In 2019 members of El Centro began to explore the idea of starting a community garden in the Lower Westside Neighborhood of Santa Barbara. After a year of organizing a partnership with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Rec Department, the Somos Semillas Food Sovereignty Project (We are Seeds) was established on unceded Chumash land. The mission of this community garden is to be used for educational purposes and empowerment revolving around topics such as food sovereignty, food justice, and agroecology. The intention is to offer a physical space to cultivate community towards ecological justice and to serve as a hub for place based learning and cultural revitalization through integrating food education, land stewardship, and community building. We are currently building out our consensus based organizing framework to explore cooperative models around self-governance and self-determination, where our collective members voices can be invited and shared. We operate under the principle of radical inclusivity which prioritizes historically oppressed identities including queer, trans, & bipoc members of our community. This empowers us to take on leadership and be active agents in our local food system in order to push the dominant narrative where our stories have been ignored or erased. As the impacts and challenges of the current economic and ecological crisis (including the pandemic) unfolds we continue to explore creative solutions to meet the needs and the resilience of our community.
Video about the Somos Semillas Food Soverignty Project
Our Community Partners
We are excited to have partnered this last year with Wilderness Youth Project, SBCC Permaculture program, California Alliance of Community Composting (LA Compost), Santa Barbara Food Action Network, Pesticide Free Soil Project who contributed to the success in seeding this project.