Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

In the past few weeks, thousands of folks have gathered in Occupy demonstrations across the country to protest the greed of banks, the power of corporations, widespread unemployment, the widest income gap in US history.


This corporate control has affected all of us - the farm families that have been forced off the land, leading to factory farms and industrial, chemical intensive agribusiness; and the eaters who are facing dwindling choices in the food system, higher costs for organic and local products, and degradation of our national natural resource base. Food is too important to be put into the hands of a few corporations! 


The mission of HOMEGROWN.org is to "create a place where our love for food and the land evolves, deepens, and becomes something more fulfilling. A place where we can hear and appreciate the bigger stories that our food has to share – and connect to the source of our food: the land and the grower: The family farm." Our goal as a community is to empower all of the growers, producers, eaters, chefs, craftspeople, builders, makers, and do-ers to get involved and share their skills, to feel inspired and to embrace living HOMEGROWN. The DIY movement has freed us from corporate control of our kitchens and gardens. 


By living HOMEGROWN, all of us are occupying the food system and forging an independence from corporate control on some level: by planting and growing gardens to feed our families and communities, supporting family farmers in new markets, trying new recipes that feature local, seasonal foods, building/making/crafting everyday items, and reducing consumption, reusing/repurposing our stuff, and recycling or composting waste.

Food is the tie that binds all Americans, from farmers to eaters, together.  Invite those who are occupying and those who are not into the food conversation.  Be inspired to bring your skills and food sovereignty knowledge to your local movement:

  • Resurrect the potluck! What can you bring to the Occupy “potluck”.  Produce to protestors? A gathering of friends over food to talk about the issues (and the changes!) together?
  • Hold a skillshare in the Occupy squares.  Across the country the folks who are gathering are bringing their own individuality to the movement.  Learn a new growingcooking, or making skill and take to the streets with our HOMEGROWN 101s and How-To cards.  Save and spread the seeds of change widely!
  • Carve your Occupy slogan into a locally-grown pumpkin and share it with others.


Start your own occupation in your kitchen or garden. 

  • Adopt these 5 ways to have a HOMEGROWN kitchen and commit to growing your own, buying locally and keeping food dollars in the community, and cooking from scratch. 
  • Start a local bartering or canning club with like-minded folks in your area and get good food on every table.  
  • Plan a garden in your backyard, and deliver the produce to community members or Occupiers.  
  • Check out what people in our HOMEGROWN groups are doing and talking about (there’s a group for every person and every interest) and get involved.  


What Occupy movements are happening in your town or city? How can we inject the problems with our food system into these Occupy conversations? What can each of us do to bring the corporate control of agriculture to the table? There are lots of ways to Occupy the food system at home or with the public.  Let us know what changes you’re making and how you’re getting involved! Share stories, photos, videos, and ideas with us!

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Hi Viggie's Veggies,

You're completely entitled to disagree with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Whether it's the manner in which the participants conduct themselves or any of the many controversial issues they bring to the table, there is sure to be discord between critics and supporters alike. But when an argument arises that is justified and dire, I believe disagreement can be put aside for another time while we focus, together, on making that argument heard.

Corporate control of the farming sector is having and will continue to have disastrous effects on our country's economy, health, water and soil quality, and overall agricultural system unless we do something about it. Farm Aid works to protect the small, family-owned farms that have the power to reverse this bleak outlook. The protestors on Wall Street are standing up against corporate farming, a stance that sits at the very heart of Farm Aid's mission. You said that you've volunteered for Farm Aid in the past, and that mission has not changed since then-- it certainly has not changed since the "Occupy" movement began.

You eat. The occupiers eat. We're all involved in agriculture!
I really admire the work you're doing! Maybe we will see an Occupy Kitchens in the near future :) Occupation Celebration is definitely the way to think about the issues when it comes to living HOMEGROWN - celebrate and spread the message about good food from good people!

alyce santoro said:
WONDERFUL - so happy to see this post!! i just reposted it on the facebook USE HALF NOW campaign. i also co-admin the OCCUPY EVERYWHERE facebook page - it seems clear that occupying the food system, using less, buying/growing/cooking locally is one of the most profound ways to change the system for the better, no matter where we may be. i wonder if there's some specific OCCUPY (KITCHENS?) ACTION that we could plan and promote - much like the BANK TRANSFER DAY day planned for nov 5? we OCCUPIED our local farmstand out here in marfa texas last weekend with much success - we called it an OCCUPATION CELEBRATION, highlighting all the ways we are striving to support our community!
Resurrect the barter! Resurrect the potluck! Way to go, Diana - you're maximizing your impact, and I'm sure it tastes better than what you can get from industrial farms!

