“control your food, control your life.”
a full house was at the Horticultural Society of New York on friday march 16th to hear from thomas fox, the author of Urban Farming, and from an expert panelist of city farmers and horticulturalists. it was thoroughly thrilling hearing all the success stories of a city growing. From the community based Dekalb Farm, to the restaurant cooperative Riverpark Farm and the awe inspiring ideals of the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm.
there were numbers thrown at us:
14,000 acres of sun exposed rooftop
52,000 acres of backyard space
11,000 acres of vacant lots
all this unused space in NYC, and yet there’s only a handful of successfully run projects. the potential is there, but the red tape is just as prevalent. If there is anything i learned it is the policies that need to become just as progressive and proactive as the people of this city. There is a definite interest and want to produce and not just consume, so why is it so hard to actually get where we want to be?
Alternative growing methods were discussed by Britta Riley, who offered her solution to the red tape of public spaces, through her Windowfarm project. A hydroponic system of planted lacework that can grow in any city window. But what i left with was her closing statement. To paraphrase her, “would it really hurt to break some of the rules, when breaking them creates something good? we just want to reclaim our relationship with food, is that so wrong…?”
two days and a couple dozen cigg refills later with food passions heightened, my head was spinning with the knowledge i gained from this hugely supported just food conference. my mind was as gluttonous as my stomach usually is (i had lunch-on-the-go in order to attend more workshops and soak up as much delicious custard as a piece of stale brioche for the perfect bread pudding can)!
from being inspired by some of the most enthused, humorous and even oddly pessimistic (in the most motivating way possible) speakers, the conference kicked off on the right foot as people hustle and bustled from the packed auditorium at the food & finance high school to the dozens of workshop options scattered amongst the classrooms of 3 floors. with so many options it was hard to choose, but i landed upon room 167.