Sunday, December 12, 2010

A community of vegetables

Check out the latest issue of the estimable Foothills Gazette for two stories on local food initiatives dear to my heart.

One is a profile of Nooksack Valley High School's use of local produce in its foods classes. (James Ortiz, who is pictured giving his usual intense scrutiny to a tray of potatoes, is one of my students this year.)

The other story talks about community gardens in rural Whatcom County. While at first thought it might seem redundant to have neighborhood garden plots out in the county, when I thought about it I realized that of course not everyone in farm country has ground to plant. Even house renters may not have permission to dig up the back yard for a garden plot, and some yards are too shady to grow vegetables. Many county residents live in apartments, including recent arrivals to this country who have both the skills and the need to grow their own produce.

I had a chance to talk briefly with Gretchen Hoyt of Alm Hill Gardens and Growing Washington when she was at the high school last week. She brought me up to date on Everson's Community Garden, which is thriving in its spot behind the library, producing vegetables for the Food Bank as well as for home tables. I'll go into more detail here when time permits.

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