Planting The Seeds of Food Justice
Lots of Food is a program of the Rochester Permaculture Center (RPC). RPC is dedicated to exploring, modeling, and inspiring more conscious, sustainable, and restorative ways to live and model the ethics and principles of permaculture. This dedication inspired the creation of a community engagement project – Lots of Food. Both RPC and Lots of Food are programs of Seeking Common Ground, Inc.
Lots of Food is inspired by the Incredible Edible (IET) project and Pam Warhurst’s TED talk How We Can Eat Our Landscapes. A key idea borrowed from IET is: “Incredible Edible, by focusing Community, Learning and Business, on food, brings benefits like local produce, new learning, business opportunities and greater social and cultural unity. Once people from whatever walk of life, community, education or commerce, begin to take on and solve problems together something happens, behavior changes and what seemed impossible becomes achievable.
Re-learning how to connect with our locality, its plants, animals and each other, and understanding how food joins us all, is key to how we face the future and the challenges it brings.” Though IET is located in England, which has different laws, they have published a toolkit and several other documents from which we will learn and draw.
Lots of Food was founded by Patty Love, Lots of Food Program Manager, Program Manager of Rochester Permaculture Center, and owner of Barefoot Edible Landscape and Permaculture. The project is being steered by an evolving team of community leaders who know that it’s time to stop talking and to start doing! We deeply appreciate the support of our parent organization, Seeking Common Ground, Inc.
Patty first ate her way through a public food forest in Asheville, NC, and imagined co-creating a similar project in Rochester. Patty was further inspired by a YouTube video documenting the success of the UK’s Incredible Edible project, which she shared with the group. Backed by her permaculture training and enthusiasm for organizing and making available resources, buoyed by the enthusiasm and support of these folks hungering for change in the way we produce and consume food, the seeds for Lots of Food (www.lotsoffood.org) were planted.
In March 2013, a group of 45 gathered at Rochester Greenovation to participate in a presentation and discussion organized by Patty Love of Brighton, in hopes of bringing this vision to the area.
Since then, the project has germinated as 7 volunteer Guild Team members, 12 Land Partners, and the quiet support of some local business owners have joined to work toward bringing Lots of Food to Rochester.