Reconnecting to our Food
Monday classes are a vital part of the Hidden Villa residential intern program. These day-long classes better inform us about the many facets our work at Hidden Villa and the ways we are helping to create a more just and sustainable future. Two of our recent classes focused on organic farming practices and social justice. They challenged me to think about the ways in which our work connects to larger food systems and the ways that food justice sits at an intersection with an understanding of social justice.
Additionally, I was able to attend a food justice panel in San Jose that highlighted organizations and leaders in the food justice and food access movement. These leaders are helping teach local residents how to plant home gardens, supporting farmers, teaching agriculture and food justice courses at the university and overseeing a community garden initiative. The conversation ranged from culturally preferred foods to food hubs as an alternative access point, from the price of food to community-building through food education. This conversation directly connected to the Monday classes that I’d experienced at Hidden Villa.
As I listened to these participants speak. I reflected on my location in the food system. My time at Hidden Villa has given me the opportunity to reconnect to food as something that is a part of our ecosystem, our environment, and not just something that is consumed. I am learning the ways in which local, organic, sustainable food plays into food justice. At Hidden Villa food justice means supporting neighboring farmers make a living wage, eating foods that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides, supporting farmers that use farming practices that nurture the earth and soil by using crop rotation, attracting helpful pests and repelling harmful pests, growing crop covers to regenerate the top soil, and being conscious of water consumption.
I’m so proud to say that I work here at Hidden Villa and that we are participating in the food system and addressing food justice, if only in our particular way; producing food and asking young people to consider the choices that they make and the ways in which these choices affect our future, our bodies, our minds, our environment, and our communities. Hopefully in having such conversations it allows us all to start to reformulate our values or beliefs in order to change our actions, recognizing that change in the food system first starts with our understanding and connection to the food we eat.