On Tuesday evening, Joe and I went to see the movie Can You Dig This at a one-time-only screening. The movie, set in LA and featuring Ron Finley and other area residents, shows how the simple, basic act of growing food can transform lives.
The movie, in addition, was a powerful reminder that not everyone has access to health-giving produce, straight from the garden, and I know I am very fortunate in being able to grow food in my front yard.
We saw the movie at a theater inside the perimeter, and after the movie, people who are very involved in urban farming and the Atlanta local-foods movement stood up to say a few words about urban farming in the metro area.
One of the speakers was Eugene Cooke, of Grow Where You Are. I love this guy’s vision of integrating farming more fully into communities, but he seemed to be having trouble containing some of his frustration as he spoke at the screening. He is hoping that more growers step into leadership in the urban-ag arena, but right now there are many other players who are poking their fingers into his pie (I know – mixed metaphors, but I am hoping the point comes across). Since Eugene follows agro-ecological principles and uses Veganics as his guide, it is likely that a lot of people who visit his farm don’t really understand how much of his work goes into building and maintaining the soil.
|Some of our Asian persimmons – Ichi Ki Ke Jiro.|
Other speakers included someone from the Georgia Farmers Market Association, Dr. Ruby Thomas who is a pediatrician promoting veganism for her patients (her website is called The Plant-Based Pediatrician), a representative from Truly Living Well who said that the group would be increasing its outreach to children and families in the upcoming year, someone from the Georgia Food Bank (I think … my notes are getting more sketchy as I go along) who mentioned the work of Georgia Food Oasis, Robby Astrove who has headed up the planting of many, many fruit trees in the metro-area, and last of all, Cashawn Myers of Habesha, whose chance to speak was cut short by the beginning of the next movie. I had hoped, actually, to hear what Cashawn would say, since two of my friends have been through his farmer training program, but I will have to wait for another opportunity.
The refrain that ran through the movie and ended the evening was “Just plant some shit!”, and there already is a planned “Plant some shit day of action” on December 15, from 2-4 p.m., in Edgewood at the corner of Whitefoord and Hardee. The flyer I picked up on the way out of the theater specifies “Dress to get dirty, bring gloves, water, & garden tools.”
Meanwhile, at home, I am reaping some of the rewards of having “planted some shit” already. Joe brought out a ladder today to harvest the rest of our persimmons, and we have plenty of cool-season vegetables from the garden still adding to our meals. Feeling very blessed…