A while back, world wars American food posters encouraged the public to grow their own food and save for the others. Resources were scarce and it was important for governments to inflict a sense of awareness and responsibility for the national good. Kinda makes sense, right?
The rise of the private sector however brought a different speech and, along with it, consumerism and our undisputed reliance on corporations. We produce enough food to feed everyone, yet 842 million people in the world don’t have enough to eat and 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.*
So maybe it’s time to use our purchasing power as a political statement. ‘Grow your own food’ or ‘Shop locally and ethically’ could be your personal pitch for the well-being of our global community.
How would you like to be part of the solution? I can’t really hear you, but here’s a thought: Guerrilla Gardening!
Ron Finley’s eco-lutionary TEDTalk about turning South Central L.A.’s vacant lots into “food forests” is as mind-blowing as the concept itself. His approach to gardening is truly inspiring: ‘Gardening is another form of art and I plant for beauty. I want all kinds of different heights and color pops. Vegetable gardens to me are boring as hell; I plant like a mosaic.’ And did I mention how funny he is? ‘Seeds are about to be the new contraband. You’re going to have little old ladies on the corner stringing organic seeds.’ Ha! Make sure to watch the entire talk and get inspired!
Kate Dundas, Senior Landscape Architect and Urban Designer at Planisphere in Melbourne, raised a similar point at the previous TEDxMelbourne event, back in September. Kate is passionate about ‘finding ways to connect people back into the food chain by making it easy for them to access land to grow food and build community.’ Plus she gave one hell of a presentation!
So if you’re still looking for a cool, innovative way to join Oxfam’s efforts for the Eat Local, Feed Global campaign, maybe Guerrilla Gardening is the thing for you. Finding vacant plots is fairly easy, we all pass them on different occasions, so why not use them for growing food? If anything, use your own garden or the side street plot in front of your house. Growing your own food is surely a double win: you have control over your health, plus, as Ron Finley puts it, ‘growing your own food is like printing money’. Spring is already here, so why not give it a go?
Are you in?
* Source -http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats
blog.ted.com - Photos by Nick Weinberg