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Rooting DC: Getting Grounded in the Local Urban Gardening Movement

February 22, 2010

Free food. That’s the way to win over any intern’s heart. And the promise of free food and intriguing workshops inspired me to get up early last Saturday and head to an event called “Rooting DC,” an urban gardening/agricultural forum held annually in the Capital. I was excited by the broad range of topics covered in sessions; everything from cooking with vegetables to gardening advice to public policy was addressed. This comprehensive look at how to improve DC residents’ access to healthy food and gardening opportunities was a big draw, with over 500 participants. The Field to Fork network of organizations dedicated to various aspects of sustainable urban agriculture in the metro area impressed me with a similar mentality to FCNL: every person can participate in the movement to better our quality of life and protect the environment. Whether you want to grow herbs on your apartment balcony, compost your leaves and kitchen scraps, or change the zoning codes that prevent groups and businesses from having gardens in the city, you can make a difference.

Though it’s only February, this forum energized me to look into volunteer opportunities in the dirt during this upcoming growing season and encouraged me to daydream about the tasty local produce soon to be available at farmers’ markets. For those readers who share an itch to grow things, Sharing Backyards is a nationwide program to match folks with land with people who want to garden, or if you live in the area, there are dozens of community gardens in the District. Many municipalities and towns have similar urban agriculture networks, so now is the time to investigate ways to promote food security and sustainable urban planning.

Curbing climate change and changing federal environmental policy are daunting tasks that FCNL is dedicated to, but seeking “an earth restored” includes small practical steps as well, like reducing waste, turning vacant spaces into green places, and making our homes and offices more eco-friendly. As a year long program assistant I get to show visitors around FCNL’s innovative green building, and every day I am reminded of what a unique and great environment I work in. To shamelessly promote this opportunity further, I encourage anyone interested in our internship/program assistant program to learn more (applications are due March 9.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2010 2:21 pm

    FCNL supporter Rob Jones, who came to annual meeting, gets featured in the New York Times for his involvement with a group called "Crop Mob" wherein farming types descend on area farms to volunteer for a day.One great idea on how to get in the dirt.

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