Reconnecting with food: Community building through environmental stewardship and hyper-local food production in Hudson, Quebec

This is the original blurb for my Master's research, the basis for this blog. This is the beginning of the journey - let's see how it evolves from here!

Social Ecological Systems have become an important focus of environment management as humans have become recognized as an integral part of ecosystems, both having an effect on and being affected by the health of the environment. A critical way that this is felt is through the food system, where food production and harvesting practices either nourish or destroy ecosystems, where the quality of food that is being consumed is beneficial or detrimental to human well-being, and where the food culture present either nurtures or fragments human communities. Civic ecology is an emerging field, which involves action research that encourages resilient community building through environmental education and stewardship (Krasny and Tidball, 2009).

For my Masters thesis, I propose to use civic ecological principles to begin the first phase of a suburban farm on my family’s property in Hudson, Quebec. My plan involves creating a community around food production and environmental stewardship activities as we engage together in transforming a non-productive lawn into a sustainable edible landscape, using permaculture design principles. I will attempt to answer the following question: How does hyper-local food production encourage sustainable community building? My research methodology will include video documentation, qualitative interviews with participants, and quantitative measurements of the food produced as well as (possibly) other economic and ecological indicators.

Here is a wordle of some relevant research terms:

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