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Agroecological Farm Design Using Popular Education

Agroecological Farm Design Using Popular Education

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Title: Agroecological Farm Design Using Popular Education
Author: Gomes, Antonio
Identifier: MESMP00044
Abstract: With regards to community farms the Cavaleiro Farm design was approached as a multifunctional design with a strong patterning of environmental, social and economic layers of thinking. Natural education was explored through the development of the workshops and format for visitors to the farm. The innovative green business objective was an overarching theme to this design process because it plays such a large role in making the Cavaleiro Farm project viable. Resilient organizational structures were very much reflected in the social component of this research which of course is strongly interdependent with environment and business development for the project. Food systems, agroecology, food sovereignty and the complexity of our relationship with food have informed this final project. Specifically, various case studies, examples from working farms, as well as experiences interacting with others in the sector have been invaluable in informing this project as Cavaleiro Farm, where the project took place, is a real farm with real people.

Learning organizations, particularly through the lens of systems-thinking and organizational ecology were the research areas that interested me throughout my masters' work. The mechanics of how people work together on food projects and understanding how we come together through food in a non-hierarchical structure has been important since the beginning of the project. As a response to the profit-focused global food model, this project presents an opportunity to rebuild the local food system. Additionally, based on my work here, I believe that a democratically controlled local food system is the direction we have to go if we want to avoid similar profit-focused food in the future. Finally, triple bottom line business is a bridge between this capitalistic, profit-focused food system and the sustainable, accessible food system we are trying to build. Our current western world has been hijacked politically, socially and environmentally by a dominant class of the super-rich who over decades have accumulated more wealth at the cost of ecological and social damage. Farming and triple bottom line business presents an opportunity to rebuild without completely destroying the past foundations of modern civilization.
Type: Major project
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30196
Citation: Major Project, Master of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
Date: 2014

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