Visions and Values
We choose to establish a community-managed food system centered around local, organic, agro-ecological farming practices.
We want the UC Gill Tract Community Farm to serve as a model for what can be accomplished through collaborative and community-based research and extension within five to ten years: a unique, innovative partnership receiving attention and support from the public, academia, and policy makers.
Developing and testing models for shared governance and co-stewardship that increase community resilience;
Developing and transmitting knowledge of how to grow and prepare healthy food, and increase the public’s consumption of locally-grown healthy food;
Developing and testing models of equitable and affordable distribution of healthy food to all people based on principles of sharing and solidarity economies;
Building collaboration with local food justice groups who are doing similar work, and providing forums and opportunities for popular education;
Encouraging the expansion of lands under production; and
Providing recommendations for food and land policy that advance our mission.
FOOD SYSTEMS POLITICS
We believe that people have the right to effectively participate in the decisions and practices that affect their lives. As such, we value broad community participation in this project.
Food sovereignty is a goal of this work.
We value sustainable, regenerative, diversified agro-ecological practices.
We value and respect traditional, indigenous knowledge formation and historical experience as well as research that supports low impact agriculture without compromising natural resources for future generations.
We believe that there is an inherent value to having access to land, especially urban farmland,and the experience of working it, especially for children and communities where such opportunities are rare.
We value a holistic approach to food justice: urban, peri-urban, and rural communities are essential parts of a single integrated food system and all of these communities should participate in production and policy making.
We believe that our food systems and land use directly determine the health of our communities and the environment, and we strive to make positive impacts on the urban environment and the health of our communities.
We strive to collaborate across a diversity of classes, genders, races, ages, and abilities, resiting all forms of oppression, especially oppression based on race, gender, and class.
We value cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect in all aspects of our work.
We value collective decision-making with full dialogue, and trust in the wisdom of group decision making.
Interpersonal and political tensions arise as a natural consequence of collaboration across diversity: we trust in a shared process of conflict resolution.
We follow a “Little Red Hen” principle. Participatory democracy requires participation; people gain a role in decision-making in this project through their participation.
We take accountability for decisions and have a willingness to self evaluate and hear criticism of our practices.
We value democratic, collaborative, decentralized governance.
We strive for consensus in decision making.
RESEARCH & EDUCATION
We believe that everyone is a researcher and we prioritize community driven research agendas, and research processes that allows for community participants to take part as equal partners.
We believe that the role of a public university is teaching and research that is in the public interest.
We value popular education and community building events.
We believe that student-centered and community-engaged education provides deeper and more holistic learning
We believe in situated and hands-on learning, and value education as the practice of freedom.