My folks raised me with a value that it’s important to support that which I believe in. Over the years, I’ve discovered that I believe in local agriculture, in urban environments as well as rural – it can help make our air healthier and our meals tastier, and help to reduce the impacts of our collective fossil fuel use.
At times, my experiences have been reluctantly enlightening – after one successful season of back-porch gardening, my more ambitious 2nd season brought me to the unsettling realization that rats can travel along power lines just like their squirrely brethren, and were in fact the culprit in The Case of The Disappearing Strawberries. (That put a damper on my urban food growing dreams for a while…) But beyond that, I’ve found that my interest has brought me in contact with other people with similar – and often more successful – urban agricultural passions.
My friend Agnes is one of those people, and is a pretty amazing individual. She’s a gardener by trade (both in her “9 to 5” as well as in her first season of growing flowers wholesale within Seattle city limits on unused land – you can e-mail her if you’d like to buy hyper-local bouquets! Do it!), and volunteers her time to help manage the giving garden at the Wallingford Greenhouse, growing vegetable starts to help support the giving gardens (to combat local hunger) through Solid Ground. She also keeps a pulse on local farms who allow consumers to participate in “bulk buys” of produce, and helps her friends come together to purchase in bulk. She’s inspiring, dedicated, and helps me keep my canning habit going strong.
Another friend, Bob Redmond, started his own urban beekeeping business, called the Urban Bee Company. A tireless advocate of bees, he worked with homeowners and organizations to place hives on Seattle land, and puts in the work to tend the hives and harvest the honey. The honey can be bought through a subscription to the Urban Bee Company’s Honey CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and it gets delivered by “bee-cycle” – leaving no carbon footprint. He also partners with several small businesses to bring their products to subscribers, helping to support a stronger local economy. And if you heard about the hives that were installed along unused land at Sea-Tac Airport, Bob was involved with that!
Both of these friends inspire me with their drive to bring the focus onto what we can do locally to support a thriving environment. They’ve both proven that you don’t need to have acres and acres of farmland to make a positive impact on local agriculture. Though I’m still hesitant to attempt back-porch produce (rats!), I value that they’ve provided other ways for me to support urban agriculture. In the coming year, I hope to better support it with the gift of my time, too.
What’s your favorite way to support local urban agriculture?
Sasha may be the shyest social person you’ll ever meet. She joined Verity in 2009, with a couple years in the Credit Union Movement already tucked under her belt (amidst coffee-making and bagel-slinging, running a non-profit, and trying her hand at farming).
An eternal optimist (except, you know, when she’s not), she enjoys exploring her surroundings and having adventures with friends; yoga, running, reading, writing, and good food. Though not a remarkable cook, she is nonetheless a sincere one and admits she’d be better if there were three more hours in every day. When not doing one of the many activities mentioned in the previous two sentences, she counts herself lucky to be peacefully at home, cuddling with her partner and their cat.