Taking Back Our Food From Corporations

Posted on Feb 22 2010 - 5:41am by Mike Lieberman

Day 28: Harvested My Own Vegetables
Not sure if it’s me or the crowd that I keep, but it seems like a food revolution has started. People are starting to take food back from corporations.

This is one of the reasons that I started to garden. I wanted to get back in touch with my food. I feel that America has lost its connection with food for business and corporate reasons.

The fact that gardening on my fire escape allows me to harvest my meals so that I can trace my produce from fire escape to table still amazes me.

There are no words that can explain the joy that goes into growing, harvesting and eating your own produce. Food is the fuel that energizes and nourishes our bodies. Somehow we’ve given that responsibility to someone else.

By starting to garden, I’m taking that responsibility on myself. Being in an urban environment hasn’t stopped me and it hasn’t seemed to stop others as well. Urban gardens and farms are in the news more and more lately.

Stacey Murphy founded BK Farmyards as a decentralized urban farming network in Brooklyn.

BK Farmyards puts the farmers in consumers back in touch, cutting out the middle man. They help to transform people’s backyards into farms. The residents pay for the farmers to tend to the land and make it bountiful and get to keep some of the produce. Those without land to farm on can pay for the produce that is harvested in their neighbors yards.

New York isn’t the only urban area that is getting into the gardening and farming. In South Florida there are lots of gardens and farms starting to pop-up.

The reason that they are starting is the same – people are looking for more locally grown produce that they grew on their own.

Mid-westerners factor urban farming and gardening into their plans for revitalization. Parts of western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio have already started to move forward.

Grow Pittsburgh has the vision of, “Grow Pittsburgh envisions the day when growing and eating healthy, local food is commonplace. ”

Similar programs have started in Youngstown and Cleveland, Ohio with Akron not too far behind in the urban farming and gardening space.

The food revolution has begun. Are you on board?

  • canditaclayton

    I wished I lived closer so I could invite myself to dinner! You are definitely doing it right.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Haha. I got nothing growing right now. That'll change soon though.

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  • http://www.anotherkindofdrew.com/ andrewodom

    Although I live in a more rural setting and am able to garden more, grow more and expand into some livestock and poultry, I am just as amazed at being able to trace my food from its initial source to my table. Having learned to garden in Brooklyn (yes, I grew my first tomato right there in Bed-Stuy off the J line) I am completely taking back my food. I have quit buying produce from the local grocery (which does mean NO salad in January and most of February) and paying prices that exceed $1 per pepper. So, yeah, I am on board. I am actually working with the city part of my community to create a community garden space within the next 2 years that would allow anyone/everyone to manage their own 10' x 10' plot for only $20/season which includes the dirt, soil, compost and beginning seed packet.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Good for you and good for representing BK to the fullest. I enjoy city life, but also wish I had more land to grow on. Gonna transform my Grandmother's backyard a bit.

  • http://www.anotherkindofdrew.com/ andrewodom

    Although I live in a more rural setting and am able to garden more, grow more and expand into some livestock and poultry, I am just as amazed at being able to trace my food from its initial source to my table. Having learned to garden in Brooklyn (yes, I grew my first tomato right there in Bed-Stuy off the J line) I am completely taking back my food. I have quit buying produce from the local grocery (which does mean NO salad in January and most of February) and paying prices that exceed $1 per pepper. So, yeah, I am on board. I am actually working with the city part of my community to create a community garden space within the next 2 years that would allow anyone/everyone to manage their own 10' x 10' plot for only $20/season which includes the dirt, soil, compost and beginning seed packet.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Good for you and good for representing BK to the fullest. I enjoy city life, but also wish I had more land to grow on. Gonna transform my Grandmother's backyard a bit.

  • http://gardeninggaspe.blogspot.com/ Ceara

    I agree 100%. So many people out there don't even know where their food comes from, or what the raw vegetable looks like! Pretty soon there will be a show on TV with the UK chef Jamie Oliver. They taped a show from a public school I think in Virginia or some place near there. He was showing the kids tomatoes and the kids thought it was potato. One girl looked at an eggplant and said it was a pear. The school was feeding the kids chicken nuggets and pizza for BREAKFAST. Real sad.

  • Mike Lieberman

    Here's the clip that you are talking about http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/26/jamie-

  • http://twitter.com/GreenSoil Manure Tea Gardening

    Wonderful article Mike, it’s all about awareness. Sharing and growing from the soil to the kitchen Annie

  • Accidental friend

    That is why corporations made the Food Modernization Act to pass [containing Codex Alimetarius, maching the Codex Alimentarius introduction in the EU at the same time], lobbying & stuff in the W.H., aside making GMOs more & more legal & omnipresent [and all that, without needing to label them as such]; and finally passing ridiculous community codes to prohibit even hobby farmers. As of lately they even coined out a new name for the invented disease to label the real food supporters as sick people who demand healthy, nutritious, organic in the standard we had until now [which is to change], whole food… supporting that according to authorities is a sickness, could you imagine that?

  • glossymoney

    I would loose my place to live if I grow stuff on the balcony. Many places are like this. So glad you can do it. I wanted to start with tomatoes but I can’t.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    You can certainly grow something. Whether it’s on your balcony, countertop or windowsill.

    I find it hard to believe that you can’t have a little container of something on your balcony. Never heard of that restriction before.

    If you can’t start with tomatoes, start with something else.