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How does your garden grow?

Posted by Rona Fischman December 5, 2008 03:18 PM

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The New Republic column, “Firm Grasp on the Obvious,” cites this headline:

'Light' Meals are Lower in Fat, Calories
Huntington Herald-Dispatch

Equally obvious is this:

Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation study that found Suffolk County residents with the least access to fresh produce, safe parks, and affordable places to exercise were the least healthy.

Cities like Boston, Somerville, and Holyoke have been part of an effort to change this.

Shape Up Somerville – that’s the name for various programs to reduce obesity, got a good spread in the Boston Globe on Wednesday. It encouraged bicycle use by developing bike lanes. It produced a map of measured walking routes. The school cafeterias have limited or stopped selling junk food. The high school ditched its deep fryer. These changes would help any town, anywhere, to promote good eating and exercise habits.

The changes that I found unique to urban settings are these:

1. The city's schools... expect to purchase $50,000 of locally grown produce [instead of canned or frozen] this year, up from $6,000 in 2005-06.
2. In Somerville, gardens established at the seven elementary schools help familiarize children with fresh produce.
3. The city has added two community gardens and a farmers' market since 2004. It has launched two community supported agriculture (CSA) sites where residents purchase shares of nearby farmers' crops.

In suburban areas, you can grow vegetables if you want to. In the city, there’s no room. Also, the soil may not be suitable due to lead and other pollutants.

So, my questions of the day are about gardening. Did you grow fruits and vegetables where you grew up? Do you garden now? Is having land to garden on part of your decision to live where you live? If you don’t garden, do you think you have good access to good-enough fruit and vegetables in the supermarkets?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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