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How El Departamento de la Comida Works

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El Departamento de la Comida is organized into four interconnected divisions:

Agency, Resource Library, Farm, and Kitchen.

Follow Us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with our work.

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The Agency

The Agency houses our creative, design and consultation services for farmers + food projects in Puerto Rico. For 2019, are collaborating with our first three projects and offering up to 10 hours per month of pro bono support. These projects are:

  1. Jardín Ecológico San Salvador: the community garden of San Salvador, and a neighbor of El Depa's farm.

  2. Finca Pajuil: a queer owned and operated Boricua-Ayurvedic permaculture space in Hatillo.

  3. Carite 3.0:  a 13 acre agroecological food and forestry project in our neighboring Carite Forest.

Our Agency division understands that each food project in Borikén is unique, rather than the “one size fits all” offerings of federal agencies. Our Agency also works with educational call-to-action campaigns that support local food sovereignty (ex. #quenosepierdalasemilla) and will soon be participating more in public policy relating to food and agriculture.

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The Resource Library 

The Resource Library (Agroteca) is a multi-purpose library that includes seeds, an educational materials collection, and tool/machinery lending, all in one. Library members can reserve individual tools, or request to borrow the entire library itself for their own events, workshops, etc. Our Resource Library division is open to all farmers who wish to become members, and our methodology is an open-source, replicable model for other communities and groups around Borikén to create their own resource libraries. The library offers hand tools to support volunteer groups that visit farms, high-price point machinery that is not accessible for most farmers to purchase, as well as workshops and skill sharing events. This program will launch Summer 2019.

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The Farm

The Farm is on an eight-acre plot in San Salvador, Caguas that will serve as a model for regenerative agriculture practices. Our efforts will prioritize medicinal plant and seed sanctuary, agroforestry, queer people and women. We are developing a land-trust structure and will document/share our process as a resource for other farmers who are just starting out. The Farm Division will produce seeds for our Resource Library, as well as some of the crops used in our Kitchen Division.

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The Kitchen

The Kitchen creates pop-up food events in Puerto Rico and abroad. Our “Nuestra Mesa” series is a facilitated pop-up dinner format that can exist anywhere, where we connect local food producers/community activists with key stakeholders from other industries to build bridges (reach out if you want to host one!). In 2020, we will open a physical kitchen space. This space will ensure the consumption and sale of local produce through a plant-based product line, events, catering, cooking classes, and will also serve as an incubator space for other local food businesses.

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