Food Sovereignty Tours in Cuba: Thoughts on the Importance of Soil

Marina Vergara | 07.05.2017

On our June Food Sovereignty Tour to Cuba, delegates visited La Coincidencia, a permaculture farm in Matanzas, Cuba. This farm is known for its creation of beautiful ceramic art and its holistic approach to growing a variety of different crops — from fruit trees and timber to beans and sweet potatoes. Owners Odalys and Hector showed the group around their farm, touring the many trees and crops they grow, and taught the delegates about the importance of soil and agroecological practices. Leonor Hurtado, Food Sovereignty Tour Guide, describes the group’s experience at the farm, as well as the importance of what this farm is all about:

Delegates gather around to learn more about the importance of soil.

“It was a beautiful day at La Coincidencia; conceived as the “coincidence” of land, soil, life, love, art, and happiness, all together to build the best of each person, this visit was a moving experience for us all.

At La Coincidencia, we walked around, learned the names of the many trees and crops on the farm, gained an understanding of the production cycle, and worked the land a little bit. We talked a lot about soil and its importance, as well as the different goals of monoculture and agroecology.

Ceramic art in the making.

Soil is the resource that allows us to produce food, a necessity for life. Soil also allows us to express ourselves through creating ceramics and art, one of the main resources for our spiritual life.

Monoculture is economically productive for corporations, but is harmful for nature, and for our lives and spirits. Monoculture means one product, one goal, one way of thinking. Profit is the only thing that matters, not creation, and there is no respect for the earth or nature. Agroecology, on the contrary, focuses on producing harmoniously with nature, stimulating life in multiple directions. Variety, crop rotation, dialogue with nature, respect, and love for living creatures, is its essence.

At this site, we were able to taste the product of the farmer’s work, and feel the soil’s energy.”

For more information about our upcoming Food Sovereignty Tours, please visit https://foodfirst.org/tours/our-tours/