Saturday, July 25, 2009

And yet another reason to support MOGP...

One of the hopes in organizing neighbors to share their home grown food, is to raise awareness as to what is being grown where (check out our cool new map, thanks Julie, to get a bird's eye view). Why is that important? Well hopefully it will encourage diversification. If I know my neighbor down the street is growing some of that long, green summer squash known commonly as zuchhini, then maybe I don't have to.  Maybe I can grow 'Gold Rush' or 'Gourmet Globe' instead.  If the guy or gal next door has multiple 'Sweet 100' tomato plants then maybe I'll grow 'