I’ve had an epiphany. I’ve realized that we have the wrong attitude toward food. It shouldn’t be a commodity that’s bought and sold. Food should be growing everywhere for anyone to eat and enjoy. Food should be free.
When I started researching the idea, I quickly found pockets of communities around the world who are doing just this. So I’m launching a new program at Change Food – “Plant Eat Share” – planting food for free in neighborhoods around the world while encouraging/supporting others doing the same.
Why is this important?
By helping communities grow food in public spaces for all to enjoy, we’ll help:
- Combat climate change – food is one of the largest contributors to climate change
- Reduce food insecurity – according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, over 820 million people do not have enough to eat
- End our global health crisis – healthy, regenerative food can help minimize or end many medical issues
- Increase understanding of the hard work farmers do for all of us
- Build community and ease rampant isolation
- Reconnect people to the earth – if you plant it, odds are you will eat it
Food should be grown along biking and hiking trails, in community gardens, on rooftops and balconies, on front lawns and in backyards. We’ll be meeting with and learning more about:
This UK organization already boasts over 100 member groups around the UK – all planting food in unloved spaces. Their goal is to create connected communities through food.
Forget platform 9 ¾ – the Kentish Town train station now has a garden growing on platform 1. Riders are encouraged to empty their leftover water into the plants – and to help themselves to the herbs and other food growing there. Transition Kentish Town is part of a global movement called the Transition Network, a network of over 1,400 groups creating change on a community level around the world.
Artists and visionaries Austin Young and David Allen Burns have been creating food maps for years – plotting places in cities where fruits and other edibles lean over into public spaces, all so anyone can eat and enjoy the food. They also have created Endless Orchard, an effort to plant fruits and vegetables in public spaces.
The city of Atlanta, Georgia, has planted the state’s first food forest – and the country’s largest – on over 7 acres of land in the Browns Mill area of the city. The formerly vacant property will now feature trees, shrubs, walking trails and a restored forest and stream-side areas. It will also grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms for the community to enjoy for free.
Residents of Belsize Park and Primose Hill, London, are growing hops in gardens and balconies in order to supply the ingredients for beer for St. Mary’s Brewery, a beer company located in the crypt of St. Mary’s Church. The Bishop blesses the brewing equipment and all beer which is then sold to residents of the area. Profits go toward supporting the church’s work with youth in the area.
Food forests, public food maps, community gardens, gleaning, food sharing, climate gardens, foragable communities, well beeing gardens – around the world, there are a multitude of efforts to grow food and provide it for free (or for a charitable, nonprofit cause).
What would happen if other communities were provided templates for recreating these projects in their own neighborhood?
That is why Change Food is launching Plant Eat Share – to promote great work being done and to provide tools and resources for other communities to do the same. Please contribute to our efforts this holiday season so we can raise awareness, and encourage and activate communities to start growing their own food for everyone in the area to share and enjoy.
Everyone who donates this holiday season receives our new guide “Grow Herbs Indoors,” so you can grow your own. Our goal is to empower, educate and encourage communities to get together and grow fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables and grains to eat and share with each other – for free.