During Cuba's Special Period following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the dramatic reduction of financial and energy resources almost overnight, farm families were challenged to develop a food system capable of feeding themselves and their communities without the use of petroleum-based inputs. That meant no chemical fertilizers or pesticides to nourish and shield crops from pests and disease and no gasoline to fuel trucks to transport produce from rural areas to cities.
They met that challenge by rediscovering and reinventing the traditional farming practices of their ancestors who modeled their farms based on their observations of the natural world. In the process they developed what amounts to a "post-petroleum" system of food production called agroecology - a sustainable, resilient approach to growing healthy, nutritious food without adversely impacting terrestrial, aquatic or atmospheric environments.
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News from CUSAN
Announcement: Conferences in Cuba
11th International Conference of
Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
May 24-26, 2016 in Varadero, Cuba
October 23-30, 2016 in Varadero, Cuba
An agroecology network that will provide a vehicle for connecting sustainable food systems practitioners and advocates in the United States with their counterparts in Cuba has just been launched by the the Schumacher Center for a New Economics.