Landship Foods is inspired by the conviction that growing and eating healthy food is one of the most important things we can do for both ourselves and the broader communities of which we are a part. The name comes from the language of pre-industrial Europe. Before the enclosure movement and the associated rise in notions of private property swept England, the suffix “-ship” (as in "relationship," or "friendship") referred to an object or an abstraction with collective duties and mutual rights. Thus, the term “landship” suggests that land was an entity through which humans were joined to each other by a set of rights and responsibilities. I advocate for a revival of this awareness.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
But the great thing is, I can still grow food. As a part of a service-learning class in the Geography department at UGA (my new academic home), we are growing vegetables on the building's green roof. The class, Athens Urban Food Collective, explores issues of hunger and political economy here in Athens through traditional classroom learning and community involvement.
This picture is from a few years ago, but it should give you an idea of the space. It's pretty wild, actually, going from the wide-open, often desolate, desert to a rooftop garden on a sprawling university campus (note the assorted atmospheric science equipment in the background). After setting foot on the roof, I can't help but imagine okra springing up through concrete fissures all over "the classic city". The possibilities are virtually endless...
While I will no doubt continue to yearn for the rural agricultural landscapes, I am looking forward to growing food in the urban realm. Its also pretty nice to leave class or my office and go up on the roof for a quick amble through the vegetable beds.
Monday, August 16, 2010
My summer in New Mexico is over. In a few minutes I will walk out of my new house and swim through the Georgia humidity to my first class as a PhD student. Quite a change from what at the time seemed like it might be an endless summer in the desert. That reference, conveniently, reminds me of my favorite quote of the season: at lunch one day, my good friend Andy told someone who prematurely cleared the table that they were "putting an end to my endless summer".
This year, I cleaned all the plants from the fields earlier in an effort to get cover crops better established than we did last year. The window of opportunity at 7,500 feet slams quickly with the first frosts coming in a few weeks. Below are some photos from our final harvests.