Friday, September 11, 2009

Gardening gets political

With food policy reform hitting the national scene big these past couple of weeks--from the national Time for Lunch campaign about making school food good to Micheal Pollan's wildly popular NYT article connecting the dots between health care reform and food policy--I decided it was a great time to dust off these photos I took in DC in June and post them.

Urban community gardens are becoming part of the landscape at our most important public buildings. There are raised veggie beds on the White House south lawn. And Tom Vilsack has put a community garden front and center at the USDA's headquarters.

I stumbled this special garden when I visited our nation's capital a couple of months ago in the late afternoon sun. While these photos may not be my best, they capture a special moment of excitement for me when I felt that my own passion for urban community gardens is connected to a larger movement.

It is a mistake to place too much value on these new gardens in and of themselves--but they are not merely a green facade either. These gardens will sow new food policy and usher in a new culture of slow food traditions. They are a symbol that a message has reached the highest level of our halls of government--people want to reinvest in our soil, to begin to connect to good, healthy food again.

For a food advocate like me, it offers up a glimmer of hope. I see an opening. If healthy veggie gardens greet our decision makers, it's the first tool in educating them about good food and growing it yourself. I'd love to see these community gardens in front of all of our public buildings. If it can be done at the White House it can be done at your City Hall.


shilpa said...


what a lovely blog! i hope you are well and happy.


Ashley said...

Thank you Shilpa! Hope you are well and happy too--I'd love to get an anecdote from your days of farming this summer on this blog! I'll send you an email...