Written by: Carly Childs
Prior to working with Acta Non Verba, my understanding of the food system was shaped by classroom knowledge, reading, others’ experiences, and my own observations in the communities I consider my own. Capturing food systems through reading is a very difficult challenge and divider when it comes to experiencing real life situations. You can explain what it means to love, but until you have felt it yourself, you are stuck with this definition of what love means in someone else’s eyes. What shapes us as beings is unique to what we experience. Just like our image of love is my image of the food system. I was told on several accounts what the food system looks like, the definitions and facts I was taught were all I knew. And as true as they were, it all sunk in when I was able to put words to a picture during my time at Acta Non Verba. “Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV) elevates life in the inner city by challenging oppressive dynamics and environments through urban farming.” Located in the City of Oakland’s Tassafaranga Park, the quarter acre grows more than plants, and I was fortunate to witness the selflessness that sprouts from ANV and opens up a world of fresh grown food and interactive gardening for the children in the inner city. Children shape the food system because they are the future generation, and that is why we must emphasize what is available for them to fuel their bodies.