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Soil Not Oil Conference 2016
By Rachel Laase, The Jeavons Center, Assistant Mini-Farm Manager

Common Ground Garden in Palo Alto

This year the Soil Not Oil conference ( was held on August 5–6 at the Richmond Civic Center in Richmond, CA. This was the 2nd year this conference, which was inspired by Dr. Vandana Shiva's book "Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis", was held. It brought together hundreds of farmers, academics, and activists to discuss the current reality that the world is facing concerning the effects of global climate change and potential solutions to this overwhelming predicament. Ecology Action's Executive Director, John Jeavons, and Associate Executive Director and Vice President, Steve Moore, were selected to speak at the conference, as well as two of this year's EA interns, Olawumi Benedict (Ghana) and Jonnes 'Milesh' Melgwah (Kenya).

This was a wonderful and important opportunity for the interns to share their personal stories, as well as the struggles that their communities and countries are facing. They took part on a Milesh took part on a discussion panel at the conference.discussion panel with a third farmer, who came from Mexico. Each of them shared their concerns and passions about the current agricultural practices being used and the urgent need to switch to small-scale organic methods, focusing on GROW BIOINTENSIVE as a solution to break free from fossil fuels and to better feed communities. The presentations inspired the crowd, and Milesh received a standing ovation for his final slide which shared his interpretation of the meaning, 'Soil Not Oil': S.O.I.L.–Saving Our Indigenous Lands, Not O.I.L.–Oppressive Illusions of Life.

Here at Ecology Action, we are so proud of all the hard work they both put into the conference and are grateful to have them here to inspire others to continue to work towards a better future.

Milesh took part on a discussion panel at the conference

PHOTO CREDIT: Rachel Laase

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