Monday, July 13, 2009


I present to you my favorite daughter, the amazing Alexis - who claims not to understand why people are always telling her she looks like me - and who also happens to have been the most recent winner in our book give-away. All that talk about food got her to thinkin':

A Possible Solution to a Catch 22

I was lying in bed this morning, not wanting to get up, when I started thinking about what my mom wrote about in her blog about Food, Inc., and gardening more. Problem is, low income families can't afford nutritious wholesome foods, and are forced to settle for junk. This junk makes them sick with heart disease and diabetes which require treatment with expensive medications and testing equipment. If they want to get better they need healthy food, which they can't afford. If these families don't have enough money to buy a little produce, they certainly don't have the capital needed to start a garden, assuming they are lucky enough to live in a house with a back yard to garden in. Anybody who lives in an apartment knows that landlords get pretty angry if you try to dig up their flower beds to plant a few vegetables.

After stewing over this for a while I started thinking about how those who do have a victory garden often end up with too much produce, and are often giving it away so it doesn't go to waste. A "what if " occurred to me.

Victory gardeners are fairly well organized with groups all over the country. All you have to do is type Victory Garden, (insert your city here) into Google and you will end up with a list of various groups and forums specific to your area. What if they partnered with their local school districts, churches or some other non-profit like Goodwill to start an Adopt-a-Family program?

Each gardener, instead of handing out their spare produce sporadically to different people, could adopt an individual low income family and give all their spare produce to that family. That way this family now has access to nutritious foods to feed their children, while freeing up some of their income to help them get ahead and pry themselves out of the loop that they are stuck in. In return the families can perform community services, or possibly the kids of said family could help out in the garden, giving the gardener free labor, while the kids also learn about nutrition and how to grow their own food, so that they may provide good foods for their families in the future.

What do you think?


musingegret said...

I think Lex has a fabulous idea and there are so many different ways to run with this! Some churches have Adopt-a-Family lists already established for sharing assistance at Christmas. This could expand to dual season relationships with the same families. Does Bountiful Sprout have any sort of surplus-donation program established with the various producers? Or do the producers individually handle their own surplus?

I've been thinking about Adopting-a-Restaurant here on the south side to donate my increasingly prolific sweet basil! LOL

Hill Country Hippie said...

Well, that's the good thing about Bountiful Sprout - the farmers know ahead of time precisely what they have sold, so they pick that exact amount and deliver it for pick up. Much better than at the farmers' market, where they have to pick ahead of time, and just guestimate how many people are going to show up on any given day, and what they will be in the mood to buy. Wonder what farmers' market vendors do with their leftover stuff at the end of the day?