Urban Agriculture students learn about corporate food systems, alternative and more equitable models of urban-based agriculture, and larger food and environmental justice movements. That’s when they aren’t getting their hands dirty in the University of San Francisco Community Garden and with organizations around the Bay Area, learning advanced skills in organic gardening, permaculture, urban homesteading, sustainable living and local food production and distribution.
As you wind down Mount Lebanon towards Chtaura, the Bekaa valley unveils. The heterogeneous pattern of fertile fields and anarchic urbanisation is a reminder that Lebanon inherits its identity as much from millennial traditions as from the development dynamics of past decades.
Very few trees break the monotony of this over exploited land. Many different factors have to be taken into account to explain this bleakness: the 19th century Ottoman Empire’s agricultural policy, the dire need of wood during World War I, the Syrian occupation at the end of the 20th century. But as you continue your way towards Anjar and the Syrian border, a sudden burst of vegetation breaks the cycle of buildings and poor-looking agricultural lands.
More than 40 leaders in farming, food production, environmental studies and theology gathered at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., in November to dialogue about the challenges of 21st-century agriculture and how faith traditions can inform solutions to such things as food shortages, environmental degradation and the ethical use of biotechnology.