The Patterns of a Conservation Economy
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Sustainable Agriculture
Examples of this pattern in action:

An Educational Program about Sustainable Cuisine Adopt-A-School offers chefs, food professionals and parents a professionally- designed curriculum for teaching kids about sustainable cuisine. This new Chefs Collaborative program recruits chefs, parents and others who will "adopt-a-school" in their own community and teach eight one-hour classes about sustainable cuisine. Adopt-A-School is integral to the Chefs Collaborative's mission: Promote sustainable cuisine by teaching children, supporting local farmers, educating food professionals, and inspiring customers to choose good, clean food. Specifically, Adopt-A-School: Creates a clear, simple and sensory structure to waken children's natural excitement, curiosity, respect and interest in their food. Teaches children the elements of sustainable cuisine — organic gardening, the tastes of fresh food, simple cooking, and cultural models of healthy lifestyles.

In her keynote address to chefs during the Fifth Annual National Chefs Collaborative Retreat, Joan Dye Gussow said that if chefs care deeply enough about a safe, sustainable food supply, they should work first to support their local farmers, and then work on bringing them into the organic fold. Farms first, she said, and reform later…

Ten Commitments, a collabartive effort by farmworker organization and advocates from throughout the country. It provides an analysis of why current federal legislation is inadequate to protect farmworkers, and proposes ten steps, or commitments, that must be taken to protect farmworkers and their children.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) provides leadership and support for scientific research and education to encourage farmers, farmworkers, and consumers in California to produce, distribute, process and consume food and fiber in a manner that is economically viable, sustains natural resources and biodiversity, and enhances the quality of life in the state's diverse communities for present and future generations.

Organizations whose work incorporate this pattern:

Community Alliance with Family Farmers

Food News

Oregon Tilth

Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust


Jackson, Wes. New Roots for Agriculture. University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln, NE. 1985.

Mollison, Bill. Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future. Island Press. Washington, DC. 1990.

Savory, Allan. Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making. Island Press. Washington, DC. 1998.

Soule, Judith D and Jon K. Piper. Farming in Nature's Image: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture. Island Press. Washington, DC. 1992.

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Pattern Index

A Conservation Economy

Social Capital

Fundamental Needs

Subsistence Rights

Shelter For All


Access To Knowledge


Social Equity


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Preservation

Sense Of Place

Beauty And Play

Just Transitions

Civic Society

Natural Capital

Ecological Land-Use

Connected Wildlands

Core Reserves

Wildlife Corridors

Buffer Zones

Productive Rural Areas

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Fisheries


Compact Towns And Cities

Human-Scale Neighborhoods

Green Building

Transit Access

Ecological Infrastructure

Urban Growth Boundaries

Ecosystem Services

Watershed Services

Soil Services

Climate Services


Economic Capital

Household Economies

Green Business

Long-Term Profitability

Community Benefit

Green Procurement

Renewable Energy

Sustainable Materials Cycles

Resource Efficiency

Waste As Resource

Product As Service

Local Economies

Value-Added Production

Rural-Urban Linkages

Local Assets

Bioregional Economies

Fair Trade

True Cost Pricing

Product Labeling