NECIC's annual Garden Movie and Pizza Night, held Jan. 21, was a big hit. If you weren't there, we missed you!
A big thanks to all of the attendees for bringing salads, side dishes, "Texas Caviar" (look for the recipe in an upcoming Community Garden News!), and even homemade salsa, pies, and brownies! Two Cousins Pizza was the main dish, and those amazing homemade goodies topped it all off.
It all looks so good!
Community Garden Organize Rochelle Jones makes the announcements
Everyone voted for their favorite movie from a list of available films. Selected was the documentary "Can You Dig This?", a film that inspired everyone in the room to follow in the footsteps of these renegade gardeners.
The film focuses on five "gangster gardeners" in South Central Los Angeles. The area, like Mansfield's North End, is a fresh food desert, which means no fresh food is available within a certain area, usually a mile.
In the documentary, "guerrilla gardener" Ron Finley described the food desert as a "food prison," stating, "You can grow things in the desert, but in prison you have to ask permission." The statement was in reference to his being served a citation for planting food on the parkway, or tree lawn (the space between the sidewalk and the street) in front of his home. His refusal to remove the garden led to media coverage, his part in the documentary, and his popular TED talk, which can be found here:
The movie was a hit with attendees, and struck a nerve with many of the urban gardeners in the room.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of the Fresh Food Desert, imagine living with no transportation of your own. In order to shop, you must walk to the corner store, where only snacks and junk food are available, get a ride, or take the bus to the grocery store. Now imagine taking the bus home with your groceries, balancing your bags as you navigate the bus seats, and adjusting your timing to fit the bus schedule. The freedom many of us take for granted, just hopping in the car and running to the store, is not afforded to many within a Fresh Food Desert.
The film sparked some intense conversation between attendees, with topics ranging from planning new gardens, revitalizing old ones, and in the case of at least one person, learning to garden.
It's hard to watch a film like this without feeling moved in some way. When people are literally fighting for the right to grow their own food, how can we not take advantage of area community gardens, the Teaching Garden, and our own back yards?
Finley said that growing your own food is power, and it's like printing your own money. What do you think?