Update: As of 9:05 am ET January 29 there are 3,967 questions about marijuana and only 1 about what I posted about. There are obviously a lot of people who are well organized (and funded) around pot growing but don't get it about urban food growing.
Is marijuana our national priority over new job creation, hunger, better nutrition, obesity and childhood lead poisoning? If it is, we have bigger problems in this country than I realized.
Many of you may know that the White House sent an email invitation to post a question to the president on YouTube. I did! This is a screenshot (no live links) of my question to President Obama in 250 characters and spaces or less. Both the "watch video link" and the bit.ly link go to the logo video on TEDxManhattan.
To find the question scroll down to the Search box on the right and search on the word SIPs or sub-irrigated. Please do yourself and all the children you know a favor by giving it a thumbs up, Tweet it and do whatever else you can do in the great big wide world of social networking to share the question with others.
I truly regret not having my social networkng act together yet, but I will very soon! The Dear Mr President question is only the start of things to come. A new activist web site to get modern methods into the so-called Peoples Gardens including the White House Lawn garden is in the very near future.
With no demonstration of a dirt garden alternative like SIP beds and boxes they should be called the Some of the Peoples Gardens.
Thanks to the UN FAO organization, The Growing Connection, there are a few EarthBoxes in the USDA Peoples Garden in D.C. Other than this rather anemic demonstration that few Americans know about the rest of the gardens are all about top-watered dirt boxes.
These inaccurately named Peoples Gardens are certainly not gardens for all the people who live in concrete jungle cities, particularly inner city neighborhoods of color.
Here are some very smart people who get it and deserve your recognition.
Rick Bayless, chef extrordinaire and a favorite of Barack and Michelle Obama grows vegetables on the roof of Frontera Grill in EarthBox SIPs. Smart chef! Smart Chicagoan!
Vikram Bhatt, Director of the McGill School of Architecture’s Minimum Cost Housing Group (MCHG) initiated the McGill Edible Campus. This award winning campus garden was created by students who made the SIP planters from recycled materials. The campus is a joy to behold. Smart educator, smart students! Smart Canadians!
The Rooftop Garden Project in Montreal is the grand daddy of rooftop gardens all over the world. It has been a proving ground for many different sub-irrigation and simple hydroponics methods for many years. The young people who staff this and other gardens provide fresh vegetables to the Santropol Roulant kitchen. Read their rooftop gardening guidebook. Watch a video about the project. Smart rooftop gardeners! Smart Canadians
Ken Waagner, unsung hero of modern urban gardening, managed to get EarthBox SIPs installed on the granite steps of the Museum of Science and Industry and the rooftop deck of the Smart Home. Smart business man! Smart Chicagoan! (smart museum CEO and smart architect too!)
Ron Wolford, Madiem Kawa, of the U of IL Extention Program and Cook County Master Gardners are the ones who create, manage and maintain the innovative gardens, including EarthBox SIPs on the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry & Smart Home. Smart educators! Smart Chicagoans!
Johanne Daoust in Toronto discovered SIPs last year, converted her entire rooftop garden (including traditional raised beds) and heard the applause of all of her friends. Smart professor! Smart Canadian! Read a prior post here.
Long time penpal Heidi Hough who created the SIP acronym, has been growing in SIP buckets for years. Smart editor! Smart Chicagoan!
Helen Cameron, co-owner of Uncommon Ground restaurants in Chicago grows some of her rooftop vegetables in EarthBox SIPs and also created a sidewalk garden with them. Smart business woman! Smart Chicagoan!
Lorraine Gibbons of Garden State Urban Farms founded a socially responsible business serving the needs of New Jersey urbanites of all stripes, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker. She grows in many EarthBox SIPs as well as a hydroponic greenhouse. Smart business woman! Smart New Jersian! Smart Mayor!
Larry Hall invented a very creative way to use SIPs and rain gutters to make an auto-irrigated gardening system. This SIP system has enormous potential for urban food production, school and community gardens in particular. Larry has done this for social good. Smart inventor! Smart Minnesotan!
There are many, many more smart SIP gardeners across the country and around the world. We just haven't organized yet, but we will!