this is a great piece, with lively music, even— about the idea of tending to the
well-being of everyone with a garden— its out of necessity that a communal way
of living evolves. people pool their resources and grow garden plots in abandoned
vacant lots. they get together to work to provide good food for their own communities.
dare i say it? ‘ from each according to his ability to all who are in need.’
these people are magnificent example of how communism works, at least
in local neighborhood “open” gardens, or the large ponica(?) big organic farming
areas in outskirts of havana. its an effort to work together and feed eachother
communally and locally. direct from the humanity in all of us….to the hungry and
needy people of this world.
Tsk tsk- you are treading in politics, which triggers my less mellow side 😉
Communism as an utopian idea is of course quite seductive. Utopian societies once abounded, and there was a time when Marx’s Communism drew many because of it’s proletariat promise … but time has proven the cruel heart of that system. It is no mistake or chance that these countries are in ruins- greed and oppression abounded. I saw the same ruin in Hungary right after the fall of communism there.
But what may be admired is the vitality of the human spirit, how hope springs anew and I like the guys enthusiasm in the video for local and community gardening.
but he can keep his love for Che and Marxist systems.. I’m not buyin’
locally grown fresh food, grown
for the community in (free)open-
gardens by their own work…
even within the ruins of a
terrible failedsystem of govt.
is still ok by me.
its never about politics, dear,
i dont have any but pro-wholeworld/humanitarian!
plus rampant capitalism greed is what brought us to this point in our own economy. we are flat broke,
and the need to have local fresh
food @ decent prices is growing
almost as fast as a zucchini on a good day!
if i had said in the Oakland area, or the wilds of NYC,would there be any essential difference
in this premise?
I guess my view is that what ultimately brings us to “this point”- no matter who we are or what our system- is essentially the bent toward egregious selfishness.
I think you are very right about the idea of urban gardening becoming encouraged and promoted is a good idea anywhere. Our delicate dance between the rights of the group and the rights of the individuals are what we need some choreography for.
And that creates the difference in location for me. One of the real roadblocks is modern culture and the expectations that culture has bred.
I guess my view is that nothing is truly free- someone ultimately pays something, and if we should have “free” urban gardens, who pays? It can be worked out but we ought to work it out with our eyes open to the costs in property, training, etc.
There are some efforts a such free gardening… maybe our idealism should be trained towards supporting more of those efforts more vigorously. I am always grieved by the lack of green space in the cities. We grew up in one of the old style neighborhoods where green spaces were seamlessly worked into the plan. Ideas of private land have fenced people off and houses crowd cheek by jowl. but the rise of crime and the little done about it often causes a medieval protection response “Build the walls, man the ramparts”.
i.e. what if someone is injured on one of these free spaces…. who is liable?
sorry, I think about these things and complicate what is a very positive idea.
STILL- this video is related to the chicken controversy. The common plot, the tolerance of urban efforts to raise fresh and healthy food is something we ought to be moving toward. I didn’t really want to be so argumentative on the political points- but I get that way.
Anyway, some of the more pertinent question I would have:
In urban setting do we need to be more worried about contaminated soil? Heavy metals from soot,etc?
Could we have health issues from manures not handled properly?
What about the dissension between those who would want pesticides and those who don’t? This would be more acute in city conditions where plants may be more stressed and attract problems.
we are having a real comment- dialog going here. i do think
the reality of such a poor people
over-rides the problems that you mention. if they are getting good fresh food, where there’s no $ or
none to be bought at decent prices, the quality of the soil becomes moot. if it is done on the
vacant lots and abandoned areas,
than liability isnt really an issue. as least i dont think so in
the 3d world countries, with less
complex rules and regulations re:land use/ownership laws.
i am definitely not talking about opening/running/working free gardens here, as in this country many rules and laws do apply. altho i have read about the urban green-community plots in NYC and other big city areas. perhaps you are right…teaching the process and encouraging their efforts
is what we can do for those that
want the information and the food.
A bit about Communism and Socialism. What is practiced in Cuba is Socialism. Communism is understood to be an ideal that Socialism strives for.
Also, the troubles in Cuba are more complex than most people think. Cuba has been under a trade blockade for 50 years now. I dare say that if we, the mighty US blockaded Mexico, the results would be very similar,
Socialism or not. Socialism on its own does not dictate that a person should remain in power forever, as in the case of Fidel. Again, I will use Mexico as an example. Mexico is also a republic and they practice representative Democracy as well and yet the economic and social problems there are huge. There are many ways to practice Socialism and many ways to practice Capitalism. My belief is that the problems in Cuba are the result of our interventions and the corrupt politicians there. Last, Cuba is an incredible place and the spirit of the people there is incredible. I hope that I am alive when Cuba takes her place in the world; we will then see incredible artists, athletes, writers, and gardeners.
I grow a garden here in the land of plenty as a way to relax (crazy!) knowing that if my garden fails, I can go to the supermarket and still eat. I can only imagine what it is like to grow vegetables for my very survival.
Great blog. Great discourse.
Keep it up!