Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chard On My Mind

The Urban Dictionary defines hipsters as "a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's who value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter." 
Oh Urban Dictionary, you forgot to include "must enjoy urban gardening, or at least the thought of it!" 
Local Butcher Shop, Berkeley, CA Meat Chart

In my mind, you are not a hipster unless you eat local and organic. A true hipster understands the importance of local durable economies that support healthy living. Call me radical, or in the minority for now, but I do imagine one day there will not be a choice between organic and industrially grown fruits/vegetables/meats. No distinction will be necessary, because obviously pesticides and chemicals used to grow our food, cause our cells to turn cancerous! Who can deny that reality? Perhaps, San Francisco will be the first to implement this into law, along with mandatory composting, ban on plastic bags, and recycling of cooking oil in all restaurants. Thank goodness for San Francisco's progressive thinking. It might scare some people reading this, because it will be a simple world, and you might actually have to grow your own vegetables in your garden or deck. 
Port of Oakland, CA cranes
Now I don't want to confuse you, dear reader, by bringing up the hipster and occupy movement in the same post, but somehow they are both swimming in my mind as helicopters fly overhead covering today's march from downtown Oakland to the quiet loveliness that is our urban Lake Merritt. It is the sign of our times that people are desperately searching for a better paradigm to urban living, a desire so strong that drives people to march in the streets. Sometimes, change is chaotic and makes no sense, but necessary to move people into some type of action. 

When the Occupy Oakland people marched all the way to the ports of Oakland, I wondered if they really knew what they were doing. Now, if they had done some guerrilla gardening in the huge expanse they stood in, I would have thought differently. As all eyes of the nation were on them, a statement about our food production would have been an incredible accomplishment! When I go by the Oakland Ports, I don't wish for more goods and cars to arrive from other countries, I imagine large expansive orchards and fields of edible green, yellow, orange plants growing. This vision is happening only after all the pollutants from the concrete and containers are cleared. So much pollution we cause to this planet that it's no wonder the climate is out of balance.
Baby Chard
When I mentioned action, I don't mean political, but taking matters into their own hands. We are not talking about how industrial farming has focused too much on profit and not enough on sustainable quality for ourselves and the planet, but yes we need to reinvent modern farming. Which reminds me of many friends that enjoy the pleasures of urban gardening. Urban gardening can be limiting in many ways because of lack of space, but it can be sustainable for focused people and communities that share visions of healthy eating. Take my small winter efforts grown in large ceramic pots. I treasure these lovely hardy winter greens. I even enjoy watching how gently and slowly they shoot up into the cold air. They require a lot of fertilizer since they are grown in pots, but they are most expressive when I add my own compost.  Look at this rich soil created by these worms. Compost contains macro and micro nutrients, and is full of healthy bacteria that break down organics (kitchen food scraps) into plant available nutrients.
Homemade Compost
What people in other countries wouldn't give for this rich soil in my hand. But in reality, composting can be done by all of people. Good work San Francisco, on making one the toughest laws in the nations - mandatory composting! (Now we need to get the City of Oakland on board.) From such rich compost the seeds, the plants, the fruits, the vegetables, and even the animals sustain their existence. The most basic building blocks are found in this soil, for all the hipsters, 99% occupiers, and even the1% of this grand nation; in this being of the same species, we must all eat! Buy, Grow Local, Eat Organic, Save the Planet.

1 comment:

  1. lovely post very important that we eat local and eat organic as we can
    nice to meet you :)