As a Justmeans staff writer for the Sustainable Foods editorial department, I explore the disparity between consumerism and independence through the topic of sustainability. As a self-described 'urban homesteader' I look to find the balance between a sustainable lifestyle and use of corporate convenience. I don't necessarily want to live without electricity, but I want to be comfortable if eve...
Urban Gardening Movement Grows Strong Communities
If there's one thing we can say we've been lacking in industrial American society, it certainly is the structure of a functioning community. But all of that is changing as urban gardening reconnects the dots of living in a society where we share values, ideas and the booty of community gardening.
PBS Atlanta put together a wonderful and informative 10 minute segment about urban gardening in Atlanta, one of our nations most critical sectors for nutritive eating.
At approximately 7:15s into the video speaks Kifu Faruq. She literally encapsulates the energy and need for community gardening, "especially in an urban setting," by stating the following:
"Food is an opportunity to talk about other things; to talk about sustainability and what it means to buy your food locally, and how you keep resources in a neighborhood. So connecting people with their food is one of the functions of a community garden; especially in an urban setting, where, really, the concept of how things look in the ground - people don't even have that concept."
In a society where oil is our greatest exploited resource it is more important than ever before to connect people with the process of how food is grown, how it is delivered and the effects of long distance food.
There's an old Native American saying: "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children." Our children are the ones who will have to deal with all we have served them. It's best we teach them, now, how to recover it.
The way we can help our children is two fold: First, we can show them how to care for themselves after we are gone and have left them with this shambled and toxic landscape; simultaneously we can teach them to eat well, keep fit and care for the elements the way many their great grandparents did.
Atlanta hosts a special concern: it is one of the "fattiest" places in the United States. According to Georgia Health News, "Georgia ranked 43rd for child health among the states and the District of Columbia in the 2011 report card developed by the Commonwealth Fund."
Childhood obesity is at an all-time high in the United States for a number of reasons, but much of it is because we have lost the connection between our food and the work in which is necessary to provide it. We've been segregating ourselves from the land as if we've been ashamed of it, when in fact, it is everything.
Photo credit: screenshot from The Commonwealth Scorecard