LaManda Joy wants to inspire everyone she meets to grow their own food. She is an author, national speaker, award winning master gardener, and considered the “Best Urban Farmer in Chicago.” Her rallying cry “We can grow it!” recognizes the influence of the past while invigorating the American can-do spirit to create a positive future.
Joy will present “How Community Gardens Can Save America” on Tuesday May 19, 2015 in the Mumford Room, 6th floor Madison Building from 11:30-12:30. Copies of her new book Start a Community Food Garden: The Essential Handbook (Timber Press, 2015) will be available for purchase and signing following the program.
I asked LaManda to write us a short and savory summary about her upcoming program:
In 2011 I had the pleasure of speaking at the Library of Congress on the topic of “Chicago Victory Gardens: Yesterday and Tomorrow.” The previous year I had founded the Peterson Garden Project on the site of an original WW2 Victory Garden and I was inspired by this massive, and nearly forgotten, chapter in American history.
Four short years later I am back to deliver a message that I think is critical for American cities, suburbs and rural areas and that message is “How Community Gardens Can Save America.” What started for me in 2011 as an experiment to see if people wanted to be together in a community and learn to grow food, has developed into so much more. In our Chicago-based project we currently have eight gardens and almost four thousand gardeners engaging in producing their own food but more importantly, building stronger communities. Following the historical example of Chicago’s efforts in the WW2 Victory Garden movement, education has always been the core of our program; with the logic that if we put our energy into long-term gardeners vs. long-term gardens, the ramifications would be vast.
This is what I’ll be talking about May 19th- how community gardens, the unsung heroes of the new urban agricultural movement, are providing customized solutions to problems that are endemic to American society, one plot of land and one community at a time.
If you cannot join us on May 19, the lecture will be captured and later broadcast on the Library’s science/technology webcast page and YouTube channel “Topics in Science” playlist in the coming months.