Update: Be sure to check out the new book Roots Of Resilience! Explore how you can make your farm and community more resilience.
The Resilience Project explores why some farms, communities and societies last and others don’t. First and foremost, our project seeks to establish local food systems which create healthy lives and communities. We’d like to just stay on the farm, and work with our friends and family to build our soils and cultivate our herbs and vegetables. But we know we can’t focus just on the farm and community. Powerful societies and corporations all over the world are so focused on short term profit that they are destroying the foundations for life. Entire species and local ecosystems are being eliminated every day.
Meadowcreek has long produced healthy food for its residents and community. We continue that today, and began the Resilience Project by seeking other resilient local food systems in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Leesa Johnson and Anna Nassiff conducted more than 40 interviews and developed eight case studies of these resilient systems which you can read here. Selina Straub joined them in refining the results in focus groups of farmers in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. We found eight necessary qualities which we are now applying throughout the 13 Southern States and wherever people want to create healthy, sustainable food systems.
The project began 20 years ago with the 1995 report known as “The State of the South,” which called for stronger local food systems. Since then local food systems have become the rage through much of the country and many parts of the world. But being locally organized is just the first step toward resilience. The other qualities of resilience and practical means for achieving them on the farm are detailed in our free online book. Though the Resilience Project is based in Meadowcreek, the research team spends much time travelling around the South to interview farmers and other participants in local food systems, facilitate workshops, and work with Dr. John Green of the Center of Population Studies at the University of Mississippi to show people how they can become more resilient.
Most basically, the Resilience Project asks how it can apply its findings to Meadowcreek. At thirty years old, Meadowcreek has some lessons in resilience of its own to offer. The Resilience Project and Meadowcreek continue to transform and learn from each other.