What started as a whisper a few years back has grown into a full-throated chorus of people calling for a kitchen garden revolution. The resurgence of kitchen gardens couldn’t come at a more relevant time in our nation’s history, or in that of the planet. A critical part of KGI's work is educating people about the positive role kitchen gardens are playing and will play in the future.
Over the next 50 years, the international community will face health, food security and environmental challenges more daunting than any civilization has ever faced. The United Nations estimates that food production would need to increase by 70 percent to feed the projected global population of 9 billion in 2050. Plus, we’ll need to grow our food in an unstable climate with a greatly depleted natural resource base.
While the challenge facing poor countries is too little food production, one of the challenges in wealthy ones is too much of the wrong type. Sixty-eight percent of the American adult population is now overweight and 28 percent of it is obese. The situation with children is even more alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three children will develop Type II Diabetes in their lifetime and one in two if the child is black or Hispanic.
Concerns about food safety are also on the rise with foods as seemingly benign as spinach, bean sprouts and peanut butter affected by harmful E. coli outbreaks in recent years. You can’t bank on the nutrition of grocery store fare, either. The commercially grown foods we’re eating today are significantly less nutritious than they were just 30 years ago. Breeding crops for higher yields has delivered cheaper food, but it has also diluted nutrients.
But before you hurl yourself onto the nearest compost pile in despair, we’ve got some good news: The solutions to many of these problems are as close as your own backyard. What we need are millions of new people joining the movement by planting healthy kitchen gardens of their own or, in the case of existing gardeners, by converting their summer veggie plots into more productive, four-season gardens. You can also connect with gardeners in your area to help other people and groups (schools, clubs, companies, retirement communities, food pantries, etc.) start gardens. And why not join the planet’s largest garden party? Join us in celebrating World Kitchen Garden Day.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA