Monday, April 27, 2009

Am I elitist?

Local food is expensive in my area, but I tell myself that I can safely avoid the “elitist” designation by attempting to grow as much of my own food as possible. Anyone can do it, right? Well, I rely heavily on my plots at the community garden.

Not everyone can do as much food-growing as I can. (M, one of my garden neighbors, insists that I live at the garden, and has suggested that I have a campsite somewhere underneath the fava beans and chard.) Gardeners with unrelenting and inflexible work schedules cannot do as much. But anyone living in an apartment or even in their car can get at least one small plot or share it with others, all for about the yearly price of a pair of Nike sneakers, can’t they?

When I managed the community garden, one of my highest priorities was to increase the number of gardens so that we could spread fixed costs around and keep the rental fee affordable. I succeeded in filling the place so that we could get our landlord to fund an expansion. A year has passed since the expansion was completed and as of a few days ago we are full again. Now, all the sudden, not everyone can do this. This makes me a bit uncomfortable. I want everyone who lives on a budget to be able to eat locally and sustainably.

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