I have been passionate about growing my own food since I was a child and I still get amazingly excited when I pick that first snow pea pod of the season or as I patiently wait for the lettuces and arugula to be big enough to make the first "fresh" salad of the year! I love knowing that I can "shop" seasonally in my own garden and that I don't have to wonder where my food came from, how many hands it went through or how many miles it traveled. It is a straight line from my raised bed to my fork, and it tastes so good! In other words, much of the year, I know the story of my food.
We hear a lot today about food safety, GMOs, carbon footprints, factory farms and food recalls. I realize more and more that having "safe", healthy food is truly becoming a "luxury", saved for those who either have the ability to grow their own food or to somehow have access to food from local and/or organic, independent farms. Community gardens are helping to level the playing field by allowing everyone access if they have the ability or desire to participate. With that said, not everyone wants to be a hard-core gardener, but almost everyone can find a spot on a windowsill or an outdoor container in which to grow something nutritious to eat.
In future blog entries I'll be telling you how I got into community gardening and about the core group who worked together to re-launch the Armstrong Court Community Organic Garden in 2009 (did you know that the original garden dates back to 1964?) I want to tell you about the many benefits of community gardening - some of which you may not have thought of! I will be interviewing some of the key people in our local food movement, including our Greenwich community gardeners and some of the local environmentalists who are making a difference for all of us. I will also keep you up-to-date on local events that relate to healthy food and organic gardening and share some cool gardening tips.
But most of all, I want to challenge you to think about the story of YOUR food, and the idea that good health in the 21st Century may really be a collective issue. I hope to hear from you, and together I think we can explore ways to ensure healthy food and healthy lives for all of us—as a community of gardeners.