[Helaas is dit artikel alleen beschicktbaar in het engels.]
On Thursday May 30, about 50 people gathered in the Lutkemeer polder, in Amsterdam West, to occupy a terrain for the 3rd edition of the Food Autonomy Festival. Activists chose to set up the festival on the same field where the action camp “Kampeer in de Lutkemeertook place in September last year.

Why in de Lutkemeer Polder?

Indeed, having the FAF in this precise location was a way to bring attention to the struggle of De Boterbloem farm, which intends to keep on producing healthy, organic food for local people, despite the threat of Schiphol Area Development Company (SADC) to turn the fertile arable land into another business terrain. The volunteer-run, mobile action kitchen Le Sabot joined the occupation and fed festival participants, between 250 and 300 people, throughout all weekend! 
Food Autonomy Festival 3 welcome

Supporting small-scale farmers

On Friday morning, under a bright and warm sunshine, after yoga (for some) and breakfast (for all!), two groups of about 25 people each left the camp to go directly help farmers. One group, joined by the young ones participating in the kids’ programme, crossed the road to work on De Boterbloem where they spread compost.
Food Autonomy Festival 3 - Farming Behoud Lutkemeer
The other group cycled to Pluk , a community-supported agriculture farm located on the Fruittuin van West. There, people prepared beds for pumpkins. These are perfect Food Autonmy Festival 3 Cityplot infostallexamples of how a big group can complete large tasks in a relatively short time, while having fun and learning about the place and people in the process. Farmers then have more time and energy for other tasks, and they have an opportunity to share a moment with helpers from various horizons. That’s a great example of supporting small-scale farmers, the theme of the first panel discussion of the festival. 

A Wide Programme

During the weekend, every activity, workshop or panel attracted many curious and motivated participants. People came from Germany, Belgium, the UK… to bring different perspectives and voices into the discussions. From learning about peasant struggles to joining a direct action training, festival attendants had quite some choice on their plate. Besides that, various collectives set up stalls with books, zines, food, seedlings, seed bombs, DIY t-shirt printing… See the complete programme there. We are now working on compiling workshop notes and reports! As soon as they are ready, we’ll add them at the end of this article. If you took notes or recorded an activity during FAF, please get in touch with us.
Food Autonomy Festival 3 fermentation workshop

Let’s do better

On Saturday night, just like on Friday, several performances were on the schedule to relax and have fun after a long day, packed with activities and discussion. One of the performances was a theater play intended to mock Trump’s view of the world. During this play, several people felt uncomfortable, hurt or angry because it featured a stereotypical depiction of a Mexican person. Many people demanded the play to be stopped, while other spectators kept on watching. After the play was stopped, two persons volunteered to hold space for a large group conversation on this incident in particular, on racism and on how we all reacted (or not).
This incident and the way we collectively dealt with the situation are learning experiences for us all, yet painful for many. The organisers of the festival are planning to organise an evaluation session on what happened: how can we do better to prevent, or deal with such incidents in a constructive way? 

Guerilla Gardening in the Tuinen van Lutkemeer

Sunday morning it was time again for some gardening, some guerilla gardening! This time a group of about 25 people left the camp with tools, tiny apple trees, currant bushes and vegetable seedlings. The goal was the field that the ‘development company’ wants to make ready for construction first. Some months ago people started to create gardens as an attempt to stop this destruction. With our garden work, we contributed to this action.
Holes were dug for the trees and berries. Compost was brought to the location with wheelbarrows and in between the berries some lines with lettuce and Brussels sprouts were planted. And last but not least: watering. It was a hot and sunny day so everything needed a lot of water to be able to survive and take root. And now we have to keep on supporting the struggle against the development company. Gooseberry fields forever! 

