ypsilanti’s first annual tour de fresh garden tour

Yesterday’s bicycle tour of Ypsi’s gardens was pretty incredible. We not only got to meet Peter Thomason, the fellow openly aiding and abetting urban chickens in violation of city code, but we got to meet folks all over town who were — as corny as this may sound — taking control of their own lives through the revolutionary art of agriculture. I’m not easily touched, but it really got to me when the residents of government subsidized housing started talking about how good it made them feel to be doing something with their hands and how much they appreciated the fresh vegetables they were harvesting. The elderly residents of Chidester, I’m told, live on an average of $7,000 per year. For them it’s a huge thing to be able to harvest their own food for free. And that was just one stop along the route. It was a story we heard repeated often though.

At SOS we heard about the homeless families, that, because of their garden, got to augment their dinners of donated canned goods with fresh vegetables. We even heard about one woman who, after taking a cooking class at SOS, entered the culinary program at Washtenaw Community College.

And, on top of everything else, I can’t tell you how great it felt to be cruising through Ypsi in a pack of 14 bikes. It was like a baby critical mass.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, do me a favor and remember the organization Growing Hope the next time you’ve got a few extra dollars in your pocket. It’s amazing how much this one little non-profit is doing to make life better for people here in southeast Michigan.

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  1. Posted September 21, 2007 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Major kudos to Growing Hope, Amanda Edmonds, and the whole crew that makes things happen as regards community gardens in our fair city.

    Peter is a pretty unique character. I had the pleasure of working with him for a few years. Oops, this reminds me I have a book I need to return to him!

  2. Steph
    Posted September 21, 2007 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    But I learned right here on this site that things taste better in fast food wrappers.

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