Tuesday, October 6, 2009

LASC Conference

Community Gardens are radical spaces by Seoidín O’Sullivan

During the LASC conference I was re-reminded that community gardens are radical spaces through Alberta Carino Trujillo a Mixtec woman from Oaxaca. I spoke at a workshop about Dublin’s community gardens in which the term 'Food Sovereignty' emerged. ‘The Right to Produce’ explained Alberta ‘ …in South America the term 'Food Security' is associated with Food Aid and GMO crops so is not used by grass root organizations.’ Within community gardens we create and encourage 'Food Sovereignty'. A collective share a piece of land in Dublin’s inner city. We skill share, we grow our own food, we create a positive public space where trust is central. Community gardens provide a way for people to take responsibility for their localities and their means of food production. It gives marginalised and poorer communities access to fresh organic fruit and vegetables and learning on how to grow their own . This leads to empowerment. It provides agency. It’s a space that challenges the status quo and norms often based on fear and only concerned with profit. It’s a place where issues of ‘Food Sovereignty’ in Dublin can be directly addressed. A beautiful anecdote from Alberta during the workshop was that in her culture they do not just think of the next generation but they prepare and think about the next 6 generations of peoples. Now that is sustainability! The learning and solidarity that workshops like the one recently organised by LASC provide are invaluable.

South Circular Road Community Food Garden Project

The South Circular Road Community Food Garden Project started in April 2007. We have a derelict site on loan from ST Salvage Company that we have converted into a community food garden. This is a continuation of the initial successful Dolphins Barn Community squatted food garden that was on the canal from 2005 -2007.