In a recent issue of Urban Farm magazine, a community gardener described the fruits of her labor in terms something like this: It’s not just a garden, it’s a revolution.That statement struck me as a profound truth. What folks like Don Axe of Valley View Farm, folks like me at the Laughing Place, folks turning lawns into vegetable gardens across the country are doing is participating in a radical and pervasive change in society – the very definition of a revolution. (Thanks Dictionary.com for clarifying!) We are changing, in small ways and large, the food chain. We are changing how children understand and value what appears on the supper table. We are changing our neighborhoods by providing shared resources, and a means of connecting with the people around us.
I am unashamedly adopting the words of that community gardener as the motto for the Laughing Place. In fact, the boat that serves as our newest raised bed is named Revolution.
Yes, I am a Beatles fan – so all on its own the name makes some sense. But a sign placed just above the name is soon to follow, one that will connect the dots for our neighbors: “It’s not just a garden, it’s a…”
For Americans, the return to a more agricultural focus has become trendy. I am one of three backyard chicken keepers in a three block radius in our neighborhood. Many of my extended family members and friends garden, and a couple of them could also be called urban farmers. We have time and resources in plenty. But what if we could change the larger world with our little gardens?
I imagine that not one person in Somalia is going to thank me for a box of my surplus produce – whatever good intentions might have been packed in with the tomatoes and zucchini, the fruit and veggies would arrive unusable. But what if we could contribute something that won’t rot in the shipping? What if we sent ideas? That’s just what Marcin Jakubowski is doing. Through a unique initiative, Marcin is designing an open-source blueprint for self-sufficiency. Check out his TED talk here
Pretty inspiring, no? And what if a farmer in Afghanistan applied for a Kiva loan to build one of Marcin’s tractors? Would you contribute $25? I’m pretty sure we CAN change the world – one farm at a time.