In theory, I like gardening. I like the concept of the sun in the sky shining down on me with a french braid and overalls, pulling fresh produce out of the newly-tilled soil. However, I have rarely, if ever, have enjoyed it. It’s just not my thing. I have on occassion volunteered at various places to help with their garden, I don’t enjoy it, and I am
not really good terrible at it. All that to say, this post is hypocritical, because what am I about to tell you will change the world? Garden.
There are three major ways you can garden that will change the world. One, is you could help with an organization’s garden to help further the mission of that organization. For example, ECHO, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, has a lot of different gardens on their property with the purpose of figuring out what grows best in a variety of environments, and then teaching people that live in those environments how to grow that food so that they can both be fed, and have an additional source of income. On a side note, you can still help this organization if you won’t/can’t garden. I shelled seeds in their nice, air-conditioned seed bank.
Next, and perhaps the coolest way, is to get involved in some capacity with a community garden that donates produce to a local food bank. Community gardens strengthen communities, which make them generally better places to live. Additionally, community gardens offer fresh produce options that would normally not be available to many families that receive food from food banks, creating healthier families and less financially-strained food banks. If your community does not have a community garden, look into starting one. Try to get a small plot of land designated for this purpose from a school or local parks department. I think you’ll be surprised at the involvement from churches and other organizations once they hear about it. The Brookhaven Community Garden, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is simply a small plot of land located on the Oglethorpe University campus, but it helps to feed 30 families a month!
Finally, you can change the world simply by growing a portion of your own produce in a personal garden in your back yard or patio. This changes the world because many grocery store produce suppliers, even for the produce grown in the U.S., use unethical labor practices, even going so far as enslaving migrant workers in Immokalee, Florida that produce tomatoes. By growing your own tomatoes, and letting major grocery store chains, such as Publix, know that you do not support the way that they acquire their product, you are creating real change. If you want to know more about this, and how you can help, check out International Justice Mission’s Recipe for Change.
As you can see, gardening can end hunger and fight slavery! Consider getting involved in one of these ways! (Especially, if you like gardening as much as I wishthat I did)