Ownership of Land

Walking towards the disputed olive
orchard.

We are in Teqoa, Palestine, southeast of Bethlehem. I thought we were just getting out to change vehicles. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen. The military wasn’t expecting anything either.

It turns out that Teqoa farmers have been denied access to their olive trees for between ten and seven years. No doubt the situation came to a crisis with well known and technically unsolved murder of Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran next to the settlement. An unsolved murder, is however, a distant and mostly irrelevant excuse to steal land from some farmers and today, the olive orchardists are going to re-claim their land and their trees. We are here to accompany them into the forbidden zone. The presence of foreigners makes the farmers feel more secure against illegal violence from the military and settlers.

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Slow Siege of Bethlehem

The following post comes from a guest contributor in Israel, observing gardening and farming in times and places of conflict.  Please feel free to post comments – this is a provocative and intriguing piece, and we welcome dialogue.
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The soldiers shuffle from side to side, trying to block our path. But there are too many of us. We walk through them like some sort of surreal slow motion charge.

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Political Contributions of Food Industry Giants

This wonderfully illustrative infographic from the Good Guide brings a whole new level of meaning to ‘food politics,’ illustrating political leanings of some of the giants in the agro-food industry. Continue reading

Weapons Easier to Trade than Bananas

Can you believe that there are more regulations involved in trading bananas internationally than there are in trading weapons?  Read this article from the Inter Press Service for details, and take a look at the instructive infographic and youtube film below the article, both from Amnesty International USA.

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Wartime Food Propaganda: Militarizing the Home Economy

In my explorations of peace and food, I’ve become aware of a whole era and subject matter that we’ve hitherto overlooked… wartime food propaganda.  The following is a series of posters from (mostly) North America during the First and Second World Wars.  I won’t say much, except that I find the language incredibly potent, the links between war and food outrageous, and the fear-mongering unconscionable.  And Victory Gardens are precursors to the modern-day community garden.  Just saying.

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A Fork in the Road: Canadian Association for Food Studies

This weekend I have the great pleasure of spending time at the Canadian Association for Food Studies conference, “A Fork in the Road: Crossroads for Food Studies,” where some of Canada’s most respected scholars in food studies gather in collaboration with new and emerging scholars to share ideas, encourage research, and celebrate the work being done in this fascinating, interdisciplinary, and rather new field.

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Changing Targets

Our friend and agrarian journeyman James Douglas now finds himself in Israel, from where he sends this article and accompanying photos.  Imagine, a garden where a shooting range once was.  Is there any more powerful example of cultivating peace?

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