Guerilla Gardening


http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html

Ron Finley describes himself as an artist.  His canvas is unused city-owned land and his paints are fruit and vegetable plants.   Inspiration for his work came from looking closely at his ‘own backyard’ and realizing that the problem and the solution are one and the same: food.  What he saw was a food desert where the only food available was fast food, and he also saw the declining health of the South Central Los Angles population, and a city that has almost 26 square miles of city-owned vacant land, enough space to grow approximately three-quarters of a million tomato plants!.  Finley’s solution for his neighborhood’s problems is to engage in guerrilla gardening and to grow healthy and accessible food in what he names a ‘food forest’.

Guerrilla gardening is growing food on unused land that is often an abandoned site or other area not being maintained.  Guerrilla gardening is a form of political activism – nonviolent direct action or constructive program – and it is intended to create positive social change – specifically, the dismantling of the domination system in our food system. Where gardens such as Finley’s food forest spring up, amazing things begin to happen. Community gardens work to reduce the impact of poor nutrition by improving access to healthy food.  Yet they empower us to do so much more than simply that:

  • They can improve our health through exercise, fresh air and sunshine in addition to providing us with fresh and nutritious locally grown food.
  • They build community through the formation of community garden clubs.
  • They act as education centers that teach about gardening and the environment, plus exercise, healthy food choices, how to work together in community, and how to bring about positive social change.
  • They provide us with a new hobby to enjoy, and one that pays benefits instead of costing money.
  • They improve our environments and help us to save limited natural resources.
  • They provide for more nutritious meals while spending less money so that we may reach out and help others too.

Guerrilla Gardening is a fine example of living more-with-less.

© Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Today is Pi Day & We’re Celebrating with Cake

March 14 is Pi Day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

It’s Albert Einstein’s Birthday.

It’s also a math geek’s holiday.

It’s the official celebration of the mathematical constant pi.

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Pi has mystified mathematicians for centuries.

It’s a way to describe the shape of a circle.

Image Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pi.eq.C.over.d.png

The number represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter.

No matter the size of the circle, the ratio is always . . .

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230…

It’s an irrational number that never ends.

The numbers of pi are random, with no repeating pattern.


A_Job_Well_Done_Babbitt

“So why are you celebrating with cake?”,  you ask.

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“It has to do with food justice.”

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“This is a tomato juice spice cake.”

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“Tomato Juice . . . in a cake?”, you ask.”

“Yup.”

“Why?”

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“Because I grow a garden.”

“And I can my own tomatoes.”

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“And I have so much juice to use.”

“But what does this have to do with justice?”

“Because I believe that children should focus on their studies, not pick my vegetables.”

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So today, while many folks are celebrating the accomplishments of mathematicians everywhere, I am playing my part by choosing actions that do not contribute to an unjust system where some folks have abundant opportunity in life and where others are prevented from realizing this same opportunity.

Tomato Juice Spice Cake

Preheat oven to 350°

Lightly grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Mix together the dry ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour


1 1/2 tsp baking powder


1 1/2 tsp baking soda


1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cloves


1/2 tsp ground nutmeg



1 tsp ground allspice


1 TBS ground cinnamon


In mixer bowl, cream together until fluffy:

12 tbsp butter, room temperature


2 cups of sugar


Add and mix to creamed butter:

4 large eggs


2 tsp vanilla extract


Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the tomato juice, followed by the remaining flour mixture.

2 cups tomato juice

Mix only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in the pan before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat together until smooth:

1 8oz package cream cheese


1 TBS milk

1 tsp vanilla


Adding 1 cup at a time, mix in and beat together until fluffy:

4 cups of powdered sugar


Enjoy.

© Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Just Food

“Just Food?  What is just food?”,  you may ask.

“A bologna sandwich?”

Peanut-Butter-And-Bologna-Sandwich-Recipezaar-2.card

Image Source:  http://www.stlukecp.org/domain/26

“Milk and Cookies?”

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Image Source:  http://www.youthworker.com/youth-ministry-resources-ideas/youth-ministry/11554696/

“Well, maybe”, I say, “it all depends”.

“On how it’s done.”

(did you click the links?)

. . .

Food and justice are intimately entangled one with another.  I’ll ask you a question:

What do you think might happen if every single person on earth had enough healthy food to eat each and every day?

. . .

A few words about the title of this blog, Just Desserts:

According to Oxford Dictionaries:

If a person gets their just deserts they get what they deserve. The word deserts used in this way is related to the word deserve, and is spelled with one -s- in the middle.

While another word which is pronounced exactly the same way, but spelled slightly different, dessert refers to a sweet course eaten at the end of a meal.

The word just, defined as an adjective, is based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

My usage of the idiom just desserts as a pun, is meant to remind myself to consider consumption patterns and how they are related to issues of justice and injustice in our world.

And an answer to my question?

. . .

I’d like to recommend a little book for your reading enjoyment:

Image Source:  randomactsofreading.wordpress.com

I’d like to thank the folks at Random Acts of Reading for recommending the book.

© Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nancy Babbitt and Just Desserts Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.