We have become accustomed to “what we want, when we want”. We must now re-learn how to eat what Nature provides in plenty “where we are, when we are”.
Consumer education and community building to facilitate use of the tokri veggies might include; dealing with large quantities of seasonal food- recipes, preservation introducing “new” foods- uncultivated, forgotten, celebrating (slow) food- sharing traditional food preparation methods, cooking together, film screenings, food meditation newsletter, blog, recipe exchange, etc. Also farm visits. Linking to other closely related food movements- urban farming.
While we initially considered a participatory guarantee scheme (PGS) system which emphasises peer group accountability with regards to on-farm policy and practice, because of the distances between farms this is not quite viable. We decided to develop an internal certification process using various criteria drawn from the PGS standards and creating a team including both farmer and consumer representatives of MOFCA that will visit farms and understand their views and practices of sustainability. We will support farmers as they transition to organic and eventually natural farming.
The PGS (Participatory Guarantee System) is an internationally applicable organic quality assurance system [like ISO 9000] implemented and controlled by the committed organic farmer-producers through active participation, along with the consumers, in the process based on verifiable trust. It is not an “inspection raj” certification system but, rather, one that is based on personal integrity and peer pressure. Integrity is honesty when no one is looking over your shoulder to see what you are doing. The farmer pledges that the production process is free from manufactured chemicals [fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, hormones, etc] and lives by his word of honour. The“Local Group” of five or more organic farmers and consumers is the fulcrum of the self-regulatory support system of PGS.
Seed saving and other resource sharing and networking activities to support on-farm work has started on a small scale.