This semester I worked with the food forest team and assisted in helping to create a functioning self-sustaining permaculture space. I truly enjoyed the physical labor aspect of this project as I believe getting your hands dirty is a necessity of any sustainable garden initiative. Putting in good hard work to create the space was extremely fulfilling because it allowed me an invaluable chance to experience the step by step processes involved in transforming an otherwise bland area into a place that will produce food for years to come. A major reason why I feel that working on this project was invaluable is because it allowed me to visualize what kinds of effort and what kinds of materials are necessary to take charge on a project of attainable scale. Working on this project gave me a taste of just what it takes to come up with an idea and pursue it until it becomes a reality and I truly intend on using the skills and experiences that I have internalized from working on this project to mobilize and implement future sustainability initiatives of my own.
I suppose the aspect of this project which was most frustrating was the fact of how long it took to actually mobilize the ideas which we had been conceptualizing and being working on the physical creation of the space. I know that conceptual frameworks are highly important and that mapping out the logistics of any project are necessary to its successful implementation, however I still was slightly anxious about the delay in breaking ground on the project. With that being said, once we actually began working on the creation of our space I began to feel a true sense of fulfillment with our project, a feeling which I hope to harness as a flame to fuel future initiatives.
The main unexpected obstacle which hindered our timely completion of the Food Forest was the logistical error surrounding the delivery of the compost necessary to begin our project. After a series of miscommunications with the compost company regarding an viable delivery date we did eventually receive the compost necessary and were able to commence with our project. Although it was frustrating, this instance with the compost was beneficial to our learning because it allowed our group a chance to encounter the kinds of logistical communicative errors which are bound to happen throughout life and thus granted us greater perspective.
My advice to future proponent of this project would be to take initiative to build networks with surrounding schools and communities as a means of spreading our purpose of sustainability and also getting members of future generations to be engaged with issues surrounding climate and the food system.
My conception of food justice has evolved throughout the duration of this class mainly because I now see just how multifaceted of an issue achieving food justice is. If we are ever to achieve an equitable and sustainable food system in the US and in the world it will need to be done as a collaboration between local communities and their greater municipalities in such a way that empowers the disenfranchised as well as those with stability.