Back in January, I took a break from blogging, and it ended up being several months instead of several weeks. But the the time has allowed me to reevaluate my priorities as a writer, and I have heard the call to focus on issues of poverty and the environment, since the two are intricately related. Specifically, I have renewed my interest in local food, and I would like to introduce a program I will be starting this summer. It is called “Extremely Local Food,” and the purpose is to raise awareness of backyard gardening as a viable and reliable source of year-round food. There will also be a companion program on community gardening.
In my experience as a Presbyterian minister in small towns and rural areas of the South, I have learned that progressives and traditional conservatives share an interesting culutral value: the importance of growing and sharing food as a means of building community, preserving the land, and ensuring the welfare of all. In today’s hyper-partisan political climate, these two groups are driven apart by rhetoric and wedge issues, but there is ample space for common ground if the pundits and politicians can be tuned out for a few minutes.
With that goal in mind, I am holding an event the last week of July that should appeal to concerned citizens across the political spectrum. For those seven days, I will eat nothing but produce from my backyard garden, except for a little salad dressing. It will begin with a Sunday evening “Garden Party” for my local friends, and continue throughout the week on various Internet forums. I encourage anyone who is interested in local food issues, or who has concerns about the trend, to join the discussion.
For starters, please check out the Facebook page:
Happy gardening and happy summer eating!