Better late than never, here are some photos from the weekend of the Food Autonomy Festival #7 in Utrecht!

On the 17th of June, we did a farm tour with a small group of people to different farms and food forests in Utrecht. We visited the Voedselbos Haarzuilen, Stadstuin Zuilen and Tuin Kansrijk. It was a great opportunity to learn more about alternative ways of agriculture that are more sustainable and communal. We tasted some fruits and leaves from the forest, harvested our own little lunch and listened to the success stories of farmers as well as their struggles involving sustaining their community gardens. During the whole trip we collected our thoughts and impressions on a mindmap, which we evaluated at the end of the day. It was a very active and inspiring day.

The day after we shared porridge and poems together in the sunny garden of Centrum EMMA. Everyone was welcome to participate in workshops and talks involving people in food sharing, the colonial legacy in food systems, peasant struggles and the ways to become a land worker. There were more practical sessions on growing mushrooms, molding different animal droppings with clay, food autonomy in lino art and embodying extractivist agriculture. A reading session on Chiquita bananas invited everyone to engage with its colonial and capitalist history by choosing to discuss a poem, mural, book or article.

Some interesting adventures went on in the trees, as people ascended in pairs with rope and harness with the aim to wrestle their friends’ socks. A small and fun introduction into tree occupation! A gigantic banner was being painted nearby, with art spanning the width and breadth of Food Autonomy and all of the many interwoven and branching nodes of how people relate to this topic. Please watch this space to see how the banner will be used for future actions.

The garden was strewn with bean bags and people reading the wonderful material brought along by the printing collective PaperJam. Peculiar looking creatures were carried off in jam jars by people visiting the Kitchen Creature swap, hopefully their new pets are thriving and making tasty, zingy kombucha and sour dough. Tiny green seedlings were peaking out of bags and handfuls of life-full seeds were talked about and secreted away at the Seed Swap station.

During the whole day, amazing delicious food was cooked by Taste Before You Waste Utrecht in cauldron sized saucepans. Veggies of all colours saved from being wasted and wizzed up for our bellies. After the dinner, we had some fun with an open jam session, some volleyball and lots of dancing. It was wonderful to share this weekend with you, to talk about the struggles in the journey towards food autonomy, and to celebrate our growing achievements.

For more photos, check out our flickr account!