Diana Grazia said:

My husband and I both were fired from our jobs, so our income is limited.  We grow vegetables in our garden, and then I either freeze them or can.  My entire family shares, and we also share with our neighbors. If I get a deal of b1g2 of potatoes, one bag goes to my brother, and he shares with his tenants.  I make my own jam, and pickles. If I don't have enough produce, my siblings give me their over stock, and then I share what  I can or freeze with them. My son raises chickens, so my eggs are free. 

 I am a chef, so cooking is something I love to do. Nothing goes to waste. A meal becomes another meal, and if there is a bit left over; my dog gets a treat. My entire family shares our food sources, and we try hard to buy locally. Today I will buy a basket of apples from a neighbor. 

  I also make my own cleaning supplies. A spray bottle, mixed with part water, part dawn dish soap, white vinegar, and part rubbing alcohol is my favorite surface cleaner. Oil and vinegar are for dusting. I use rags to dust and then  wash over and over. Nearly everything I buy is second hand, or free. Free cycle is my good friend. 

Caroline, not just locally grown food... healthful food. you didn't indicate where you live but there is a movement to use all land - lawns, parks  included. i live within 75 miles of NYC; fairly rural. the markets in the local areas are fair depending on the economy of the area.  i am 2 generations removed from farming, many of the farms were destroyed by the government albeit laws & banks.  the self-sustaining movement to live off the grid, is already several decades old. even the state prison system "cut" costs by closing prison farms that were self-sustaining, revenue making, theraputic vechicles for rehabilitation. imho, the OWS is on the wrong street.  if we want our country back, weed to take the measures & responsibility for those measures.  Rome wasn't built in a day but it did fall. Technology & the Industrial Revolution spurred the move from Farms to Cities over 100 years ago. perhaps a reversal of that movement would bring back balance.  I recommend the Foxfire Books.

Thank you for all the great suggestions on how I can be involved locally. 


~~ pelenaka ~~



Another story of the rural perspective in terms of the movement and efforts to mobilize.




News from the protestors in Fargo...

Queens Village NY , Oct 16, 2011

    I have Brocoli growing behind my apartment in Queens Village(nyc) , I have four very special  White Oaks ,1 year olds, in pots they stand undisturbed in front of the rented garage here, I have a couple of lucuma plants on the window sill and do enjoy gardening, I think I'll get outside soon . Bye for now.

    yours faithfully,


Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on Occupy movements in Rural America, Rachel! :) Keep it coming!

Rachel Reynolds Luster said:



News from the protestors in Fargo...

A great mention from Calamity Jane on Apron Stringz


"This morning I read about Homegrown’s Occupy the Food System and felt a refreshing spark of inspiration. My Man and I have been following the Occupy protests and it’s killing him not to be able to go to NY. He loves big, extreme action; I’ve always been the quieter homebody revolutionary, the change from within type. When I saw Homegrown’s article today, a little bell went off. I’m not sure what HG’s purpose is exactly, it seemed exploratory. They know they belong somewhere in this movement and are trying to figure out where. I wish I were feeling a little more peppy right about now, because I suddenly understood that all of us can, from our very own homes, Occupy Wall Street. And I don’t mean in any quaint, anecdotal way. We could effect a very real disruption of the corporate beast by simply refusing to feed it with our money. Imagine if everyone who supports the Occupy concept but can’t get to a protest, instead boycotted all corporations for a month. As in, really didn’t buy anything beyond absolute survival necessities. If enough people did it, even just a week could make an enormous statement!"


Well said! Anyone else out there do anything to Occupy this weekend in your home?

Yes! I recently attending a Baltimore City neighborhood party where they had local arts and craft vendors, a greens cook-off hosted by the neighborhood community garden/farm, music, kids activities, and even a t.v. playing the Ravens game! I believe that the more community events like that the better. The Occupy protests are great for another reason and for bringing political pressure. Kudos for advertising the different way to "occupy" your own lifestyle to create the type of world we'd like to live in!
Thanks for sharing, Aliza! This sounds like a great thing to start doing in all cities.  Hoping to get involved myself with some easy skillshares.  Any ideas anyone?

Aliza Ess said:
Yes! I recently attending a Baltimore City neighborhood party where they had local arts and craft vendors, a greens cook-off hosted by the neighborhood community garden/farm, music, kids activities, and even a t.v. playing the Ravens game! I believe that the more community events like that the better. The Occupy protests are great for another reason and for bringing political pressure. Kudos for advertising the different way to "occupy" your own lifestyle to create the type of world we'd like to live in!

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