Eating DC

Since I started looking around this spring and summer, I have noticed so many edibles planted in the DC area. Not just the sages, mints, and basils that people use as a border or accent bush, but squash, cucumber, tomato, peas, strawberries, apple trees, nasturtium, all sorts of yummy things in unexpected places in Edible DC! Other area bloggers have displayed wonderful urban edibles all around the city, most notable (to me) Amelia at Gradually Greener.

I don't know if it's because Michelle made it posh, but I'm almost certain there weren't as many edibles being grown last year. It will be interesting to see how many people in DC keep up the gardening next year. The square-foot method seems pretty popular among those with anything resembling a yard.

There are way too many photos to post, so I made a slideshow video with most of the pictures I have taken in recent weeks. You can view them, as well as listen to an awesome Canadian song, at the end of this post.

But before you get to the multitude of edibles, I want to mention a particularly outstanding edible place in DC.

Here is Tim, working diligently in his group house's front yard. It has been very dry, after two months of extreme wetness (this was last weekend, before yesterday's tempest), so he has to hand-water everything now. The yard has a ton of crops, including several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, herbs, carrots, bush and pole beans, okra, lima beans, and marigolds spread about to repel insects and add a dash of splendid colour.

He is part of a social movement to build community through volunteering, but I never did learn what organization he and his housemates belong to. But his mission to build community through such projects as ripping up his front yard and planting food has clearly worked--random people (for instance: me) come up to him to ask him about the yard, the house shares the harvest with neighbours, and even the wildlife get some nice flowers to pollinate and a better habitat than just grass.

The house is across the street from Tubman Elementary School. I don't know if the house volunteers with them, but Tim told me of a school across from the Anacostia metro station that has a summer farming program, during which kids come throughout the week to help take care of the vegetable crops. I got the feeling that Tim was involved with that, or at least went down to chat with the folks, because he told me stories of kids who initially thought "What? Why would you garden vegetables when you can buy them at the store?" and then, after veggie gardening, changed their mind and considered enrolling in agricultural programs at university.

My thoughts on this little plot of Edible DC? It is easily visible from the elementary school across the street. Even seeing someone outside, working in and caring for a garden, will have an effect on children. If some of the kids go say "Hi" to Tim and his housemates, even better. If a few of them decide to grow some of their own plants, the world will be a better place for it.

Every seed, every child, is truly a promise (my favourite book when I was a small child was "A Seed Is A Promise." I haven't read it since I was, oh, maybe six, but if only the title sticks with me, it has done its job.). Having kids understand how the world works, how plants grow, and that everything is a process just like those plants' growth can only lead to a better future, so kudos to Tim and his housemates for helping show people how plants grow and where food comes from!

Music to the video is "Go For A Ride" by Jason MacDonald. He's a Nova Scotian homeboy. I found his music in January, when I was in Halifax. I never did get to see him perform (I forget what took up my time), but I like his stuff. And who needs to go for a ride to see the countryside? It's all around us!

These photos were taken at various times over the past weeks/months, but are in generally chronological order. One of the tomato shots is from New York (Ground Under Repair).

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3 Responses to Eating DC

  1. I love all the edibles gardens, It great to see in DC and across America people taking back their lives, great read!!!


  2. The organization Tim and housemates are involved in is the Mennonite Volunteer Service. Thanks for the story.-Janessa

  3. Beccijo, thanks! It truly is awesome to see people thinking so much about growing edibles!

    And Janessa, thanks for the info!



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