So, what’s next? How can we channel this White House garden victory into a bigger, broader message that continues to plant seeds of self-reliance and sustainability and healthy food access for all?
Look to our country’s historic roots for inspiration and declare your food independence by signing a petition encouraging our country’s governors to join you in eating local this July 4th. An effort of Kitchen Gardeners International in partnership with the IATP Food and Society Fellows, this petition champions the connection between food and our nation’s independence, further propelling the momentum of interest in eating fresh, local and healthy.
With your support, we can build upon the White House garden triumph by challenging each of our state’s first families to savor the abundance of local flavors this Fourth of July holiday. In today’s challenging economic times, our country’s governors need to showcase the importance of food independence in their own state, inspiring us all to make the connection between what we eat and the health of our nation.
And here’s the hidden gem behind supporting food independence: once folks start making conscious decisions about their food sources, this sustainability screen naturally filters to all other areas of their lives. People buy fruit at their farmer’s market or plant peas in their garden and they move to start changing light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs or hanging laundry out to air-dry. As my husband, John Ivanko, and I write about in Rural Renaissance, food can serve as our daily reminder of how all our choices have an effect on the world around us.
“The concept of food independence, being able to feed ourselves and cultivate a spirit of self-sufficiency, roots back over two hundred years to the time of that first Fourth of July and the founding of this nation,” adds Rose Hayden-Smith, a garden historian and national advocate for the Victory Garden revival. “By signing the Food Independence petition, we are aligning ourselves with our Founding Father’s and Mother’s vision of patriotism, a self-reliant country that can take care of its own.”
Make a statement this summer by declaring your Food Independence by calling on your elected state governors to do the same, encouraging them to share their meal plan for the Fourth of July. Check back for updates and, hopefully, your governor’s potato salad recipe using local spuds.