Thank you FAF people!Het X-Y Actiefonds logo

As a reminder, the Food Autonomy Festival #3 stemmed from a horizontal process. It happened thanks to the work of a core group of volunteers from ASEED and beyond, who spent months on preparing this event. Without the involvement of many more volunteers (to cook during benefit dinners, at the info point, in the kitchen, to clean the toilets, to wrestle against the wind to surround the camp with beautiful banners, to facilitate difficult but necessary conversations…), and without dedicated, passionate volunteer speakers and workshop givers, the FAF#3 could not have taken place. A big thank you to all of them!
We would also like to thank the action funds that supported the FAF#3, including Het X-Y Actiefonds, Alert Funds, Frederik Hendrikschool Actiepot and Lush Netherlands. Together with the contributions from participants on the spot, this financial support helped us covering the infrastructure and action costs.
Food Autonomy Festival Action kitchen Le Sabot

Looking forward: Free the soil!

So where to next? Of course we’ll see many of your faces at Ende Gelande June 19-24. Still haven’t booked a seat on the bus? Head here to check it out!
If you are excited about engaging with the agricultural justice movement and climate justice then you’ll be excited to hear that as part of our Fossil Free Agriculture campaign we have joined with the Free the Soil campaign.  Free the Soil is a network of activists across Northern  Europe who are organising a mass civil disobedience and action camp. The target? YARA – a multi-billion dollar company and the world’s largest producer of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with production facilities on six continents and sales to 160 countries. With it’s dangerous green washing strategies, YARA presents itself as a necessary component to the narrative of “feeding the world”. Through false marketing the company positions its fertilizers as “low carbon footprint” legitimizing industrial, destructive production methods as “environmentally friendly”. When released into the atmosphere nitrous oxide is 300 times more potent than CO2.
Join us to take action against this chemical giant! Next plenary for FTS takes place between August 16-18 in Lueneburg. The camp and action will happen between 19th-25th September, Brunsbuttel, Germany. We look forward to seeing you there! Please get in touch via email if you are interested.

Workshops, panels and talks notes

Did you take notes during an activity? Please send them our way so we can share them!




Friday, 31.05.

08:00 – 09:00 Yoga (please bring a matt, if possible)
08:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 – 12:15 Farming Work at the Lutkemeer Tuinen or Pluk (please bring a bike, if possible)
Get your hands dirty! We kick off our festival with this practical hands-on workshop, which will take place at the Lutkemeer Tuinen and the farm Pluk (10 min bike ride from the Boterbloem farm). There you will learn how to harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables. Bring some clothes that can get dirty!
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch
14:15 – 15:15 Lecture: Veganism and its relation to food autonomy
For many people, eating vegan feels like a big sacrifice to make, like something that imposes on your own personal freedom to eat whatever you want. However, many vegans feel a great sense of liberation, freedom and autonomy after having become vegan. Sure, it is great to know you are doing less harm, but there is some greater benefit that comes with choosing veganism: the freedom to choose an independent relationship with non-human animals. In this talk Marloes Boere, who grew up on a dairy farm, will give a talk on how veganism increases your autonomy. She works for ProVeg, an organisation that envisions a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet.
14:15 – 15:15 Workshop: Fermentation
In this workshop you will learn the basics on how to ferment vegetables. 
15:30 – 16:30 Lecture: Spiritual Ecology
Spiritual Ecology recognises that we need a spiritual response to our present ecological, social, economic and political crisis. It acknowledges that life, all life, is sacred and invites us to act in service of life. In the words of Barbara Sargent, Spiritual Ecology ‘seeks to heal unspeakable wounds and tries to rebuild the fabric of our lives together with the Earth’. In doing so, it is, or at least holds the potential to be, an intersectional approach to creating change in our society. In this 1 hour mix of talk and workshop by Maaike Boumans, founder of Bright Future Lab, she will explore Spiritual Ecology through embodied practices and conversation.
15:30 – 16:30 Workshop: Peasant struggles for land and agroecology
In this workshop Leonardo van Berg will give a presentation about peasant struggles for land and agroecology in the Netherlands and internationally. Leonardo is a board member of Toekomstboeren, an organisation of Dutch peasant farmers and member of La Via Campesina.
16:45 – 17:45 Workshop: Self-sufficient and off-grid
Strohplatz explains warmth water energy and sustainable toilet use. This might be interesting for you when you are building a tiny house, or when you are (re)building your place in an as much sustainable and environment friendly way as possible.
16:45 – 17:45 Workshop: How to make vegan mozzarella
We are happy to announce that Dennis Spronk, the founder of FreeYou, a company that helps people to live healthier and happier, will join our Food Autonomy Festival and shows us how to make vegan mozzarella
16:45 – 19:00 Panel: How to support local farmers?
A diverse collection of groups, organizations and initiatives intent on resisting the further expansion of the industrial food system are emerging at growing rates. This resistance movement aims to create a food system that is fair and equitable to people and environment understanding small scale farmers and local food production/distribution the key to achieve food sovereignty. The aim of this panel discussion is to present several solutions to the current corporate-capitalist food system showing cases which are successful in supporting small scale farmers in different ways. From farmers collectives to CSA’s and food coops we’ll be sharing and learning about these projects and discussing about policies and tools to help small scale farmers.
18:00 – 19:00 Lecture: Police Spokes Person
If you are ready to get more involved in direct action, from squatting to infrastructure blocking, it’s always good to have a handle on what your rights are, and what the rights of the police are. Come to this workshop for some practical advice from experienced police spokespeople on how to talk with the police, how much information you have to share and tips on how to stay calm and make space for yourself in these sorts of confrontations. Practice makes perfect!
18:00 – 19:00 Lecture: Farming and the share ecomony
The German farm Karlahof, which describes itself as “communal subsistence” or “non-capitalist agriculture” is joining the FAF with a lecture on “Farming and the share economy”. The Karlahof does not want to attach value to their products and therefore they are not intended for sale and not for equal exchange relations, therefore most of the crops are donated. With this project, Karlahof wants to inspire thoughts on alternatives to capitalist production and trade relations. The lecture invites people to brainstorm with one person from the farm on how they can envision production of goods and food in a utopian society.
19:00 – 20:30 Dinner
21:00 – 22:30
 Night Programme
Flipping Bitches
Borka Balogh

