Food for Thought: Something to Chew On

By: Jennifer L. Lumpkin, Consultant at Creative Community Builders ….. 

For some years now, I’ve had this crazy idea about creatively combining technology and urban agriculture. At first I had no idea what this would look like, or if any of my grower friends would join in. I had met so many agricultural entrepreneurs who were agricultural revolutionaries, and I admire them to this day. Working as an organizer for a premier real estate developer provided me with insight on a few issues that kept bubbling up throughout my work in various communities. I was pulled to further address the limitations posed by redevelopment and traditional community gardening. A few of these challenges were:

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1) Lack of space for multiple growers in a given neighborhood
2) Cost of community gardening plots
3) Personal capacity of individual growers

I realized that what I had was a forward thinking approach that would address these compounding challenges. I thought, “Hey! This idea can be used as a tool for Community Engagement between community members who may or may not intersect or socialize otherwise.” Creating a mini community-based food system among community members who can grow and sustain a system within their own personal capacity.

As I take the steps to bring this concept into reality I continue to ask myself and others: “What if we could harness our individual power to build something greater than we could ever imagine? What if the future of food systems were right in our backyards, or our balcony, front porch or window sills?” I believe that communities can do something better, more cutting edge, to create a self sustaining system inclusive of all regardless of income and differing social tenets. As I enter my 3rd year attending Rooting DC, it feels great to have grown into an active change agent rooted in something deeper than myself. I’m looking forward to sharing a space at Rooting DC with others who are actively growing as well!

See more of Jennifer’s writing on her blog, Grow DC 2016