by: World’s Editorial Writers
Saturday, February 28, 2009
2/28/2009 3:36:37 AM
If you plant a community garden, what grows out of it?
First, people who work there end up with produce — healthy crops that they appreciate more because their own sweat went into the process. They grow food.
Second, people who work there take a more intense interest in the neighborhood. They notice things that don’t seem right, and call the police. They talk to each other about problems, and look for solutions. They grow a community.
And then, of course, there’s the salvage yard.
What? Well, that’s the way one city councilor sees it.
Councilor Jack Henderson is resisting a proposed zoning change that would allow community gardens on privately owned vacant lots because, he says, that would lead to more salvage yards.
What kinds of seeds does Henderson think they’re going to be planting?
Here’s a row of tomatoes. There’s some corn over there. And here’s our bumper crop of ’57 Ramblers.
Henderson admitted that his scenario was “a stretch” but added “You know what I mean.”
No, we don’t.
Community gardens don’t lead to salvage yards. They lead in the opposite direction. They promote economic security and neighborhood solidarity. They turn vacant lots into productive centers of sustainability. (more…)