What can small scale agricultural feminine practices inform about the importance of homegardens for biodiversity conservation and cultural affirmation?
Homegardens Sites of in situ conservation and experimentation Repositories of traditional environmental knowledge Deeply tied to women’s identity Afrocolombian territorial claims Key for reconstruction after displacement
Homegardens and homeplace-making Homeplace (hooks 1990): Physical and symbolic marginal places that enabled the reconstitution of the black family and the social fabric Women’s material and cultural practices and social interactions to turn space into place
Poliactivity and complementarity in time and space Economies based on a multiple, flexible, and seasonal exploitation of the different ecosystems (forests, rivers, mangroves, estuaries, coasts) for hunting, gathering, mining, fishing, swidden agriculture, and wage labor.
Socio-ecological relations Homegardens synthesize social, economic and ecological relationships of Afrocolombians with their environment (espacios de uso). Pueblo Mercado Longos Mar Manglar Finca Monte Bravo Zotea
Complementarity between homegarden and fields, and monte WILD PLANTS HOMEGARDEN PLANTS Sporadic useDaily use Specialists (doctors, witches)Home remedies Shade plantsSun tolerant plants No management Intensive management, constant rotation Stronger, bitterLess strong, less bitter FINCAHOMEGARDEN Food plants (rice, corn, fruit trees, roots) Medicine, protection, aromatic Fewer varieties in more quantities Many species Crop managementIndividual management
Homegarden spatial arrangement: plant use and habit JARDIN (front) PATIO (back) ZOTEA (raised garden) Bushy, herbaceous Trees, bushes, herbaceous Herbaceous “Luxury”, protection Fruit, food, shade, fodder, medicine, crafts, fences… Aromatic, medicinal, fruit tree seedlings Least diverseMost diverseDiverse
Emplaced knowledge Cultivation practices based on agronomic and cultural principles related to soils, water, and plants In situ conservation of native and introduced species Soil management in patios Seed improvement and plant enhancement in zoteas
Women’s identity We care for plants as we care for our families A well swept patio, well cleaned, is like a woman with a house that is organized or well treated, that is, that is well dressed, well combed
Afrocolombian territorial rights “ autonomous place for the reproduction of a distinct culture” (PCN 1996-1998) “where the social matrix is woven generation after generation” (Network of Black Women of the Pacific 2002) The ensemble of relations and practices between the natural and the social worlds at the level of body, home, habitat, and community, where nature and culture, women and environment, ethnicity and ecology converge (Escobar, Rocheleau, and Kothari 2002:29)
Deterritorialization and terror: displacing homeplace From 1 to 2 million internally displaced 17.7% of the total displaced population, are blacks and 47% are women (RSS 2002) Loss of the collectivity and the territory Loss of physical and symbolic homeplace Ecological and cultural erosion
Returning communities Homegardens: sites for re-membering Seeds of resistance: food security, social networks of exchange, revaluing local knowledge and practices Restitute the value of the margin as a site of resistance, creativity, recovery, and power (hooks 1990)