So I was grazing on the green borders of the information super highway and came across the following story:
Urban Gardeners in Buenos Aires Seek Solutions to Hunger and Poverty
on Earth Day
A lady in Buenos Ares is making a map on her Facebook page
all the fruit trees in the city that are planted on public land. Her intention is for the poor and homeless to know where to look for free food.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA Every time Ludmila Nahir Medina, 23, leaves her house, she carries a pencil and paper to tally the fruit trees on the
streets of Buenos Aires, Argentinas capital. So far, she has recorded 1,500 trees from which people can eat for free.
The story is interesting and just a little inspiring, and it got me to thinking. Most cities and counties in the US and municipalities around the
world spend a large sum of our money planting and caring for shade trees and "beautification projects". Why not plant shade trees that could provide
food as well? Seems a no-brainer to me, and there are a few examples of cities already doing this.
And I am sure many others. Some areas would be more challenging than others to find suitable species of trees, bushes and hedges of course, but
SOMETHING will grow nearly everywhere. With spring in the air, I intend to attend the next few city and county council meetings and encourage my
elected representatives to adopt a "Green Food" policy.
Here are some other examples of people mapping the fruit trees in our cities:
New Orleans, LA
There are organizations that exist to provide resoucres to people and municipalities who may be interested in the concept:
Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
Our programs are at the forefront of a global movement towards sustainability by strategically donating orchards where the harvest will best serve
communities for generations, at places such as public schools, city parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international
hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries
Trees for Cities
Inspiring people to plant and love trees in cities worldwide. We work with communities to plant trees in parts of cities that need it most. We
grow stronger neighbourhoods, enhance urban landscapes and improve health and happiness
are examples. And if worst comes to worst, some folks have even taken the bull by the horns and resorted to civil disobedience.
Her campaign with city agencies hadn’t drawn any takers, "so finally out of frustration I thought why not just do it, and do it responsibly,
and that could be a case to convince them,” she says. About a year ago, the Guerrilla Grafters were born as a horizontally organized band of fellow
agro-activists who wanted to help sew an urban orchard.
And finally, for anyone interested here is an example of a source of supply and information I pulled up in a quick search.
A UK site that seems to have loads of info on everything
from edible hedges to micro forest gardens and community orchards. Lots of information on local species and practices.
Anyway, this seems to be an idea every place in the world could adopt that is relatively revenue-neutral (to use the current buzz word) since the
money is already being spent. We might as well get something more than clogged gutters and downed power lines out of the whole city beautification
deal. Feel free to add any sources of supply or information you might know of!
Anyone got a green thumb?