For all those who consider food an important thing, and don’t want to eat out of plastic all the time, living in the city can be a contradiction. This is especially true for a vast city like Paris and for its numerous students, a category of people highly vulnerable to the food industry and its commercial priorities. In order to offer an alternative, groups of dedicated students have established collectives to buy organic produce together from farmers working the countryside around the French capital.
Like every year, people all across the Mediterranean sea embarked upon harvesting olives, as it has been for more than 7,000 years. Among the hills of the Valle d’Itria, in south Italy, most families have their own olives and pick them around November, before they fall off the branches. Usually by time people get around to do it, summer is long gone, turning the harvest in a cold race against the coming rain.
In South Italy one understands the summer is coming to an end when people begin to talk about the “sugars”, referring to the sugar content of their grapes. When the “sugars” are right, it is time to embark on the yearly ritual of the grape harvest, which in Puglia means enlisting your friends and family for a few days of work and drinking on what might as well be the last hot days of the year.
Home to the Bonneau family, La Grange des Champs is an organic cheese farm near Lorris, a small French village some 100 km south of Paris. Among the plains of the Loiret department, the farm hosts about 45 cows and produces a variety of the finest French cheeses, striving to put into practice small-scale, organic and sustainable agriculture.
A few hundreds meters from the southern shores of the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) lies Degania Aleph, the first kibbutz. Founded in 1910 by ten men and two women, Degania was the original model for the communal agricultural settlements which established the first facts on the ground of the Zionist project. Today, Degania is home to 300 members, 150 children and 100 residents, living and working in one of Israel’s oldest and most prestigious communities.