Be sure to watch the incredibly inspiring video below the fold!
Like most of us, your mom or grandma probably tried to instill in you the value of eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Today, scientists, doctors, and other health professionals are showing that mom and grandma were right after all. As a result, there’s a growing trend toward eating local, fresh produce in greater quantities for health and well-being.
But what may be even more interesting is a worldwide movement of “propaganda gardeners” who are growing food plants where people live, work, and eat. The idea behind this movement is that it can restore a sense of hope in people by giving them small things they can do together. Those small things can have a major positive impact on how people feel about themselves and about where they live.
The nonprofit TED, (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) recently posted some videos on the topic of the transformative power vegetables. In keeping with TED’s mission of spreading good ideas, each of the short videos should have you looking at vegetables with new insight. You may find yourself moved to put some of the ideas that you see into action!
Here’s a sample:
If you walk into the cemetery in Todmorden—a small town in northern England—you will find vegetables and herbs defiantly growing. Ditto if you examine the strips of land in the middle of the town’s roads, the area in front of its elder-care home, or the landscaping around its railroad station. You will find corn as high as an elephant’s eye in front of Todmorden’s police station, and fruit trees planted around its health center. Everywhere you turn in Todmorden, edible plants abound.
In this talk given at TED London Salon, Pam Warhurst explains why this is the case—because three and a half years ago, several citizens decided to plant herb gardens in public spaces, permission be damned. The effort blossomed into Incredible Edible, a revolution not only in the way the town eats, but also in the way they think about public space. Everyone is encouraged to plant—on their own property and in public—and anyone is welcome to pick the food and cook it for dinner. The effort has not only brought in “vegetable tourists,” but has been copycatted in 30 towns in England, as well as by communities in America, Japan and New Zealand.
“So many people don’t really recognize a vegetable unless it’s in a bit of plastic,” says Warhurst in this talk, which got a rousing standing ovation. “We have a motto: If you eat, you’re in.”
In the spirit of Pam Warhurst, the TED site presented a selection of speakerswho are among the vanguard of those who see incredible potential for healing change and transformation in common vegetables. You can see the rest of the videos on TED’s blog. Like Pam Warhurst, you too may discover that people respond with hope and passion to the food they grow themselves.