Eat This

Blog Action Day: Fight Poverty, Plant A Vegetable Garden

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Community gardener Lillie Neal, sharing the wealth in Detroit

Grow some food in your backyard, and fight hunger in poor nations by taking pressure off the world’s limited amount of arable land. Fight the starvation of the soil while you’re at it, too, by refusing to do business with industrial farmers who have no respect for the earth. Instead, grow it yourself on compost. Fight the greenhouse gas emissions caused by conventional farming that are unsettling the climates of many of the most desperate places on earth. Grow it yourself without a drop of oil.

Fight the malnutrition in the inner city that’s imposed by those supermarket chains that refuse to locate there. Fight it by growing better food on an urban farm. Fight it by giving seedlings and advice to potential gardeners. Fight urban blight, too, with one power you don’t have to be rich or famous to possess: the power to reshape a piece of ground and make something beautiful come out of it.

Fight against the impoverishment of your rural town by joining forces with your neighbors to grow wonderful food. Feed local restaurants. Win stars from food critics. Become a food destination.

Fight the visual poverty of the suburbs by ripping up the sod and planting a garden. Fight middle-aged spread with your backyard labor. Fight diabetes and cancer and heart disease, too. Fight your kids’ slack muscles and pasty skin by sending them out into the sun with a flat of seedlings to plant.

Fight against your own shrinking financial prospects by turning a handful of $1.50 seed packages into a parade of gorgeous vegetables. Fight against the financial system that has taken such advantage of you by simply dropping out of it for a few hours a week, just to weed and dig.

Fight spiritual poverty, too. Fight that alienation creeping into your teenager’s eyes. Make sure he understands that miracle of exploding growth that is a well-managed vegetable garden. Fight your own creeping sense of futility with the abundant proof the vegetable garden offers that your efforts have meaning.

Fight the ugly, the flavorless, the cheerlessly industrial, the unimaginative, the stingy. Make your table groan with the bounty of nature. Cook that bounty in enough olive oil and salt to be able to taste the sun in it. Eat it with the people you love and an interesting stranger or two. Feel that sunlight radiate outwards through every pore.

Posted by on October 15, 2008 at 4:25 am, in the category Eat This.
Comments are off for this post

15 responses to “Blog Action Day: Fight Poverty, Plant A Vegetable Garden”

  1. mary says:

    wow. truly inspiring!

  2. commonweeder says:

    Michele, You’ve covered a lot of ground in this post – and its a reminder of all that we can accomplish with our vegetable gardens. Thank you.

  3. gardenmentor says:

    I’m off to deliver blueberry bushes and seed garlic to a client who is going into year two of growing her own.

    I found Pollan’s open letter to the candidates earlier this week on the issue of food quite interesting. More here: http://www.gardenhelp.org/food/should-feeding-the-world-be-a-campaign-issue/

  4. One thoughtful step at a time, kept at a steady pace has the capacity for great accomplishments.

  5. All hail the mighty vegetable!

  6. susan harris says:

    Well, nobody’s ever going to accuse YOUR writing of being desultory.

  7. greg draiss says:

    There is a former NBA player who is feeding 2500 families from a two acre urban farm in Detroit’s worst neighborhood. The man has a real heart for feeding people well and helping them dvelop their own community gardens.
    This is where it all starts at the grass roots level regardless of economic staus or politics.

    Anyone want to start a community garden or two in the Albany NY area?

    The (I’ll just leave it at that) Troll

  8. luise h. says:

    Hi Greg,how about you?

  9. greg draiss says:

    I need more than just me to start even one. My job has me commuting 100 miles a day round trip.

    I have the time to help out and get it up and running but not the time to do it myself.

    The TROLL

  10. greg draiss says:

    powerful mantra to the urban farmer

    Plant ON!

  11. Shanna says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you for the inspiration.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Michele,
    You say a lot of what I believe in this post so I put a link of it on my blog. I’m a little bit of a social maladroit regarding blog etiquette. I didn’t realize that maybe you didn’t want it linked. I think only three people actually read my blog and they all love me so you are probably safe from folks ranting at you about corporate farming or something. I’m leaving the link in because it is great. However, if you want me to take it down I will. Keep up the great work.

  13. Rosi says:

    Garden Rant Uprooting the Gardening World. Four highly opinionated blogger rant and rave about all things horticultural. Don’t miss our manifesto.
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    Rosi

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  14. Ciana says:

    Planting your own vegetable garden is one of the most rewarding improvements you can make to your home. You will literally reap benefits by eating fresher, more nutrient rich vegetables. You’ll save money compared to buying supermarket produce that simply cannot compare to home grown flavor. And you’ll even save space as there’s no need to fill your fridge with veggies when they stay fresh right on the vine.
    —————
    Ciana

    Guaranteed ROI

  15. Below is my free blog site on google for people who want to research world vegetables that can be grown in the gardens, depending on where they live. http://sites.google.com/site/worldvegetables/Home/a-guide-to-world-vegetab

    This site will give you a short history on the vegetable, its common and uncommon name(s), and the family or species name. It also gives a description of its appearance, its usage’s, nutritional values, when it should be available, and where possible, a photograph or illustration. The indigenous names mentioned on this site are the ones familiar to the ethnic groups who use them and may not be as well known in this country. There may be some practical and commercial opportunities in growing some of the unusual vegetables shown on this site, even in temperate zones. If blog is not suitable for this site please contact me and I will remove it.

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