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foodsovereignty2Recently I heard someone say this simple and profound statement: “A nation cannot be sovereign if it cannot feed its people”

More and more we are realizing that the industrialized, GMO driven, corporate controlled global food system is failing, it is not enough to feed us, body or soul.

Local food systems based on principals of Food Sovereignty are one way communities are fighting back. In an era when corporations like Monsanto can sue farmers for the unintentional and unwanted, cross contamination of their own crops by GMOs, the act of gardening or seed exchange is a powerful tool. Who knew our grandmas would become radical revolutionaries simply by planting heirloom tomatoes?

The Indigenous Environmental Network’s Food Sovereignty Program has worked this year to:

Create a local learning garden for young indigenous families- it was a community building endeavor, with children running around under the sprinklers or quietly planting seeds with their parents. It was lovely to see.

Get a commercial kitchen started; to facilitate farm-to-school programs, support local food entrepreneurs, and provide space for nutrition education. The kitchen is slated to open in the spring of 2012. We are gathering funding for the equipment, but the space is ready to go, water, power, gas is all set up with big windows overlooking the neighborhood.

Support the Headwaters Food Council, which we started back in 2008- Bemidji our hometown is the focus of a university study on how communities can successfully start a local food system. We have a long way to go, but are making hopeful progress, particularly in the farm-to-school initiative, which paired a local grower who created a grower’s cooperative, with a school administrator to get the program up and running. Just that one relationship between two dedicated women with community support, was enough to take farm-to-school from a policy on paper to an actual veggies on the plate program.

Thank you for your support!

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