On Topic - Community Gardening in Tough Times
- Subject: [cg] On Topic - Community Gardening in Tough Times
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 12:23:32 EST
We are trying to get more people engaged in community gardening on this
listserve. Many of us came to community gardening from the left, feminist,
anti-war, or faith based movements of the '60s. Other community gardeners,
who are centrist, right wing or from other faith based movements have come to
community gardening from parts of this country that are more conservative, or
hold more personally conservative views, with the desire to feed the
hungry, be socially responsible in a "thousand points of light" way.
I hold both groups equally as close to my heart. Community Gardening is that
important to me and I hope to everyone who does more than lurk on this list.
Community Gardening has to be a large tent because our larger American
community is that way. In my NYC garden I have folks who marched with me
against the war, and others who view anti-war marchers as being wrong and
lacking in support for our President, and their children, some of whom are
suited up in the Middle East and ready to march into war. My family has an
18 year old son at college, registered with Selective Service. He is one
congressional act away from going to war. These are tough times for all of
us. We need our community gardens now, more than any time since the Vietnam
Community Gardening and our organization, the American Community Gardening
Association has to be a big tent, so that folks from all political stripes
and all opinions can get into the dirt and grow communities from the ground
up. We need power, from whichever side of the spectrum it currently sits, to
help us or not hinder us from getting land to grow food and improving our
neighborhoods. Community gardening is like mom, the flag and apple pie.
Community gardening is so good, that I can't see any group, on either side
of the political spectrum, getting us off of our mission, which is getting
Americans to work with their neighbors to raise food, grow community and
understanding by engaging in the education and beautification of their
communities through gardening.
Personal note: I pray for one active duty Marine who used to move rocks with
me in our garden as a 10 year old kid who now sends us postcards from
undisclosed locations in the Middle East. He came into our garden looking
like a recruiting poster with his friends during fleet week last summer. One
of his buddies had his two year old daughter on his arm as we walked through
the place, they in their sea school trousers and me in my shorts and sandals.
I cut a bouquet for the wife who accompanied us to take with her.
The first translation of our garden rules from English into Arabic for our
Yemeni garden members was made by an Iraqi friend who works at a local
hospital. He's still here, but has family back in Iraq. Rest assured, they
are very much in my prayers. We have people in our garden community, Serbs,
Croats and Bosnian Muslims as well as women of cover who enjoy it's peace in
complete harmony with cellphone using young professionals, sunbathing on our
lawn. All are welcome. All are requested to participate. Here, where we
used to have some nasty gang wars, we never let it flow into our garden - we
were a space of sanctuary... I hope we still are.
This ain't self censorship, but in these days, on this list, because our
gardens are so preciously important to so many people, because this country
is getting so darn polarized, I'm thinking, "Is this good for community
gardens", before I click the send key.
We just have to make sure that there's room for everyone at Mama's table and
think, before we hit the send key, "is this good for community gardening
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