to harvest what they need? Similarly do you have any processes in mind for how you will keep this work meeting the needs vocalized specifically by the community over time? I am really intrigued by your team's vision of using technology as a means to bridge the gap for delivering produce to the different food hubs, I think it's a really innovative idea to meet the needs of your people while being able to use your person power to engage in other aspects of this system. I really look forward to seeing what your Refined Vision looks like! Best, Matthew Wilson
While our overall projects are very different - our organization works across 20 rural and isolated communities on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, USA - it’s interesting to see what challenges we share that are universal and not tied to place. Our Native communities also deal with limited access to both financial and non-financial resources. We also have high rates of diet related illnesses due to inadequate nutritional education and are facing the loss of food traditions, as they fail to be passed on to younger generations. Your vision for revitalized neighborhoods who gather around sustainable and healthy foods is also a vision we share for our 20 communities. You mentioned that a key component of your vision is knowledge creation and lifelong learning, with the example of universities reinforcing neighborhood connections by planning participatory action research proposals to take into account the needs of the community. I'm curious, what do you envision these participatory actions to be? We are currently working on developing a model for community led food projects, and the approach you mention is not one we've thought of yet but I'd love to hear more about it!
Looking forward to seeing how you plan to implement your Vision!
Natalie Vandenburgh loved your definition of Good Food, and overall, the 4P Foods Vision for a Mid-Atlantic food port was inspiring to read. The struggle to scale Good Food and make it accessible to all is one we are also facing here on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. While some of the barriers you face in the Mid-Atlantic are different from those in the Midwest (the struggle to secure land, for one, as we have an abundance of prairie land that Tribal members can access in varying ways), we also deal with some similar challenges. The majority of our agricultural crop production is also geared towards commodities like corn and soy, which has inhibited the development of a regional supply chain that can fully connect producers to consumers. To your point about the need to develop a decentralized but interconnected food system with a variety of paths to market, this is something we are also working to build within our communities. It’s great this to see similar thoughts and vision for our local food systems in other parts of the country - looking forward to the day when we all are nourished by regional and local foods. Excited to read the next phase of your Vision!