Here is something that may interest those of us who eat food and are concerned about the future of food in cities:
Visualize a number of small gardens scattered throughout the city, glorious with bountiful fruit and vegetables, tended by the people who live next door and down the street.
Picture community orchards, trees heavy with fruit, offering a hands-on learning experience for local residents to discover how to care for fruit trees, and a source of fruit for shared canning and baking.
Imagine that these places are linked to a neighborhood center with a teaching kitchen – where neighbors show each other how to prepare healthful, tasty, nutritious meals from the fruits and vegetables they have grown themselves; to cook and can, to freeze and dry, and to store the bounty of their gardens, vineyards and orchards.
Neighbors gather in the meeting room of the center to share food and talk, to re-knit the fabric of the community: a restoration of the mixing of cultural traditions and experiences which is the foundation of this region’s greatness, by re-introducing young and old, native-born and recent arrival, hearty and frail, expert and novice in common endeavor and mutual benefit.
The kitchen also serves local residents as an “incubator space” – a place where they can start their own commercial food businesses, helped by mentors with business experience who work with them to create local enterprises like catering or turning their family’s favorite recipe into a commercially viable product.
Now, imagine that all of this exists at no cost to the taxpayers of the city or county or state, all held for the use of the neighborhood residents, generation after generation, not subject to economic fortune or political whim.
This is something everyone can be part of. Take back control of your food and your community. The more we come together, the better it will be, because the best place to begin to re-knit your neighborhood is in your neighborhood: you have the people, the interest, the knowledge, the skill, and the time.
Welcome to “Food in the City”, a program of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust (OSALT), a statewide charitable organization dedicated to keeping rural and urban agricultural lands in agricultural use, making them available for future generations of growers, and conducting research and education focused on the sustainable production and distribution of agricultural bounty: food, fiber, building materials, medicinals, nursery stock, etc.
You can find out more about OSALT programs on the web at www.osalt.org
You can contact OSALT at firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you think?