Finn Mackesy of the Auckland Permaculture Workshop suggests: ”One of the things that helped Cuba navigate their food crisis was their cultural history. The experience of previous famines was passed down. They were aware of their history as it related to food security, which allowed them to quickly move past the “Oh no!” phase, and into action. They have a pride in their ability to overcome and adapt, and it made a difference, because the change was signi cant, but they got on with it.” Gary Marshall, a partner of Mackesy’s at APW says: “The reality is that Auckland is a very different place to Havana. Auckland is less dense, so were we to hit a crisis as they did, it would be about transportation and one’s relative location to food. You would nd things like retro tting rooftops and carparks wouldn’t really be necessary here, as we have far more access to fertile land. The denser the population gets, the more technical the problems become.” Marshall adds: “the most critical lesson of all, and one where Cuba with its political history was well placed to succeed, was social; i.e. learning to work together in groups, learning skills like advocacy, con ict resolution, and creating and sharing common goals.” The Auckland Permaculture Workshop runs 12 workshops per year www.aucklandpermacultureworkshop.co.nz
Gary Marshall and Finn Mackesy of Auckland Permaculture Workshop. Photo: Ted Baghurst.