Epilogue to a Week of Eating Locally
In every healthy living book, workout manual, and or exercise article, there is always some mention of being a conscious eater. I thought I was a conscious eater to an extent by trying to eat whole grains, veggies and fruit everyday. After this week, I think that I had a higher level of conscious eating. Every ingredient we ate was grown or raised in a local, humane and sustainable way. Many of the ingredients were grown or raised organically as well. I ate in a way that was good for the environment, food that was grown from sustainable farms, and food with very little waste. I want to continue to think about my food in these ways.
That brings me to the idea of urban gardening. I live in the city limits of Nashville on a very small tract of land with a large shade tree in front, and one in back, and both cover the property with shade and no grow zones. I love my trees because they are old, and provide cool shade in the heat of the summer. If I were to want to grow my own food, I would have find a community garden. When I lived in Philadelphia, there were community gardens everywhere, and you had to be on a waiting list for a plot. In Nashville, for whatever it is worth, most people don't support community gardens, except for a few very special people.
Earth Matters Networks has taken unused land next to an overhead interstate highway, and has transformed it into a community garden, leaf composting center, and gardening education area. Earth Matters has called this land Dr George Washington Carver Earth Food Park. It is open on Saturdays from early hours in the morning until early afternoon. It is fabulous, they plant heirloom tomatoes, heirloom peppers, lettuce, mustard greens, and other veggies. They plant and raise these delicious foods organically.
I walked over to the Earth Matters Networks' food park community garden on Sunday, and I happily found it open. The volunteers were getting a couple new beds in shape, and are looking for someone to "adopt a plot". I have lived 3 blocks away from this garden for 5 years now, and I love the idea of it. I support the non-profit organization which tends to the garden, and I find so much value in it. Ok, I have not worked in this garden because I can't seem to get my act together early enough on Saturday mornings to get there and do gardening. As kid, I lived in Los Angeles and Boston with no home gardens, unless you call that hole in the concrete with a stick in it a garden. I just don't know what do with a garden.
For 5 years, and especially now, I am thinking about what I am willing to do, and wanting to do, to make my time in the community garden fun, and not just yard work. I love the concept of the community garden so much, but what mental block is getting in my way of actually actively participating more? To participate more, and eat foods from the George Washington Carver Food Park would be the ultimate conscious way of eating. I must continue to think about this wonderful community garden.