The Taste of a Place. A comprehensive adult educat..
The Taste of a Place. A comprehensive adult education experience via the
GIS representation of the concept of “Terroir”
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2016
The project “The Taste of a Place. A comprehensive adult education experience via the GIS representation of the concept of Terroir” has been carried out by DORA, a Italian SME in the agricultural sector with a deep multidisciplinary nature, in collaboration with the Swedish start-up in the field of mechatronics Lindberg&Lindberg Engineering AB.
The project aims to develop an holistic educative experience for adult learners focusing on the concept of “terroir” as the centre where all the other aspects may converge. Terroir is the “taste of place”, a combination of biophysical and cultural elements that together produce place-based tastes and flavors. But the word “terroir” means also the additional spatial and ecological aspects of territory, such as the actors, their activities, their forms of social organisation and the agricultural practices in particular places, their influence on the foods and drinks produced.
The use of the concept of terroir shows how important is to take into account both the social and material (or ecological) effects which produce local food. Local food products from small- scale farming are polymorphous concepts: more than a simplistic agricultural product, local food can be best understood as the outcome of socio-material production, in which the social production is ongoing (“fluid”) and the result of particular actors´ doings and sayings in specific places and times.
The project activities have covered the following subjects: Geographic Information Systems, Systems Thinking and Social Learning and Multiculturalism, and the project has foreseen in situ research and documentation activities together with a job-shadowing mobility abroad.
The main result of the project have been the creation of a GIS representation of DORA´s terroir, and numerous have been the impacts envisaged for adult learners: development of the abilities to understand the process of meaning- creation in social and ecological dynamics; increased knowledge of the local food product and its terroir from the bottom up, then making sense of how actors themselves experience and understand their own terroir and the product which comes from; adoption of more eco-friendly and sustainable development practices. Local food is typified as “food from somewhere”, and considered as a sustainable alternative to “food from nowhere” (the junk and bulk food typical of big food chains ruled by the globalisation process). Adult learners will then be able to fully understand what this “somewhere” is and how it is possible to show and narrate it in the proper way.
While more common impacts for both the participant organisations and the target groups have been the improvement of the knowledge locals have of their own areas and the possibility to share it with foreign people; the creation of a deeper sense of local community and of "European community" as well, and improvement of the active citizenship; the creative contribution to the progress of local economy in a sustainable direction; the spread, thanks to the importance given to sustainability matters, of wider positive values like human rights protection, peace, civil justice and social equality.
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