17 projects took the time to answer the questions on food sovereignty. The answers came from the USA, from Africa, from Asia and Europe. Thank you all very much. Of course this survey can never be representative in a scientific way, but it helps us to have an overview on the state and intention of the ecovillages on growing their own food.
All of the projects that answered, grow their own food, even those with less than 2 hectares. Four of them produce so much food that they can sell it outside the community: even projects with less than 10 hectares. One of the ecovillages has a professional food farm; the others sell at local markets, or to neighbours. Most projects range from 30% – 100% food autonomy.
A majority of the ecovillages process their food; only three do not. The products range from syrups, balms, herb salts, pestos, bread, goats cheese, marmalades, olive oil, all kind of vegetables, potatoes, bananas, cookies, crackers, dried products, roasted brown rice coffee, green tea, black tea, pounded sticky rice cakes, noodles, pickles, cakes, rice puffs, chutneys, pickles, Sauerkraut, ketchup, juice, vine, herbal teas, herbal cosmetics, meat products, eggs, honey, tea, fruit trees, frozen and canned vegetables and fruit, fruit sauces, strawberry liquor, grape juice, solar dried fruit and vegetables, tomato juice, and soap.
Many of the ecovillages face challenges such as stony, sandy, or saline soils, erosion, unpredictable water situations, droughts, or very long winters, and try to meet these challenges with creativity, ‘humanpower’, and other skillful methods such as: permaculture, biodynamic and bio-intensive farming, using organic fertilizers (compost, liquid fertilizer), ‘hugelculture’, terracing, walipini, greenouse (polytunnel), while using composting all kitchen leftovers,; compost toilets to improve the soil; rainwater retention basins for irrigation, seed gardens, the use of micro organisms, manure, mulching with cardboard, leaves, and green manure.
The number of people working in the food sector ranges from 4 to 100, to “all of us”.
The project from Africa concluded: “We ensure the right of people to healthy and culturally sound and sustainable methods, and the right to define their own food and agriculture system.”
Thank you for reminding us that, in terms of food, we are globally working on the same topic: that of food justice and sovereignty.