Join OGS for a Tour of Cuba’s Sustainable Farms

Learn from farmers and food activists about Cuba’s transition to agroecological farming practices and its national policies that prioritize organic farming and hunger remediation.

Connect with farmers, consumers, activists, NGOs, policymakers, and experts working to transform the global food system.

Acquire the knowledge and strategies to create just, sustainable, local, and healthy food systems in your own communities.

Agroecology = Agriculture + Ecology

Agroecology is the study of ecological systems as they apply to agriculture. It is a science, a movement, and a practice. At OGS, we like to think of the farm as a system and observe nature as the ideal model of sustainable production.

Agroecological practices strive to incorporate all elements of an agricultural ecosystem—water, nutrients, soil, plants, and animals—to maximize production and minimize impact. Agroecological methods include the following:

  • Silvopasture = animals in the woods
  • Agroforestry = forest farming
  • Permaculture = systems designed to be sustainable and self-sufficient

Of course, each of these methods has been practiced on every continent since humans have existed, though they are only recently being named and defined by the modern sustainable agriculture community.

During this trip, you will participate in and observe how the Cuban agricultural community has embraced agroecology in all of its forms and learn why Cuba is considered one of the leading global experts in agroecological methods.

The Union of Concerned Scientists provides a succinct and informative overview of Agroecology in “The ABCD’s of Agroecology: What Is It All About?”.

I have a picture of Che posted in my kitchen to remind me to aspire to be brave, persistent, compassionate and adventurous. I will do all I can to learn more about Cuba and the Cuban people's struggles—past and present. Cuba is in a unique position as the only country in the world that has gone so far into organic farming/gardening. We should all treasure that ... Every organic grower, given the opportunity to meet the Cuban growers, would be inspired and strengthened.

Cindy Trisler, Farmer at Mudluscious Gardens in Madison County, NC

March 2018 Cuba Agroecology Tour Participant

Fundraising for Organic Education

The Cuba Agroecology Tour is a fundraiser for Organic Growers School, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that’s been providing organic education in the Southern Appalachians for 25 years. Our program costs don’t cover our operating expenses, and it’s through community support that we’ve been able to sustain our educational programming for a quarter century. By participating in the Cuba Agroecology Tour, you are helping fund our programming and fulfill our mission: to educate, inspire, and support our community to farm, garden, and live sustainably.

Accommodations:
9 nights in casa particulares; extra fee for single room
Transportation: Provided in air conditioned coach.
Meals: 2-3 meals/day, combination of on-farm and restaurant meals and host home meals.
Cost: $2,950.
A non-refundable $500 deposit secures your place on the trip. Payment plans are available.
 

Included:  Sightseeing and technical visits, accommodations, transportation, meals. Professional tour manager with agricultural experience.

Not Included: Airfare, tour manager & driver tips, passport fees, transportation to extracurricular activities, travel insurance/visa fees, personal items, not all alcoholic beverages (but we promise there will be some.)

Full Itinerary Coming in September

The itinerary for the 2021 tour will be posted soon. In the meantime, view our 2018 itinerary (PDF).

Day 1: Arrival, Welcome Dinner

Arrive in Havana. 

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm — Check-in to casas Particulares.Reservation details and locations will be sent a month before departure.

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm — Welcome Address & Trip Goals. Introduction to Organic Growers School, Altruvistas.

7:00 pm — Welcome dinner.

 

Day 2: Orientation, History of Cuban Agriculture

9:00 am – 10:30 am — Orientation Meeting

10:30 am – 12:00 pm— The History of Cuban Agriculture

1:00 pm — Lunch at Hemingway’s Bodequita de Medio

2:30 pm – 6:00 pm — Havana: History Food & Architecture (walking tour)

What Does the Trip Cost?

The cost for the tour is $2,950. A non-refundable $500 deposit, paid by credit card or check, is required to secure your place on the trip. Payments for the remaining $2,450 can be made in full or installments. Payments are due in full no later than November 1, 2020.

Scholarships

We are offering a limited number of partial scholarships for $50–$900 to applicants based on need, interest, and available funds. We will review applications and award scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis with consideration to the following:

  • Financial need.
  • The type of work the applicant plans to do upon their return from the trip.
  • Applicant’s level of community involvement and engagement in work related to sustainable agriculture in Southern Appalachia.
  • We strongly encourage young food activists, farmers, and people of color to apply.

Interested in a future trip to Cuba?

For more information on this program, please contact Sera Deva, Farmer Programs & Conference Coordinator at farmer-programs@organicgrowersschool.org