We are thrilled to announce Natalie Keene MSc as one of our UAF2021 international guests.
Natalie’s expertise in agroeceology and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the Northern European context will add greatly to an already packed program with learnings from across the globe. Key to Natalie’s discussion will be Norway’s CSA model, focused on ‘community organising and empowerment, farmer support and shared experiences’ - that is to say ‘shared harvest, shared risk’ - as well as upscaling community gardens for higher food and social yields. Climate change is also a core tenet of Natalie’s work in Norway, where the changes, especially to water availability have occurred both recently and suddenly.
Nat is a CSA Farm Manager and Project Leader, and agroecology consultant currently living and working in Norway. Nat came from a huge, dusty wheat farm in NSW and jumped head first into the food cooperative and community gardening scene in Canberra during her undergraduate years in the early 2000's. After a long stint in the campaign to protect Southern Tasmania's Old Growth Forests and just as long working in remote, Central Desert Indigenous communities she moved to Norway to undertake a Masters in Agroecology.
Over the last 3.5 years in the cold north, she has become immersed in Community Supported Agriculture. The CSA model in Norway is unique, with over 80 farms all offering direct contact between their members, the growers and the farm. At the Urban Agriculture Forum hear about how Norwegian CSA's take particular care of their members who harvest directly from the fields themselves and work on the farm with the farmers. Nat holds various positions on three of these Norwegian-style CSA's where she both farms and organises all the communication, working-bees, social and community events, and workshops for her nearly 350 members.
The agroecology principal of knowledge-sharing is at the heart of her approach both on and off the farm. She is hired each growing season to consult on various community projects and in winter she teaches various topics in the Introduction to Urban Agriculture at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås. She also founded the first Norwegian Permablitz group in 2019, renamed with a local twist 'Permadugnad Oslo' which is funded by the Oslo Municipality in their drive to create and involve Oslo's population in more urban growing projects.
See Natalie’s work here: