by Lara Sibbing
Today, food is no longer just a rural issue. With more than half of the world population living in cities, food is a relatively new topic for cities and especially for municipalities to deal with. This is also the case for the municipality of Ede, which is close to Wageningen. This municipality expressed its ambitions for 2025 in a vision document entitled ‘Ede chooses food’. Frankly, the ambition of the municipality of Ede was to ‘go for food’. But what does that actually mean?
The municipality of Ede is one of the largest in size in the Netherlands – funnily enough though, Ede is officially not even a city, as it never got city rights, as opposed to Wageningen – and besides the actual city (or, village) of Ede, the municipality also encompasses a large rural area with several small villages. It is therefore an interesting place: it includes a city with a rural background that is still vivid, and is colored by a splash of knowledge of agricultural research coming in from Wageningen’s agricultural university; and all of that in one municipality. Continue reading
Looking for a challenging and adventurous internship or thesis for your Master studies in Africa? Take a look at the website of the organisation Ex-change and if inspired, contact Henk Haring (email@example.com) for more information. Currently, there are various concrete vacancies for students, available at the Rural Sociology Group. Contact our education coordinator Els Hegger (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.
Earlier this year Clara Celestino Siurana completed her internship at the PeeRGroup in Donderen. She developed a design and building of a vegetable garden (see here for original description of the intership). Their terrain, a former ammunition depot has now the status of an ‘estate’ and ecologically rare species have been discovered because nature on that terrain has not been fertilized by convential agriculture for the past 50 years. They have a long way to go in making the terrain a multifunctional space open for public and connected to the care farm with which they collaborate. The small kitchen garden by Clara is only one of the things they want to develop.
Therefore, the PeeRGroup Donderen is still looking for students that want to play a role in further developing this unique project. Contact Marin de Boer (email@example.com) or Sjoerd Wagenaar (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested. Look at their website (http://www.peergroup.nl/donderboerkamp/) for more information.
On 14 and 15 May 2014 the city of Utrecht (the Netherlands) will host us for the final PUREFOOD conference. The conference is organised in cooperation with the ‘Day of Dutch Urban Agriculture’ (Dag van de Stadslandbouw), which will be held on Thursday 15th of May in The Fabrique in Utrecht and attracts yearly around 500 people. The PUREFOOD project will contribute to organising 9 international sessions on Thursday. The PUREFOOD conference will start with a meet & greet on Tuesday evening at a special location in Utrecht. On Wednesday morning there is an interesting programme, in English only, where we will listen, discuss, brainstorm, present and network with a selected group of people (therefore: limited places available!). In the afternoon we will explore Utrecht and its surroundings to see, hear, feel and taste some of the fabulous products developed in the region.
The full programme of the conference, including speakers and other interesting people, will be available soon. Keep an eye on the weblog of the PUREFOOD project: www.purefoodlinks.eu.
A post by Max van Tilburg (MSc student International Development)
The nature of urban agriculture; initiatives in Lansing and Detroit, Michigan, United States
Urban agriculture over the past decennium has become very popular in the Western World, this brings up questions about the commonality between all these different initiatives. This question stood at the basis of my master thesis, and was translated to whether urban agriculture initiatives in Lansing and Detroit (Michigan, USA) could be seen as (being part of) a social movement.
Although the history and (organizational) background of the urban agriculture initiatives in Lansing and Detroit are very diverse, the similarity in practices, ideas and ideologies (both displayed in shared discourses and themes) was remarkably high. It turned out that community building with all its aspects is a first order concern for the initiatives, neighborhood organizations, a soup kitchen, private farmers, all practiced and expressed a major concern about working on the community.
On the overall I arrived at a point were I more or less hypothesize the same as Touraine (1998) did in his research on social movements; “that their ‘real’ purpose was a broad-based effort to oppose the corporate and government technocrats who initiated and directed most social change”.
Read more in my thesis!
Yesterday evening, Dirk Roep and I informed various Master students of Wageningen University about the possibilities for doing a thesis or internship with the Rural Sociology Group. As always, it was an evening full of enthusiasm, questions and confusion. The Wageningen education system is not always easy to understand and thus difficult to make choices. The best advice we give students: think about something that makes you want to jump in the air, then you have a topic of interest (that could be something on certain themes, but also on approaches). Starting from that, look for someone that would fit that interest. Of course, you can always get some inspiration from past thesis stories or thesis possibilities in the special section of this blog. Furthermore, the various EU research projects that run at our group offer wide possibilities for doing an internship or thesis with our partners in these projects (within and outside of Europe). If you have difficulties coming up with a topic or want to get some input on your ideas, make an appointment with our education coordinator. Don’t feel lost!
In June, the SUPURBFOOD First International Seminar took place in Vigo (Spain). In order to contribute to improving the agro-food system’s ecological performance researchers, policymakers and SMEs from Europe and developing countries discussed the links between short food supply chains and other flows (e.g. nutrients, water, and urban waste) at the seminar. With attendance of over 60 people from 14 countries, a North-South dialogue has started on improving the agro-food system’s ecological performance.
The report on the dialogue, sharing of experiences, exchange of best practice and joint learning at the SUBURBFOOD First International Seminar aims to inspire participants and other interested readers to developing an integrated approach to urban and peri-urban food provision. By clicking on the images above, you can still watch the videos of the live streaming of the seminar. For more information on the SUPURBFOOD project and how you can participate, visit www.supurbfood.eu.
Organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development & Food Security (CSD&FS) of Wageningen UR and a team of enthusiastic volunteers:
TURNING FOOD FOR BINS INTO FOOD FOR KINGS
Did you know that more than one third of the global food supply is wasted between the farm and the mouth? Imagine, if this food was eaten, nobody would be hungry in the world! After New York, Paris and London, it is now time for the agrifood-city of Wageningen to take action on this pressing issue!
On 29 September 2013, between 12.30 and 16.00, Wageningen University Campus is hosting an event on food waste in front of the Orion building. There will be a warm, FREE LUNCH for 500 people, made from food that would normally be wasted! Mind you, a carrot that Continue reading