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globalbriefs


News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.


Self-Sufficiency America’s Best Community Garden Cities


We don’t have to live in a rural area or even the suburbs to be a farmer these days. According to the Trust for Public Land, the 10 best cities for homegrown veggies from urban gardens are Seattle, Washington (a P-Patch program pro- vides 68 gardens for residents throughout the city); Portland, Oregon (its Produce for People program donates fresh produce to local hunger agencies); Long Beach, California


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(growing anything from sugar cane and lemongrass to sunflowers and tomatoes); St. Paul, Minnesota (17 community gardens—half run by nonprofits and half open to rent); Honolulu, Hawaii (1,254 plots for public use); San Jose, California (19 com- munity gardens on 35 acres); Baltimore, Maryland (community gardens cover 11 acres throughout the city); Washington, D.C. (a Master Peace Farm program tends area gardens and mentors budding veggie growers at an adjoining middle school); Anchorage, Alaska (a city goal is enabling residents to work together in harmony); and Louisville, Kentucky (Brightside’s community garden program, established 19 years ago, currently manages 10 of Louisville’s 16 gardens). These gardens not only extol the virtues of fresh, local and often organic foods, they also bring communities together. Some produce food for those in need, others have youth programs and some have even been credited with reduc- ing local crime rates. Many community gardens accept new members in the fall; visit acga.LocalHarvest.org to find one nearby and reserve a space.


Source: TheDailyGreen.com


Homegrown Access Creative Paths for Local Food Sourcing


Entrepreneurs are creating novel ways to circumvent the commercial food system that ships food, in or out of season, for hundreds or thousands of miles at the cost of quality and too often, accountability. Re:farm Denver, in Colorado, for example, supplies families with everything they need for backyard gardens, from irrigation systems to seeds. In 2013, 200 families participated.


Cottage food laws allow artisans to sell breads, jams, candy and other foods made in home kitchens. While specific restrictions vary, 42 states have some type of cottage law. Beth-Ann Betz, who bakes sweets in her New Hampshire kitchen, says, “It gives me the option to be independent and self-employed at 66.” At the Community Thanksgiving Potluck, in Laguna Beach, California, dinner is shared, not served. For 25 years, those with homes and without, single people, families, city council members and the jobless have gathered to share food and community for the holiday. “It’s a wonderful chaos,” says Dawn Price, executive director of the nonprofit Friendship Shelter. At Bottles Liquor, in West Oakland, California, a banner reads “Fresh Fruits


and Vegetables Available Here.” Bottles is a member of the Healthy Neighbor- hood Store Alliance, an effort of the nonprofit Mandela Marketplace to bring pesticide-free produce to corner stores throughout the neighborhood.


Source: Yes magazine


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