Saturday, 01.06.

08:00 – 09:00 Yoga and ecological meditation (please bring a matt, if possible)
08:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 – 11:00 Interactive session: Journeying around Food
We take for granted the variety of ways in which we are nourished but many of these ways arise because of the ways in which we have related to the Earth and her people’s near and far. What can we learn about our sovereign relationships of nourishment and what can this teach us about how we manage our future food?
10:00 11:00 Guided Tour at the Boterbloem
During this walk we will hear about the ongoing struggle to save the Boterbloem organic farm, the fertile soil of the wider Lutkemeerpolder, about the history of the farm, and how Behoud Lutkemeer is resisting the construction plans of a business park.
11:15 – 12:15 Workshop: Growing Mushrooms
In this workshop on “mushroom growing”, you will learn about the ecological role of fungi and its use cases. Particularly why the oyster mushroom is great to grow at home. You’ll build your own home-growing kit from recycled materials.
Important: Remember to bring a used 1.5 – 3 liter plastic bucket with a lid.
11:15 – 12:15 Info talk: Free the Soil
Learn more about the campaign “Free the Soil” at the FAF! Radical action is a rational response to the destruction caused by the industrial food system and the synthetic fertilizer industry it depends on. That is why participants of the Free the Soil campaign will block infrastructure in a mass civil disobedience action at one of the largest production plants of nitrogen fertilizers in Europe, Yara’s facility in Brunsbüttel (Germany) in September of this year. In this info talk, learn more about how synthetic fertilizers contribute to the climate crisis, the exploitative practices of production giant Yara, and how to get involved in shutting them down.
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch
11:15 – 16:30 Action Training
Stroomversnellers is a trainers collective that provides training to groups working on social and environmental justice – and we are lucky to have them at the FAF. They will give an introduction to civil disobedience and direct action. This workshop will also have tips for those preparing for upcoming mass actions, like Ende Gelände and Free The Soil.
14:15 – 16:30 Panel: Intersectionality and food justice
ASEED is honoured to host a diversity of distinguished guest speakers in a panel on intersectionality and food justice. Luz Cruz whose “identities as a Queer Trans Person of Colour working in agriculture and food sovereignty for a colony of the United States puts her in a position where she offers a perspective that is different than most”. Also Mama D, a community researcher and learning facilitator who embraces and endorses the ways of the Earth in terms of diversity and intersectionality from a place of pluriversal consciousness and practice, joins our panel. Furthermore, we can confirm the presence of members of the Mwanamke Afrofeminist Collective in Belgium and Oona Morrow à critical and feminist geographer with expertise in food justice and alternative food networks.
14:15 – 15:15 Workshop: Edible plants
In this workshop you get an introduction on how to distinguish edible from non-edible plants that are growing in Northern Europe.
15:30 – 16:30 Lecture: Food Forest
Wouter van Eck will give a talk about the role of food forests as a future farming system. What are food forests, what are the benefits and is it more productive or cost effective than regular commercial agricultural system? Can it feed a growing world population? We’ll discuss all these topics during the workshop.
16:45 – 17:45 Workshop: Guerilla Gardening
In this workshop with Sameena we will be planting a wildflower meadow, sowing oak tree seeds, and making an herb garden. We will also have the opportunity to throw seed bombs provided by Cityplot to make the concrete-dominated city more beautiful!
