What is the power of food? Vandana Shiva, author and activist, reminds us that the potential power of food can only be unlocked by us and that once this power is unleashed, great change will follow; indeed, she tells us that “[g]rowing your own food is a revolutionary act.”
So what exactly does this mean? History tells us a great deal about how home growing has transformed from a daily necessity to a subervise social statement. Let’s take the United States as a case study. Just two centuries ago, many Americans knew how to grow at least basic necessities or had easy access to locally grown goods. This began to change in the mid to late nineteenth century with the advent of the Industrial Revolution which moved workers from the fields to factories. By World War II, victory gardens signaled the (temporary) end of an era of home growing; in the post-war years, industrialized agriculture and food production became the norm.
How did this happen? Our priorities changed as the industrialized food system promised us quick, cheap food and we became increasingly focused on our work hours rather than our home hours. Farming has moved from farmers’ fields to industrial hot houses and these fields have transformed into housing developments and strip malls. For many of us who live in the suburbs or cities, we’ve forgotten what farming even looks like or what a fresh tomato tastes like.
Growing your own food has thus become a revolutionary act that stands apart from the super market and fast food norm. This act becomes a statement: that we have not yet forgotten how important food is to our happiness and health. Grow your own herbs or veggies, become a revolutionary!
You need not grow everything at home, just something. Food activists like Vandana Shiva, Joel Salatin, Will Allen, Paul Stamets, and Ocean Robbins remind us that growing something, anything, is one of the most powerful things we can do to slowly but surely change our food systems for the better.
Now, we have organized the Grow Your Own Food Summit. This summit features 34 presenters including Shiva, Salatin, Allen, Stamets, and Robbins. They cover an array of topics and share valuable skills and insights. The summit is available digitally so you join the summit at any time.
In the meantime, here are a few small steps you can take to be a revolutionary:
- Plant a tomato or a basil plant or some lettuce and greens. Eating healthy, sustainable food from our yards, roofs, or kitchen counters will make us healthier and kinder.
- Growing sprouts in our kitchen will help us think more clearly and feel more confident in taking care of ourselves once again.
- Make eating and growing a celebratory act. Have fun and feel joy when you bite into a fresh strawberry or share a homegrown salad with your loved ones.
- Shift your focus away from the industrialized food system and instead visit your local farmer’s market or buy some seeds at your local garden center.
- Share your herbs and veggies with your neighbors and friends, or volunteer at a community garden. Growing food brings us closer to other people and strengthens our communities. By working together, we can begin to revolutionize our food system on a bigger scale.
Find out more about what you can do to be a food revolutionary at growfoodsummit.com.