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Chris Roddy and Huerto de la Familia

Oregon Tilth Board Member Chris Roddy has completed his Master's project with Huerto de la Familia in Eugene, OR. Read his story and check out the the films documenting first-hand accounts from participants in Huerto's programs to see how gardens, farming and food-based micro-enterprises can support and stabilize Latino families.

From Oregon Tilth Board Member, Chris Roddy:

"It's official.

I've got my Master's in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon (Ory-GUN).

I've been off-line for the past many moons and wanted to share a few things with all of you. Sure, it could be tidbits about how I finally perfected my barley risotto recipe. And how I managed to get our three-legged wonder cat to adore Alden's Organic Vanilla Ice Cream. But it would be far more interesting to share what I've been working on since September 2010.

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“I am nobody; and my story is the same as a million others.”
-- Elva Hart, Barefoot Heart

I partnered with local nonprofit, Huerto de la Familia, to create a three-part series of short documentary essay films about their work and underlying issues for why they do what they do.

It is unsettling that the stories of those who have shifted from being a laborer to a farm or food business owner go largely untold, often leaving an incomplete public perception of immigrant families. Over 10 months, we filmed first-hand accounts from participants in the Huerto's programs to see how gardens, farming and food-based microenterprises can support and stabilize Latino families. Combining their stories with interviews with food justice leaders throughout the United States, the films contemplate our nation's preparedness in facing a challenging but potentially rich future for its food system(s) and growing Latino population.

Over the course of the project I redesigned their Web site, produced/directed three short films and created a 160-page black & white photo narrative book with personal essays. Mostly, we talked about effective ways to communicate complex and intersected issues through new media.

This was the biggest project I have ever undertaken in terms of scale and scope of work. And I never would have completed it without the help of all of you. I must also single out Hilary, Nico, Ben, Rachelle and Thaddeus for their hours spent on various production aspects of the project.

You can view the project on-line at: http://huertodelafamilia.org/the-films/."

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