Monday, April 20, 2009

Michelle's Garden and Cuba

Michelle Obama has been such an inspiration for so many, and  for mr. Obama himself --it's obvious. Her initiative of making an 'organic' garden and including the children, cooks and community is another ground-breaking example of being in tune with the reality of our time. Growing your own organic backyard garden may be the most effective way to bring the price of 'organics' down. What I expect to see, even this year, is that in cities all over America people will take community based initiative to start food gardens.

Let's face it --the only way to make organic truly organic is when it is produced in your own region, or better your own backyard. What is 'organic' about an Argentinian grape sold on the shelves of let's say Whole Foods ? "Organic" and its marketting is often a deceptive ploy by now. So in case of Michelle's garden the 'organic part' should be almost taken for granted. Who would want to see pesticides ( that for instance kill bees) be sprayed around the White House? No-one ! Instead we want to see bees, mulch, compost, mushrooms, bats, all of that...

What is so great about Michelle's Garden is that it is an example of urban gardening -- an idea that may well feed millions of people in a time of crisis.

Here at Ecoversity our gardening and beekeeping classes have never been as well attended as this year. One can feel a kind of excitement in many beginners of all ages who want nothing more than to plant a seed and re-establish their relationship with the earth and become more self reliant in the process. People seem tired to work for money now, but they seem eager to volunteer and work for values, and learn whole new sets of skills in the process. 

In this respect we may count ourselves lucky that the tide is turning and relationships with Cuba are defrosting at last. Just a thought: a Michelle Obama  goodwill visit to Cuba (with the children) would be sensational and would create a whole new beginning with all of  Latin America. It turns out that there are a few good things about Cuba after all: though the Cubans may still all be very poor, they have experience (under duress of an embargo -- mind you) with organic urban farming (there are hundreds of food gardens in Havanna) and with how to have public healthcare at the same time. The wikipedia informs us that the "Cuban government operates a national health system and assumes fiscal and administrative responsibility for the health care of all its citizens". Isn't that more or less what we want here....? (but we are so far from that)It is funny how history has a way with us --there may be a few things to learn here....

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