Is Urban Gardening Just for Yuppies
July 9th, 2010
Is urban gardening only for the yuppies among us? Does anyone under 50 remember what a yuppie is (was?)? OK, I’ve dated myself—yuppies were young upwardly-mobile professionals. The question remains.
As UCOM, the basic needs service provider for which I work, looks toward developing our next 5-year plan, I’m asking lots of people, “How can we move from providing just emergency and supplemental food to our neighbors who are living with food insecurity and hunger to providing ways for people to access good—local, no-pesticide, nutrient-dense, fair-trade—food?”
At least 20% of the people to whom I have talked, have posited the opening query to me. Two were convinced that people living at or below the poverty level preferred canned fruits and vegetables to fresh as a developed taste. One thought that the efforts involved in the poverty challenge take too much time for poor people to concentrate on raising and/or preserving their own food. Interestingly, one philanthropist suggested that we give chickens instead of gardens and gardening education. This was an idea that I added to my list of ways to help—not excluding anything else, but including yet another food source (fresh eggs) possibility to my out-of-control brain-storming.
I’m really open to many ideas about how UCOM and other agencies like ours can help to make fresh, nutritious food accessible to people who are in need of good food. The Michigan Good Food Charter (www.Michiganfood.org) offers some possibilities I think, and I welcome conversations that flesh out some of those thoughts. Let’s brainstorm.