One way to secure a future for our children is as simple as growing our own food. Sounds pretty basic but the power of such an act is unfathomable. This can be as simple as planting a few tomato plants on your deck, a window box full of herbs or trying your skills with raised beds in your backyard. Live in the city and don’t have a yard? Then look into community gardens in your neighborhood!
photo via: http://www.growingpower.org/
Remember the Victory Gardens of WWI? Also known as food gardens for defense, Victory Gardens were fruit, vegetable and herb gardens planted at private residences, rooftops, vacant lots and public parks designed to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort.
A sense of empowerment and patriotism grew out of the effort and the US Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 20 million victory gardens were planted. Fruit and vegetables harvested in these home and community plots was estimated to be 9-10 million tons, an amount equal to all commercial production of fresh vegetables.
A similar movement is taking hold again today with an insurgence of community garden, urban food growing programs and woofing opportunities (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, www.wwoof.org). A great urban success story teaching local youth the power in growing their own food is Growing Power in Milwaukee (www.growingpower.org).
We’re starting our own version of an urban permadise here in Hartford, CT. Come check us out if you are in New England! See our video from our Spring Seed Planting this past march!
Other things you can do if growing a garden isn’t possible this season….
Buy a CSA Share (Community Supported Agriculture) – CSAs link farmers with the local consumers in their region seeking real food! It is a shared risk model where you as the consumer invest in the seasons harvest by supplying the farmer with the up front capital to grow food. Most are a 16-20 week season ranging anywhere from $450-$600 share depending on the region, what they grow and whether or not they are growing organically. Some have pick-your own (berries, peas, tomatoes) in addition to the weekly box of harvested food. CSAs are great learning opportunities for kids and adults alike. You become more in tune with the seasons and become aware of what crops when; you get to experiment with produce that you may not typically buy and you get to experience the taste and health benefits of fresh food. Some CSAs even offer work share where members can help on the farm.
Support SFEs (Small Food Enterprises) such as an organic café (like mine! www.alchemyjuicebar.com) or your local health food store or farm stand! “Family farmers are the microorganisms in the soil of the restorative economy…(and) local entrepreneurs are its earthworms” from my current favorite read: SLOW MONEY – investing as if food, farms & fertility mattered by Woody Tasch. Check out the website at www.slowmoneyalliance.org
Know where your food comes! Support your local suppliers of fresh, organic, real food! This simple act may just be the one thing that elicits the change our planet needs!
Learn more about Imani at Mamalution.com.