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Blog

  • Trip to Guantanamo

    “You see…that tiny strip of lights…that’s Guantanamo Bay. Less than 3% of the total territory of this province, yet the only thing the world knows about us”

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    A twenty-two long hour bus ride, with stops in seven different locations around the island, launched my trip to the 5th International AgroEcology Conference hosted by ANAP, the National Association of Small Producers, in Cuba. For two whole days, we visited urban and rural farms, met with campesinos, representatives of multiple coops and associations, school children, families, and ANAP staff.

    Campesinos can be part of two different types of cooperatives in Cuba. CCS’s and CPA’s: Cooperatives of Credit and Services and Cooperatives of Small Producers. The CCS’s we visited have an average of 200 members, and the presidents and representatives of each association are campesinos themselves. Every associate is member of the cooperative’s General Assembly, in which they all vote for candidates for different roles of the association, for the amount of land or products that will be earmarked to fund the cooperative and staff, for capital investments and much more.

    Cooperation in Cuba is not just a nice word. It is felt in the spirit of the people, in the pride for their citizenship and their land. In 2008, Law 259 was passed, which gave people the right to petition the government for land that was not being used to start agroecological farms. The “Distribution of Usufruct Land” Law allows farmers become owners of the land and they not only receive incentives but rewards for farming sustainably and being part of the distributed network of campesinos that feed themselves, their communities and their country. The international Campesino a Campesino movement, started by Via Campesina, is an integral part of the Cuban food system. Campesinos, share resources, help, and train each other with the help of ANAP.

    ANAP is a non-governmental organization, however, they work closely with the Cuban Department of Agriculture, Trade, Health, among others. Increasing food security and food sovereignty in Cuba  are the government’s mandates, and their tools and systems are guided by the principles of AgroEcology and Sustainable Farming. With the scarce resources of the country, the people have made long leaps and strides into the future of a sustainable and just global food system.

     The children we met at two of the farms we visited, were members of a school interest group who visited and worked in the farm once or twice a week. They gave us presentations about what their groups mission and the principles they were learning about. Composting, the use of animals in the farm, the use of live and death plant barriers to prevent erosion, the benefits of polyculture, vermiculture, the exclusive use of natural and organic inputs to cultivate a healthy land and produce healthy foods, higher in nutrient content than their industrially produced counterparts. There is more. Watch the video. It is incredible.

    The general conference wasn’t to begin till we all came back, from all 7 provinces my bus-mates  and I (15 in total) visited, and twenty-two more hours on the road.

  • Kroger Rewards Local

    Now you can support local farmers, artists, musicians and other local creatives when you shop at Kroger!

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    Thanks to this program The Locals will receive contributions from you when you shop for toilet paper, butter or toothpaste!

    Here are the detailed instructions of how to link your Kroger Card to support The Locals

    HOW TO USE THE KROGER COMMUNITY REWARDS PROGRAM:

    • Register online at krogercommunityrewards.com
    • Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy and register your card with The Locals after you sign up.
    • Click on Sign In/Register
    • Most participants are new online customers, so they must click on SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘New Customer?’ box.
    • Sign up for a Kroger Rewards Account by entering zip code, clicking on favorite store, entering your email address and creating a password.
    • You will then get a message to check your email inbox and click on the link within the body of the email.
    • Click on My Account and use your email address and password to proceed to the next step.
    • Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number.
    • Update or confirm your information.
    • Enter number 30989 or The Locals, select organization from list and click on confirm.
    • To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right side of your information page.

     

    • Do you use your phone number at the register?  Call 800-576-4377, select option 4 to get your Kroger Plus card number.
    • Members must swipe their registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger Plus card when shopping for each purchase to count.
  • Supporting Local Producers

     

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    Now that we are rockingLocalFoodSnapshotMarias.png and rolling around on our trike, and partnering with Zaza's to provide local ingredients, we want to highlight our awesome local producers that make all this possible. Meet the people behind the wonderful products we all enjoy!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Riding for Change

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    DSC_0126.jpgOur trike is finally here. You should see us around town rolling with our local products, delicious cold brew coffee and all the information you need about kickstarting the local food movement in Conway. Visit our events page to see where we are going to show up next! And please help us spread the word about our work and find more supporters to make this project sustainable for a long time to come. Click here to make a donation and find out other ways in which you can support The Locals. 

     

     

     

     

  • The Locals on Wheels

    IMG_3542.JPGIt is coming! All the way from Philadelphia made by Haley Trikes, The Locals Mobile market is going to get us to the next level. You will see us cruising around Conway to promote local food and increase access to local products. It will be so much fun and we will bring local food, arts, crafts, soaps & more close to you! So don't forget to follow us, like us and sign up for our newsletter for updates and to find out where we will be popping out next!  IMG_3543.JPG

  • The Food Hub!

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    We are making progress creating our tiny house-giant refrigerator for The Locals Food Hub. Thanks to our fabulous volunteers we are outfitting The Locals Tiny Food Hub House to become a place where local farmers can drop off local ingredients for local restaurants! If you would like to help just get in touch with us. We want to build a tiny picket fence and a small raised bed next to it to make it look super cute! With your help, we can make Local Food make a splash in Conway.

  • Zazas partnering with The Locals Food Hub

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    The Locals Food Hub is taking its first steps towards bringing more local ingredients into Conway restaurants. Zaza Fine Salad & Wood-Oven Pizza is the first restaurant we are collaborating with, but as the food hub develops we hope more Conway restaurants will jump into the local food band-wagon.In the next few days you will be able to taste delicious gelato made with Sugar Baby Watermelons from Los Tibiriches Farm , located in Acklin Gap Conway. Our goal is to connect more local farmers to local restaurants and facilitate their relationships to save them both time and let them do what they do best--grow food and cook it! Next time you are in one of your favorite restaurants, ask them if they have something with local ingredients in the menu. 

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  • Sponsor The Locals Food Hub Downtown

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    The Locals Food Hub is seeking sponsorships from businesses and individuals for their tiny-refrigerated-house that will be located on Front St in Downtown, Conway. For $150 sponsors will be recognized with their name or logo displayed at The Locals Food Hub on Front Street for one month, as well as on our website, social media outlets and press releases about our project.

    If you are interested in sponsoring The Locals' Food Hub please contact Sandra Leyva at

    (479) 259-1727 or at sandra@laluchaspace.com

     

  • The Fresh Directory

    FreshCard.pngAs part of the Farmers Market Promotion Program we have launched an online, interactive version of Arkansas Local Food Network's "Fresh Directory".  They worked hard to gather a lot of great information about our local food system. Now we are turning to you! This a living resource and we have built in easy ways for you to help us keep it up to date.

    Enough talk, go explore!

    Check out the Fresh Directory online!

    Are you a community organizer? Stay tuned because we will have an upcoming blog post about how you can make a similar online resource for your community with free tools.


     

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    The online Fresh Directory and how-to guides were created as part of the Farmers Market Promotion Program.

  • IT Careers Camp #WearableWednesday

    Tonight The Locals and some of our awesome volunteers were out at the IT Careers Camp hosted by UCA.  We had a great time getting students started on a wearable project.  You can check out a few photo highlights like this one by Dan Decker over on the AR Scene blog post.

    The rest of this post is aimed at campers that are sitting down to continue to play with their Gemma and need a little more guidance. Read on for the nitty gritty details.

     

     

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