A Call to Town Hall - Plant Veggies, not Flowers
A Call to Town Hall - Plant Veggies, not Flowers
Poverty Reduction, Environment Protection and Community Building
Reduce poverty, involve community, promote healthy lifestyles, reduce personal and city spending, create a well connected and safer community, add natural nutrients back to top soil, and educate about healthy living and healthy food.
Most cities and towns have multiple flower gardens that are taken care of by city workers. Call your local city hall, ask them to plant hardy vegetables in garden spots instead of the usual flowers. Vegetable plants produce very beautiful flowers that turn into edible veggies like Squash, beans, sun-chokes, tomatoes, cucumber, and zucchini, just to name a few of the basics.
You can still enjoy the beauty of all the flowers the vegetable plants produce and even add a few seasonal flowers in the mix.
A few times a year, the community can get together for a harvest. The harvest can then be sold at farmers markets, donated to needy families, or whatever idea someone else may have.
Many types of Vegetables can be stored for quite a long time. we can help reduce poverty if the harvested food is donated to those who need it.
Involving community members by allowing everyone to participate in weeding, watering, and harvesting.
Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
There are currently hundreds of millions of dollars spent on Marketing campaigns each year. These vegetable gardens will help to promote healthy eating with people walking by a bunch of veggie gardens all day.
Reduce city spend by having community volunteers do some work such as weeding, and general garden maintenance.
Demonstrations, informational tours, and meetings can be held at garden spots for educational events related to growing your own garden in the city.
Harvesting the crops can be a community event bringing individuals and families together a few times a year to sell and/or give away the crops. Harvesting your own seeds will eliminate purchasing expensive annual flowers that die and wither each year.
Rebuilding for future Generations
Over time each garden spot will rebuild itself to a more natural state and balance itself to support the types of vegetables being grown. Adding natural nutrients such as it's own compost to top soil each year will build a healthy garden for future generations.
Creating a well connected and safer community is always on the top of the list for most families and singles these days. Getting to know more people in your community will create a safer atmosphere by having more people watch out for each other more.
The infrastructure for maintaining these gardens already exists in most cities and towns across North America. Some gardens even have automatic sprinkler systems. Very little needs to be done to make this idea possible. Help make 2010 a year of community and health. Plant Veggies!
This idea is included in the draft Greenest City Action Plan. Action to date on this issue include community gardens and green streets on City-owned property. The City has also developed an edible landscaping policy http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/socialplanning/initiatives/foodpolicy/tools/links.htm#Edible
NOTE: Madeleine's idea "replace annual bedding plants with edible plants" has been merged with this one.
"The amount of money and manhours that the city spends every few months to dig up and replace the flowering annuals that are in many public parks, roadsides and city buildings is a huge waste, considering that there is no tangible benefit from these plants.
I would suggest including attractive, edible plants in these gardens instead, and making the produce available to people in the community. Not only would this encourage creative landscaping/green jobs, local food, but it would also decrease the green waste created by the city."
If you like this idea, you may like my other idea that I just posted.
Making flower/garden bombs that can be used on ugly looking empty lots and cracks in the side walk etc...
Janna L. Sylvest commented
In general I’m in favour of the idea of replacing most annuals with indigenous plant species, though not necessarily plants that produce food specific to our human taste. The reason most plants classified as “annuals” are so classified is because they are species taken from a different climate all together, one where they would in fact survive year round - dormant or active - but can not in our climate, hence last only seasonally. For the most part, the term “annual” might as well be “non-indigenous”. However, in selecting plantings, we should be cautious about being overly enamored with food that we want to eat.
In our rush to embrace local food options, remember that not every species eats what we eat! Let's not eschew biodiversity for the sake of our own species food preferences. Ground shrubs that produce berries (not the kind people enjoy) are essential to song bird populations. Ornamental flowers are key to pollinators, like bees and butterflies, and numerous non-human food-plants provide ground cover, biomass, and habitat for the wide range of animal and insect life that is just as essential to our continued survival as or more fruits that we want to eat! Just saying, environmental policy has to consider biodiversity. Any one focus out of balance with a natural balance, can have an unexpected and devastating impact.