Moving Towards Family Food Sovereignty


Mixed lettuce growing under the shade of kale and bee-friendly flowers.


One of 4 blueberry plants that we have gotten established. Our neighbors bush is 8 feet tall and 20 years old, with tons of blueberries. Can’t wait for our perennial edibles to take off!


Mmm, basil…pesto anyone?


Tomato plants starting to create beautiful blooms.


Nothing reminds me more of gardening with my grandfather than corn and tomatoes. Historically, corn, beans, and squash have been planted together like we have here because they thrive together.


Some dont even try to grow peppers in the PNW because we dont get hot enough, but these little beauties from the local Uprising Seeds in Bellingham are doing just fine. Called Czech Black, a very mild and delicious hot pepper. Eggplant in the background.


Mint and a pink flower.


Cabbage, so exciting! On its way to saurkraut:)


Food is kind of a big deal in our household. We eat a lot of it, we try to eat local and organic, and we prioritize this at the expense of buying other things. We value food that has less pesticide and oil under its wings because we believe it is healthier for us, and prevents medical expenses in the future. Local food also taste much better than the grocery store stuff. Growing food has given my life a source of meaning, teaching me patience and nurturing.

Food matters so much to us that we have taken on the back-breaking work of growing our own food, lessening some of our reliability on the larger food system. We are working towards food sovereignty for our family, hopefully being a reminder for others around us that might care about similar things.

At the Forum for Food Sovereignty in Sélingué, Mali, 27 February 2007, about 500 delegates from more than 80 countries adopted the “Declaration of Nyéléni“,[2] which says in part:

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers. Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. (Declaration of Nyéléni (text), Nyéléni 2007 – Forum for Food Sovereignty. Accessed online 19 February 2010.)

Sounds like revolution to me. We have some more work to do, setting up our own fish pond, raising sheep or goats, establishing more perennial edibles; but we will get there. Tasting some of the fruits of our labor provides ongoing motivation; as well as living with these deep-seeded values, like food sovereignty, in the front of our minds.

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