16:45 – 17:45: Workshop: Permaculture
We are happy to announce that Anna’s Tuin will be holding a workshop on permaculture at the FAF. Permaculture is a creative design process based on whole-systems thinking informed by ethics and design principles that feature on this site. Born from a student initiative, Anna’s Tuin & Ruigte is a green place with permaculture design that aims to create an urban ecological corridor that serves both nature and neighbourhood.
16:45 – 19:00 Panel: Radical Action as a rational response
The word radical is politically understood more often that not to be associated with being extreme. Extreme in views, or measures taken. And being extreme is typically perceived as negative. However, radical can also mean getting to the root of something. If we want to get the the root of the problems we see around us; structural inequality, the reckless destruction of the planet, and the rise in openly fascist political parties then perhaps it’s time to question whether “radical” is such a negative thing to be. In order to negate the worst effects of climate change we must indeed change the world around us radically. For a panel discussion at the FAF we have invited different direct action groups to speak about who they are, why they take action, and how they do it. From mass actions, to secretly planned disruptive performances we’ve got a few views on how to stand up for what you believe. Members of Fossil Free Culture, Code Rood, Extinction Rebellion, Gastivists, and Free the Soil will all be joining for this discussion. Want to know more about what it means to disobey and how to do it? Then this is certainly a discussion you will enjoy. Bring your questions and thoughts as well, this panel is intended to be an open discussion!
18:00 – 19:00 Workshop: Singing
Wanna prove your beautiful voice? Then this singing workshop will be your chance to shine! The group will be singing simple songs from various traditions about nature, land and connection to place – and the fight to keep land in public hands!
18:00 – 19:00 Lecture: Cherish the Soil
The soil is alive. Numerous bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, insects, mammals and plant roots form a complex community of organisms that are mutually dependent. Together, they create the conditions conducive to life. In this lecture Marc Siepman explains the relations in the soil and lets you look in whole new way to soil life and plants and the health they can bring if we loosen our grip.
19:00 – 20:30 Dinner and Food Autonomy Festival official talk
21:00 – 22:30 Night Programme

Bucket Boyz
Black Tarantula
Bastard Child of Vaudeville

Government Shutdown and/or Wikileaks by Ewan

Sunday, 02.06.

08:00 – 09:00 Aikido
08:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 – 11:00 Surprise event
10:00 – 11:00 Workshop: Acid-Alkaline life savings account
Dennis Spronk, the founder of FreeYou, a company that helps people to live healthier and happier, wills how how to improve your health by alkalising your body (balancing your pH level).
11:15 – 12:15 Reflection
11:15 – 12:15 Workshop: Ecosystem restauration
The South-East of Spain is under threat of climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources. This talk on Ecosystem restoration will focus on how local people are using landscape restoration and legal struggles to fight back. The speaker will present the combined effects of climate change and overexploitation of natural resources in the region of Sorbas, threatening the local ecosystem.
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch
From 14:00 Dismantling of the camp


There will be a children’s programme throughout the whole festival. Find the programme here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2337798469810136/

You can find the main event of the festival here: