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Climate heroes Isabelle & Richard from Belgium

Our two Belgian climate heroes are Isabelle and Richard, a couple that tries to live as environmentally consciously as possible. They are not professional farmers, but every week they harvest their own fruit and vegetables at the self-harvesting farm Groentegem. Their bicycles loaded with fresh delicacies, they then return to their little flat in Ghent. 

Keywords: local, consumption, activism, CSA-network, agroecology  

Get to know Isabelle and Richard in this video and read more about their view on climate change below. 

Groentegem, the farm where Isabelle and Richard go to weekly, is part of the CSA network, a network of farms. CSA stands for 'Community Supported Agriculture' and ensures that enthusiasts can join forces with local farmers to work together on fair, healthy and environmentally friendly agriculture. By registration at one of these farms, you become co-owner of the harvest and can harvest your own organic vegetables, herbs and berries for an entire year. This way, you support ecological agriculture which benefits the soil and environment, the farmer has a steady income and you always have fresh products at home.

Small scale and diversity

Through their membership at Groentegem, Richard and Isabelle are doing their bit in the fight against climate change. It involves very small-scale agriculture: less than two hectares. Groentegem provides about 210 people with a wide range of vegetables, fruit and herbs. Even though the water shortage during extreme droughts remains a challenge, the small-scale and diverse nature of this type of agriculture makes the cultivation more robust and more resistant to diseases, drought and other consequences of climate change. All products are organic and all farming processes are done without the use of chemicals. 

Solidarity with farmers

By harvesting at the self-harvesting farm, you become involved in all the stage a seed goes through to become a tasty piece of fruit or vegetable which makes harvesting what became of that same seed very satisfying. (Plastic) packaging becomes unnecessary and because of the fast consumption cooling installations are not needed. In addition, you have direct contact with the farmers and and learn about what challenges they are going through.

With their initiative ‘de landbouwbrigades’ Solidagro, FIAN and Wervel want to achieve the same thing. They organize participation where they involve participants in the ins and outs of agriculture and educate them on agroecology.

A better future

Isabelle and Richard’s engagement does not end with harvesting their own fruit and vegetables on the self-harvesting farm. You can find them at climate actions, marches or protests. Now that Isabelle is pregnant the couple feels more committed than ever to fight climate change, being a good example for their child and giving him/her a beautiful and healthy future. A new generation of climate heroes is born!

Do you want to support our work to make farmers more resilient against the climate changes? You can do so by becoming a climate hero through one or more actions:

1. Reduce your CO2 emission with one of these tips and let us know how you contributed through email or our Facebook group "Klimaathelden 2022" (Dutch for Climate Heroes 2022).

2. Sign the petition to get agro-ecology higher on the agenda at the Climate Change Conference in November.

3. Join us on the climate march on the 23th of October in Brussels. 

4.  Register as a ‘field brigadier’ at the ‘Landbouwbrigades’, go work on the field and help out the Flemish farmers. The ‘Landbouwbrigades’ is an initiative by Wervel, FIAN and Solidagro to bring farmers and an citizens closer together.   

5. Show you support for Solidagro’s work and many small farming communities by making a donation.

Yes, I will help make a difference against climate change

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