Network of Agricultural Clusters
The proposal of the Aretian Agricultural Foundation is to understand to what extent farming operations can be expanded within the state of Massachusetts to promote food self sufficiency and resilience in the light of economic and environmental changes. In addition we proposed a series of networked food processing facilities which serve as infrastructure to support the production and distribution of food from small and mid-sized farms throughout the Northeast. The support network is necessary to ensure food security within the region and to create more robust alternative to larger scale corporate farms which currently dominate the market.
In order to define the proper regions in which to place a food processing facility, the first part of the studio developed a methodology to classify and group land use patterns. These certified zones were defined as Mezzo Regions since the classification was based on farming zones with a common cultural and gastronomic identity, focused on the production of high quality specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, and meat production. In addition, farming tends to occur within specific geographic conditions and watersheds, which do not always fall within state boundaries.