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One Garden At a Time

August 9, 2010 – Little by little, people are taking on the challenges that climate change will inevitably thrust upon all of us. In some cases, climate change has absolutely nothing to do with what’s happening. For instance, I’ve just found out that the Midwest’s largest school garden is located right here, in the town where I live! I’ve driven by a few times in the last several weeks, and the sunflowers have been a sight for sore eyes. There are over 100 garden beds scattered across the 25 acres on which the elementary and preschools are located. The schools make use of the vegetables in their cafeterias, as do the local soup kitchen and the vegetarian restaurant across the street. Community volunteers keep the gardens growing during the summer, and the community is welcome to pick whatever is growing. Started in 2002, the gardens are an unmitigated success! It’s entirely possible that one day, those school gardens may be a vital source of food for the community. Lesson plans, growing tips, even recipes, all can be found at www.grannysgardenschool.com.

The flip side of the coin is represented by Locally Harvested For You (LHFY), a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that doesn’t take subscriptions. It too is located right here in “my town” – I can’t say “hometown,” because I didn’t grow up here. LHFY offers memberships, which, at $35.00 apiece, are a considerable improvement on the hundreds of dollars charged for a CSA subscription. You then have the right to place an order each week, which can be picked up at either of their two pick-up locations. Since I’ll be observing a sabbatical year next year (I’ll have been growing vegetables for seven years in our current location by then), I’ll need a vendor of organic, locally-grown produce. Looks like I’ve found one! If you’d care to learn more, visit the LHFY website

at www.locallyharvestedforyou.com. The future is looking better all the time.

Finally, there’s the grandmammy of them all: Grailville. A women’s spiritual center founded in 1944, Grailville was, among other things, a CSA with a sold-out membership. (Again, they are located in “my town!”) As they have made the transition from spiritual community to spiritual outreach center/retreat site/meeting site, they have – apparently – found it necessary to close down the CSA. The vegetables and herbs grown in their certified organic garden (certified in 1992) are used in the preparation of foods served to guests. Their web address is www.grailville.org.

All three of these gardens are and will continue to be an important resource. In the instances of two out of the three, they are not responses to the deteriorating agricultural situation in the country. Regardless, we’re lucky to have them. I hope your community has a similar wealth of delicious, locally-grown food!

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Under the heading of Incredibly Good News, the Senate’s failure to pass climate legislation means the task of regulating greenhouse gases falls squarely on the shoulders of the EPA. It is anticipated the agency’s regulations will be stricter than those proposed in Congress. The regulations will go into effect early next year. There will be more to say about this auspicious turn-of-events as the regulations’ implementation draws closer.

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