J500 Media and the Environment

Backyard Oasis by amandat09

I can still see its faded brown outline in the back corner of the lawn. Our little backyard garden used to overflow with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers carrots and a rasberry bush. Two years ago when my parents moved into my grandparents’ old house next door to ours, I watched as our new neighbors moved in and neglected the food we’d worked so hard to plant. Now it’s nothing but an awkwardly placed  patch of dirt disrupting the symmetry of their perfectly mowed green lawn.


Keeping up the garden wasn’t exactly labor intensive for me (I usually just got the benefit of picking the rasberries for our morning cereal) but it still gave me a little sense of pride. This feeling used to be so commonplace in America, but now it’s something really rare. Michael Pollan put it best when he asked– since when do we need journalists to tell us what’s in our food and where it comes from?

Factory farming and the over-processing of food has long been on the mind of the food conscious. But could all this thinking actually be causing some change?  A recent National Gardening Association survey reported a 19 percent increase in the number of Americans who said they planned on growing their own fruits, veggies, berries and herbs this year. That’s 7 million more people who want to grow some of their own food this year. The economy is one reason for this change of heart- you’ll save about $500 at the grocery store- but maybe American’s are finally realizing that a closer connection with growing your food doesn’t make you a hillbilly:  It makes you a responsible human being.


photo from cenblog.org


2 Comments so far
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This totally struck a cord with me, I remember growing up and having the back yard completely turned into rows of fruits and veggies, now it’s just grass again. First my next-door neighbors moved in and put up a fence between our homes blocking all the sunlight along the side of the house ruining the best growing areas and then we just sort of stopped the major growing of fruits and veggies. Don’t get me wrong, we still have strawberries, bananas and tomatoes but it’s not the same. I can’t wait until I live someplace with a yard and can garden myself.

Comment by meganr21

Isn’t Pollan great?

It great to know that more people are growing their own food. I’m starting my own “container” garden soon and am hoping to become one of the seven million saving $500. Though a downturn in the economy is bad for jobs and houses, it may prove good for (of all things) gardens.

Comment by bryand09

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