Social justice gardening
I had an idea. Ok, I have lots of ideas but this is one that I am actually going to follow up on. I’ll take you through my tortured train of thought before the little light bulb went off with a oh my and surely someone has thought of this… haven’t been able to find anyone who has.
From all the gardening posts, you guys know by now that I’m a bit obsessed with my new toy — the growing tiny garden I’ve planted. After the amazing success of re-growing the green onion (I had some from the garden on my sandwich for lunch today!), I started looking into what else you could re-grow. The answer is celery, garlic, potatoes, romaine lettuce, bok choy and quite a few other things. The deal, though, is that I can’t afford to buy most of these things (potatoes excepted, but there is not room to grow them) at all and certainly not in the quantity to supply me, much less 12 of my neighbours, with anything more than the occasional nibble. So that got me thinking.
It got me thinking about restaurants. They regularly chop up tons of green onions, celery, and lettuce, for instance. They toss the roots of those veggies into the trash. Think about it: In just one day, the average restaurant is going to toss enough green onion roots in the trash that, if re-grown, could supply a hundred people (or more) with all the green onion their hearts desire.
So then I thought, what if I went to a couple of my local restaurants and asked them, for just one day, not to throw those root bits from onions, lettuce, celery, etc., away but to toss them in a special bag that I’d collect. If even one agreed, that would be a huge amount of food down the line. They would be donating to help others without any cost to their operation whatsoever — talk about a painless donation. Then I thought, wow, if there were a whole network of people planting communal gardens in low and middle income areas and we could get a whole lot of restaurants to take part — this would be such a huge help to putting food on the table and easing the burden not only of the poor but of the struggling middle class. Prices of everything and taxes just keep going up and salaries are just nowhere near keeping pace. Even a few shekels a week saved can make a huge difference in the quality of life. So next week, I’m going to go have a little chat with the restaurant up the street…