I just finished The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities by Will Allen and knew I had to share this book with others. This book was just published this year and it is very worth your time. It is a quick, easy read and Allen does a very good job of telling the reader his background in corporate America and how he changed his career to his many gardening endeavors. Allen only has five green houses on 2 acres in Milwaukee, WI, but it is impressive the amount of food he can generate in that little space. He uses vertical gardening, sustainable aquaculture, and other great gardening techniques to have year round farming and a good variety of food to share/sell. Allen also started Growing Power an organization to help get teenagers involved and working in his urban garden, which has an outpost in Denver. In low-income areas this is very helpful in keeping children from making bad decisions. This is also why the book is fascinating, it is more than just growing a garden, it is about creating a community. While it is common now a days to not even know your neighbors, I think this is a very important quality that is not always discussed when talking about urban gardens.
Urban gardens have many rewards that Allen discusses. Healthy food is more easily available in a community with an urban garden since it may be a food desert or food swamp, with limited food options. Gardening also teaches children and adults very important skills: 1. How to grow food (a skill that seems to be lacking in younger generations) 2. Patience and Perseverance (gardening is all about this) 3. Cooperation (gardening often makes you work with others, especially if it is a community garden) and so many other skills that are hard to define in one little post. Urban gardens also get the community working together to improve their living space.
With having my own garden, this book makes me want to do more. It makes me want to increase my compost, be more efficient with my limited space, and look into having chickens and bees. I am always excited when a book makes me motivated to do better.
If you are at all interested in urban gardening or just gardening in general, I recommend you read this book in the near future.
Image Source: Penguin.com (Publisher)