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Victory Gardens For the 21st Century

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Vg21c Power Point

  1. 1. Victory Gardens for the 21st Century EAST TENNESSEE EARTH ALLIANCE
  2. 2. Climate change is the defining challenge for human development and ecological well being in the 21st century.
  3. 3. The IPCC projects that if no action is taken, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could reach 2 ºC higher than their pre-industrial levels by 2035-2050. The consequences of a 2 ºC temperature rise are grave for potentially millions of people through death, injury and dislocation from flooding, fire and disease, adverse effects on water quality, species extinction and reduced agricultural yields. International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland (
  4. 4. Agriculture is both affected by climate change but also contributes to it. As a sector, agriculture adapts to changes and offers options for mitigation i.e. reducing greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage. When considering the total food chain from farm to the consumer, the greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors related to agriculture potentially total 25-30% of all GHG emissions. International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Organic Farming and Climate Change.
  5. 5. Agriculture can help to mitigate climate change by a) reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and b) by sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere in the soil. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL 2007
  6. 6. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) defines adaptation to climate change as „adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.‟ „Gateway to the UN System‟s Work on Climate Change‟
  7. 7. Traditional skills and knowledge as a key to adaptation to climate change Traditional skills and knowledge have been neglected in intensive corporate agriculture. Organic agriculture, on the other hand, has always been based on practical farming skills, observation, personal experience and intuition. Knowledge and experience replaces or reduces reliance on industrial agriculture. This knowledge is important for manipulating complex agro-ecosystems, for breeding locally adjusted seeds and livestock, and for producing on-farm fertilizers (compost, manure, green manure) and inexpensive nature-derived pesticides. Such knowledge has also been described as a „reservoir of adaptations.‟ Tengo and Belfrages, 2004
  8. 8. “Demand at food banks across the country increased by 30 percent in 2008 from the previous year,” according to a survey by Feeding America. Even food pantries in upscale communities are seeing an uptick in demand. “These are people who never really had to ask for help before,” said Brenda Beavers of the Salvation Army. Even when much of America is prospering, hunger is a significant problem, according to annual reports issued by the USDA.
  9. 9. Today, far fewer Americans have experience making foods from scratch, and fewer still understand food preservation, which requires both skill and an investment in steam cookers, jars and lids, said Janet Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologists who studies emergency food needs. “We have seen a major shift in the way people prepare foods and eat foods over the last one or two generations,” said Vanessa Ulmer, policy and advocacy coordinator of Tulane University‟s Prevention Research Center.
  10. 10. The East Tennessee Earth Alliance is working to change local food policy and cultural attitudes about food and revive traditional food skills.
  11. 11. ETEA recognizes the value of farm- and garden-scale urban agriculture for environmental and nutritional health, personal wellness, urban greening, and an engaged and active citizenry. Growing food and non-food crops in and near town contributes to healthy communities by engaging residents in work and pleasure that improves the well- being of themselves and the broader public.
  12. 12. The potential to expand urban production is enormous. One third of the 2 million farms in the United States are located within metropolitan areas, and produce 35 percent of U.S. vegetables, fruit, livestock, poultry, and fish. Katherine Brown, PhD Southside Community Land Trust Approximately every $1 invested in a community garden plot yields $6 worth of vegetables. Anne C. Bellows, PhD Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  13. 13. Nutrition Urban gardens and farms produce surprising amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and meat. In a 130-day temperate growing season, a 10‟x10‟ meter plot can provide most of a 4-person household‟s total yearly vegetable needs, including much of the household‟s nutritional requirements for vitamins A, C, and B complex and iron. (Community Food Security Coalition 2008). Practical experience with food – cultivation, harvesting, purchasing in stores and farm stands, cooking – influences dietary knowledge and practice.
  14. 14. Exercise Gardening and food production is good exercise, although its value is often discounted. When self identified as exercise by research subjects or isolated by researchers, gardening has been connected to reducing risks of obesity (children and adults). Research shows that gardening is a preferred form of exercise across age, gender, and ethnicity. Overall, older persons do more gardening than younger ones. Even moderate forms of garden exercise increase muscle strength and endurance in activity-reduced persons including pregnant women, cancer survivors, and those generally sedentary. Anne C. Bellows, PhD Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  15. 15. Mental Health Working with plants and being in the outdoors trigger both illness prevention and healing responses. Cultivation activities trigger both illness prevention and healing responses. Health professionals use plants and gardening materials to help patients of diverse ages with mental illness improve social skills, self-esteem, and use of leisure time. Horticulture therapy promotes plant-human relationships to induce relaxation and to reduce stress, fear and anger, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Jac Smit, The Urban Agriculture Network
  16. 16. Building Safe, Healthy and Green Environments Community and educational lands dedicated to food production encourage participation in the vigor of a positive urban environment. Working collaboratively to “green” a neighborhood creates safe and pleasant neighborhoods that reduce GHG, decrease air pollution, reduce crime and enhance civic life. Social engagement is positively correlated with personal attention to health care and wellness. North American Initiative on Urban Agriculture
  17. 17. Victory Gardens for the 21st Century EAST TENNESSEE EARTH ALLIANCE