This week our main objective is to analyze the data that we have already gathered from our first site, and CSA pick up visit and to hopefully come in contact with home owners and chefs who can give their personal feedback about Inner City Farms (ICF). We have substantial interviews from neighbours, and people walking by the farms that ICF has developed as well as extensive interviews with several CSA members. We plan to assess these transcribed interviews to detect trends in types of responses and opinions. Keeping in mind the asset-based approach to helping communities, and maintaining a constructive disposition, we want to equally represent positive and critical opinions within our final product. At this point, we are aiming to begin constructing our final report with this data, and add to it if need be. Additionally, if possible, we will contact chefs and homeowners associated with ICF, via email or phone, to gain their valuable opinions. Homeowners of the gardens and chefs that use ICF’s produce are crucial members of the ICF food system, and are worth the acknowledgment in our report. This week we will be making our final reach to chefs, CSA shareholders, land providers, and associate farmers, whom are involved with ICF via email.
So far our team has successfully reached out to the community at the Pandora gardens and to the members that frequent the ICF CSA pick up, while maintaining an ethical manner. As a group, we have learned how opinions and stories are incredibly diverse and influenced by a multitude of factors. It is difficult to plan for the unexpected, but as a group we have been consistently productive, mainly due to efficient communication. We have transcribed the data we have collected so far; and emailed chefs, land providers, associate farmers, and CSA shareholders, and look forward to their responses.
Moment of Significant Change
There was a unanimous agreement that physically meeting with our desired community members was more difficult than expected; especially with time constraints. As a group, we have great intentions and goals, but we can not achieve them without the opinions of people who are directly involved in ICF. We realized that the quality of our interviews would have to outweigh the quantity – collecting a large number of interviews proved to be difficult; especially within such an exclusive system. However, this moment of change was useful; we learned that our project is not so ‘black and white,’ it is a much more complicated and time-consuming feat. Our project is a priority for us, we learned to be understanding of others whom it is not a priority. The people that are involved with ICF have plenty to say, it is their passion. People that are not so directly involved usually have less to say, and often have criticisms. The knowledge gap quickly became very apparent, and now we must plan to illustrate it ethically and suggest ways to address it within our final report.
The Graceful Dismount
Our project will be complete when we create a cohesive report of all the opinions and stories we have gathered thus far; this is easier said than done. The dismount will consist of stepping back and comparing, contrasting, connecting, and utilizing the different opinions of the ICF food system; and returning to our original goals. These goals included, but are not limited to, personal improvement, being sensitive to the cultural aspects of food, and improving the food security and sustainability of a community. Our Moment of Significant Change reflects how we learned to be sensitive and understanding to the social and cultural aspects of local food production members. Our report will hopefully be useful in the improvement of Vancouver’s food security and sustainability, in some way, in the long term. Personal improvement is subjective, but it is agreeable that we will each be taking some valuable lessons from this experience; that will definitely be useful in the future.
Ultimately, we will judge our project successfully completed when we have reached to goals outlined in our project proposal. We hope to gather positive and constructive criticism from the conversations with the community and we realize that the quality of these conversations will be more important than the number of conversations that we have had. Along with educating and engaging the community about urban agriculture, we expect the feedback we have gathered from various conversations will provide beneficial to IFC regarding their policies.