Monday, May 10, 2010

Toil in the soil!

It's time to get my some dirt beneath my fingernails.

Tomorrow, I will volunteer for the DTE Energy Gardens Project in a community garden in Pontiac. The produce that is grown is sent to Gleaners, which provides food for local families in need. In 2009, almost eighteen-thousand pounds of produce was harvested, said Marc D Zupmore, DTE Energy Gardens project manager.

My need to feed others is a genetic trait I inherited from my larger-than-life extended family.

"Do you want a sandwich?" an uncle will ask, followed by an offer for some homemade soup, cake, ice tea, etc.

"No thanks."

"Are you sure? It will just take a minute. You're looking thin."

"Yep, I already ate."

And before I can come up with yet another reasonable excuse why I am not hungry, a plate of food is set before me.

Now, as an adult, I inflict this same force feeding tactic onto friends.

Many of us show love through food, and I am one of those people. And while the majority of Americans attempt to burn off unnecessary consumed calories — myself included — others can only stare at empty cupboards. What's worse, nutritional food doesn't last as long as processed fare, and tends to be pricier. Thus, those suffering from hunger don't always get a nutritional diet from the food they can afford.

The gardens are attempting to make good on both issues by providing fresh, healthy food to people in need. I can't wait to get outside and play in the soil!


  1. Val, this is so cool! I hope the weather warms up (and dries up) for you! Community gardens seem to be becoming more popular, and I think it's a wonderful trend. My parents are working in one in Lake Orion, and I think it's actually kind of therapeutic for them. My dad loves to be outside and taking care of his yard, so it's like he gets an extended yard, and his work/play benefits other people in the process. Win win!

    I, too, show my love with food. You can feel free to love me with food anytime. ;)

  2. Here's a story about the garden in Lake Orion:

  3. Thanks Erin! We should get some chow before you leave for Haiti! The Union or someplace in Rochester?

  4. I love the community garden idea. I'm glad to see it catching on so well locally; I wish it were catching on just as quickly in Detroit. I hear really bad things about what type of food is available in stores in poor areas. I'd love to see Detroiters putting in honest work in a neighborhood garden and reaping the reward of both fresh food and a greater sense of community.