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The Garden Revolution

Slowly but surely, the importance of consuming good, clean and fair food, where possible homemade, is replacing the fashion for junk food. Growing your vegetables, whether in the countryside or in the city, can have many different meanings: beyond having fresh, healthy greens available all the time, it brightens up our neighborhoods, increases our appreciation of beauty and our respect for the environment. But above all, growing your own food means understanding its value, and establishing a more intimate connection with the earth. It’s one of our major themes that we’ll be dealing with at the Conferences at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto.

Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do,” as Ron Finley, guerrilla gardener, said at his TED talk. “You’d be surprised what the soil could do if you let it be your canvas. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. I want us all to become ecolutionary renegades.

orto scolastico della scuola St Antony - UgandaFinley started his own garden revolution in South Central Los Angeles in abandoned lots, in the middle of traffic, on sidewalks, for fun, to challenge people’s perceptions and to ffer an alternative to fast food in a community of ubiquitous drive-ins. He’s not the only one either, and similar projects are popping up all over, beginning a process of reneweal and regeneration for communities around the world. This Garden Revolution is the theme of a conferences at the Carignano Theater, during Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. The American viewpoint of Ron Finley and Alice Waters, pioneer of organic food in the United States, will confront the African experiences of the agriculturalist Edie Mukiibi, the manager of the 10,000 Gardens in Africa project in Uganda. The conference will be moderated by Valerio Borgianelli Spina, from the Educational Commission of Slow Food.

“I feel honored and inspired to be able to have a discussion with Alice and Edie,” Ron Finley told us. “For me, gardening mean freedom, tranquility, beauty, creativity, life, food, health, nature. I hope people can take that away, that gardens equal life and that if you change your food you can change your life. We all have to understand the importance of soil vitality and that if more of us grow our own food, we can build healthier communities, be healthier people and live in a healthier world!”

Alice Water and Edible Schooldyard Project (1)Alice Waters, vice-presidente di Slow Food, started Slow Food’s first ever School Garden, in the mid-90s in Berkeley, California. Today the Edible Schoolyard program involves a network of over 4000 schools.

A garden connects me to nature and its beauty,” Waters explains. “And when I get food from a garden, it nourishes me with its aliveness and great taste. Eating from the garden makes me determined to eat with intention; and eating with intention makes me choose ingredients from farmers who take care of the land, like Ron Finley and Edie Mukiibi, two men doing righteous work and speaking in straightforward, compelling ways.”

“In Africa,” Mukiibi says, “we know the value of food gardens and with 10,000 Gardens project we try to raise more awareness. Every garden built represents ability, power and responsibility we collectively assume towards the future of our food. The gardens we create are pillars of community building and emblems of hope for a better system and that is how it should be. I hope the conference will send out a clear message to the world that each garden we create is a simple but important model of the food system we want.”

“We work in very different parts of the world,” Alice Waters concludes, “yet we learn from each other constantly and in unexpected ways. It is so important that we all collaborate and share our best practices and inspire each other to make sure there is a sense of connectedness and interdependence on a global scale. I hope that this panel will empower people around the world to speak the truth and take risks. We need to be the change we want to make in the world. The only way to win people over is not by talking, but by building beautiful examples of how we can change our food system!”

Come and meet the speakers at the conferences of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016!

The Garden Revolution conference will be held from 2.00-3.30pm on Saturday September 24 at the Carignano Theater.



Annalisa Audino

An Event by
 Città di Torino
 Slow Food
 Regione Piemonte
In collaboration with
With the contribution of
Official Partners
Supporters of the Terra Madre Foundation and Slow Food
With the support of

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto
Slow Food Promozione P.Iva 02220020040
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