Wrapping up 2015 with Backyard Gardeners Network

Okay, I said that I would post two stories of organizations doing great work that help direct marketing producers and markets, but I decided I should support one organization in my own city too, so now it is three.
I chose this organization because it has quietly shared resources and space to anyone wishing to grow food, to work at a garden or increase food sovereignty in the Lower 9 or across New Orleans. I first met BGN’s E.D. Jenga Mwendo about 10 years ago and was able to spend some time with her then and have kept an eye on her organizing since. I am impressed with her enthusiasm for honest grassroots work and her willingness to partner with larger entities whenever necessary, and yet not allow her community to be swallowed up by their intentions. In other words, in a very turf-y area of organizing here in New Orleans (no pun really intended), she does her level best to rise above all of that and do what is good and nurturing.

BGN-Annual-Update-201513

Source: ANNUAL UPDATE | Backyard Gardeners Network

Farm Shares | Grow Dat Youth Farm

A recent success story in New Orleans for urban farming and school-aged youth, Grow Dat has sold their produce through at their City Park farmstand, at farmers markets, through online ordering/home delivery services and now with this CSA method. GDYF is a well-regarded project that has produced very real outcomes in a challenging funding and food environment. The success of Grow Dat’s project work along with their constant advocacy for urban farmers has truly risen all boats.

Farm Shares | Grow Dat Youth Farm.

Urban Quality of Life and Green Placemaking | Sustainable Cities Collective

Perhaps the most striking finding of the study is the fact that happiness was more strongly correlated to green space than socioeconomic status. Participants living on blocks with 10% fewer green areas than the average were more likely to report stress and depression. Following this logic, a ‘poor’ resident living in an area with more trees and open space would report being happier than a ‘rich’ resident living in an area without access to green space.

Another study, this one by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, uses 18 years of survey data from over 10,000 participants across the United Kingdom. Its analysis shows a strong correlation between access to green space, self-reported well-being, and even physical health. The researchers even found that the sensations associated with living close to green space yield similar feelings and levels of satisfaction to getting a new job or getting married.

Urban Quality of Life and Green Placemaking | Sustainable Cities Collective.