Diversified crops at Full Belly Farm. Photo by: Paul Kirchner Studios.

Agroecology

Agroecology is defined as “the integration of ecology in agriculture and food systems, encompassing ecological, economic, and social dimensions” (Adaptation from Francis et al, 2003, Agroecology: The Ecology of Food Systems). Although it is often considered the “science behind sustainable agriculture,” agroecology has evolved to a much broader concept: “Agroecology is not only a science and a practice but a movement for social change” (S. Gliessman). “Agroecology provides the basic ecological principles for the design and management of agroecosystems that are both productive and natural resource conserving…and that are also culturally sensitive, socially just, and economically viable” (Altieri, 1995).

At the Berkeley Food Institute we focus our work on both urban and rural agroecological food systems.