That title caught your attention didn't it? It's a blog post by urban gardener Ro Kumar that I hope is on its way to going viral.
I was interviewing Tim Hohn, Chair of the Horticulture Department at Edmonds Community College, for an upcoming story in the Seattle Times, and he told me about the piece. The importance of urban farming is on Tim's mind these days, because EDCC just recieved a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, to create a sustainable agriculture program. Hohn will administer the grant in partnership with Skagit Valley College, Seattle Central Community College, and Washington State University. More on this in the Seattle Times piece which will publish in January.
As soon as Tim told me about Kumar's story, I tracked it down. It's SO worth reading for a larger view of growing our own food, one backyard at a time..here's the first paragraph:
"While most other houses on my street have grass lawns, my yard sprouts zucchinis, tomatoes, pomegranates, kale, spinach, apples, figs, guavas, almonds, garlic, onion, strawberries, and more. Over 500 plant species all in all. We grow more than 3000 pounds of food per year on a plot of land the size of a basketball court—enough fruits and vegetables to feed my family of four year-round. Our house is part of a growing global movement of people involved in urban farming..."
Kumar goes on, clearly and persuasively, to explain why urban farming will transform the world. His reasons range from nutrition to cultivating community, but his overarching argument is the hyper localism of gardening.
Every time gardeners stick a shovel in the ground, squeeze a handful of soil, check the thermometer or rain gauge, or choose varieites of seed, we're reminded that you garden right where you are. We've always exchanged information, swapped plants, met our neighbors over the fence - no one gardens alone. That's localism, and community. And it's why urban farming can change the world...read more here.