Thursday, March 12, 2009

Urban Food Production...

    The use of urban spaces to grow fresh organic food is receiving attention world wide! Recently, Jack emailed me a video he thought would be of interest to me "Urban Food Growing in Havana, Cuba" (Check it out!), where bits of waste land was turned into areas to produce food following the withdrawal of Soviet support in the country. A genuine 'green revolution' is taking place on derelict land. The promotion os self-sustainability is one I believe needs to be fostered among the younger generation. Not only does it promote local markets (therefore reducing one's carbon emission by consuming locally!), it also promotes a more environmental awareness and introduces green and living energy into the crumbling concrete jungles (or urban areas).(Picture courtesy of

This is not only happening in Cuba, but Africa and the US as well. I recently saw a speaker at the university promoting urban gardening in Africa for African women as means of generating profit (entrepreneurship) as well as providing for their families. 

    When I went to Chicago I was intrigued by some of the urban gardens which were apparently well maintained outside of Grant Park. There, in downtown Chicago, a beautiful green space juxtaposed against skyscrapers and general city chaos. I must admit I was very much impressed, and Chicago remains one of my favorite cities to visit. (Below is a picture I took this summer)

      Finally, I came across this phenomenon in my own city! Pamphlets were distributed promoting "Backyard Bounty" asking "Want to know how your backyard can make you a hero to your community, provide local jobs and get you free delicious food?" This group uses your backyard (if you are willing to give it up) and to turn it to a 'micro-farm' as people will come each week to tend it. Through this your "backyard will become a beautiful embodiment of a new green economy- an economy that balances economic, environmental and social values." Read more about it on their website!

     This is a movement I would really like to get involved with. I think self-sustainability is the only direction we can take. I believe that educational institutes should begin to introduce gardening into school curriculums as a way to teach sustainability, environmental awareness and well as to get kids outside rather than inside in front of a TV...this is coming from someone who has had a garden her whole life! and who rarely can be caught in front of a television! Anyways, that is my two cents. I will hopefully do a later post about Guerrilla Gardening...stay tuned...

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