News / USA

US City Dwellers Look to Grow Their Own Food

Recent urban gardening forum in Washington, DC draws hundreds

Hundreds gathered at Rooting DC to learn about urban gardening and urban agriculture.
Hundreds gathered at Rooting DC to learn about urban gardening and urban agriculture.
June Soh

As more Americans try to adopt healthy lifestyles and environmentally friendly practices, the idea of growing their own food has become increasingly popular among city dwellers.  That interest was evident at a recent urban gardening forum in Washington, D.C. Dozens of organizations and hundreds of residents got together to advance the local food movement.

Katie Rehwaldt, a coordinator for Rooting DC, says getting free seeds is one of the benefits of participating in the day-long urban gardening forum.  

“These are the seeds.  We get about 36,000 pounds (16 metric tons ) of seeds packets a year donated to us, which otherwise are thrown away or destroyed.  We distribute them to the civic garden projects all over the country.”

According to Rehwaldt, the purpose of Rooting D.C. is to bring community members together to learn about urban gardening and urban agriculture and to strengthen the community and develop more gardens all across the city.”

More than 550 people attended the 4th annual event.  

“I think they recognize gardening as a way to bring fresh, local, organic foods into their lives, into their communities, into their schools," says Rehwaldt. "So I think the interest in gardening has spiked because of that.”

She says growing concern about the environment has also boosted interest. “Because we do not just grow food, but we protect the environment through sustainable gardening practices.”

A cooking demonstration of simple but healthy meals using fresh vegetables was one of the highlights of the various workshops offered by more than 30 local non-profit organizations.

“I am really interested in environment and sort of reconnecting with food and nature," says Scott Verman, a student of the American University in Washington, who came with his friends.   
"Certainly how to find local food and how to cook it well, and maybe sort of hopefully to get involved on my own with gardening or inspire others to do so.”

Verman says his school has a community garden on campus.  And for those who don’t have access to a large space, Dennis Chestnut of the urban gardening group, Groundwork Anacostia, says you don’t really need one.

“We can grow our food in as small a space as a flower pot, but we work with residents to use spaces as small as three feet by three feet (0.9 meter)," he says. "So that is what we consider an ideal size for a small space garden.”

Several organizations that encourage school children to grow fruits and vegetables in creative and healthy ways also ran workshops at Rooting DC.  

“We are making newspaper flowerpots," says Erin Gordon, who is with an after-school program called Kids Power. "And newspapers are biodegradable material, so students can make the pot and then either put it directly into the ground, or they can put it into another flower pot. Any vessel can be a vessel for growing vegetables.”  

Alexis Baden-Mayer came to get information for her six-year-old daughter. “Two years ago we started a garden together at her school. So I need to figure out what resources there are in DC to support school gardens and helping us learn how to put one together.”  

Brian Stewart, a data base administrator, says gardening is a hobby that he can enjoy with friends. “I got some great tips from the seeds saving workshop for saving seeds for next year. I am looking forward to having some seeds and being able to trade with friends”

The organizers hope to launch a movement that will grow into a sustainable local food system for healthy communities in Washington, around the country and across the globe.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid