I enjoy listening to podcasts. Recently, I was listening to an episode of the TED Radio Hour Podcast called The Food We Eat. The first story featured a woman named Pam Warhurst who is sort of a rebel gardener. In her town of Todmorden, England she started a movement called Incredible Edible with the slogan, “If you eat, you are in.” Stop and think about how awesome that slogan is. Everyone eats, therefore food issues impact everyone, it is totally inclusive!
The movement started with residents planting their own gardens and later moved to planting open spaces throughout the community. Now, Tomorden is not known for great soil or weather. Despite this, the movement that Pam has started grows an abundance of freely available food for the community. Residents grow food in public spaces and are able to take what they will use. With so many public spaces growing nothing but grass, think about the possibilities of replacing just a small portion of those spaces with edibles! Look near your bus stops and imagine lettuce or apples. Peer at the library and imagine grabbing a peach to go with your book. Feeling peckish on your walk? Imagine some raspberries free for the picking!
This is something that could actually happen in every community and help feed people, so why don’t we do this? Is it because we are so wedded to the idea of manicured lawns? if so, we need to disrupt that ideal soon! Start with your own yard and spread the good word!
A second story came from someone who helped do this in an urban setting. Ron Finley has been planting abandoned lots in South Central LA. He gets local youth to help garden and they can then use and share the food they grow. I have been seeing stories like this more and more frequently and am inspired! This summer, we are going to get our britches dirty and do some rebel gardening. Who is with me?
Garden Club Activity
First, get some inspiration watching Pam and Ron’s Ted Talks.
Second, get your clubbies together and make some seed bombs. Seed bombs are a means of “packaging” seeds in decomposable casings so that you can toss them onto a piece of land and the casing erodes to allow the seeds to sprout. So make those seed bombs and then go for a walk and throw those puppies around town!See an abandoned piece of property? Throw a seed bomb on it. Maybe it will grow, maybe it won’t but it won’t do any harm and may do some good! You might also ask if your garden club can adopt a public space a put in a legit edible garden. I’d encourage you to add in a sign explaining that the food is free so take what you need.
Because we are feeling a bit rebellious this week, pair this activity with anything from Rogue Brewery.