Growing a Garden City

Jeremy N. Smith

Growing a Garden City

“One fundamental fact of a CSA and that of seasonal eating is that you have to accept that you are not in charge of the food. It is, in fact, in charge of you. When the food's ready, you have to be ready for it. I mean, here we are, sitting in the living room, and what do we have here? About eighty pounds of squash, all lined up by the heat vents, curing for the winter. Hanging in the garage now, curing, too, are 150 pounds of onions. The greens we harvested ourselves and froze. Other things like tomatoes came in four or five waves, and the tomatoes don't care if you are out of town or on a deadline for a project or if your kid is sick. At first it's a little like having multiple children show up when you only expected one.”

This paragraph comes from a book new to the Tucson library, one titled Growing a Garden City. As you're doubtless aware, your writers have been members of a CSA (community supported agriculture) here in Tucson for several years and are always interested to read and hear about the experiences of other people who participate in CSAs. Growing a Garden City highlights the stories behind one of the country's most remote yet far-reaching experiments in community-based agriculture; surprisingly, it's in Missoula, MT, a small city that's learning how to feed itself. Residents of Missoula are growing food so that even the neediest among them can eat, and, in the process, are teaching their children to grow food so they'll have a way to provide for their own families in the future.

“Of course, emotionally for me, there is no price. I'm a pretty pragmatic person, but for me community isn't sitting in a movie theater, it's not sitting in a restaurant, it's not even being at a political rally. People have to interact with each other. There are over 300 people directly involved with this site. From all different aspects of our culture they interact under a value system of caring for a piece of land, getting their food from it, and letting nature work in and around it...You've got to have hands-on experience to gain this appreciation. Satisfaction comes when I see other people make the connection.”

From kale to carrots, from soil to harvest, Garden City is a joy. Be sure to read all about it!

Copyright 2012, S. Halversen.
All Rights Reserved.