Kitchen Gardens Gone Viral

Norway is the often slow to catch up with the rest of the world.  So when a “new movement” started at the end of August here, I knew I should check on the progress of this in other parts of the world.

But first, the name of this Norwegian movement is MOJOBO – an acronym for “Food and soil – where you live”.  (Mat og jord- der du bor).  Its goal is to connect 1000 organic gardens in the growing season of 2012-  in cities and town, in schools and in parks, to make a visible impact to increase organic gardening in Norway.  Behind this project is the Gaia Agenda, a network of individuals, organizations and groups whose goal is to make our beautiful planet more sustainable. This initiative is quite radical here in Norway and it is spreading like wild-fire. Finally attention to organic food!

If you have started growing your own vegetables and other edibles on your property or in your apartment in pots,  you are part of  trend gone viral around the world.  A quick check in Google will give you oodles of websites on how to best make an sustainable garden patch.  How to green the city.  What unexpected places you could grow food – on top of buses – on top of buildings! Courses abound. People are joining together and cities are greening.  You can check out pop-up gardening in Australia, or Kitchen Gardens International, a nonprofit community of 25,000 people from 100 countries who are growing their own food and helping others to do the same through education, planning, connecting, supporting and even funding.  The US White house is part of the network!  Maybe you heard that they are brewing their own beer and composting their waste – as an incentive to ordinary people.  Should we pay attention to this movement and get our butts off the couches?? Is it telling us something that we aren’t paying attention to – like the rising cost of food.

But beyond this scarcity mentality is the most optimistic expression of this trend that has lead to real community connection, kindness and respect.  An inspiring story, delivered with great humor, engagement and clarity, it also appeared this past week on my Facebook news feed.

What grabs my attention in this video is how just a few people decided to figure out how they could make a difference in their community.  They looked for a common denominator and discovered it was food!  Their motto is something like “if you like food, join this movement”.  Without looking for “permission” from the local governments or money from a bank they just started with this seed idea.  As you watch this film you will see how one thing leads to another and creates a web of interconnection between all levels of society, including business, schools and eventually city officials.  It is a key example of self-organizing systems that take on a life of their own and lift the system to a new level of complexity.  It shows leadership and guts.  It shows optimism and selfless visioning of a better future.  Hats off to these ladies from Northern UK.  And thanks to Marian, an avid transmitter of planting knowledge, who brought this video to our attention.

If it is any indication, the Norwegian initiative could make a big impact.

Enjoy Pam Warhurst in “How we can eat our landscapes”!

Thoughts to ponder and plan for next year as we move into the harvesting season.

What could you start in your local community?  Who else in your neighborhood is growing their own food?  How could connecting with them help the whole? How could those of us who don’t have a green thumb or a place to grow food join the party?


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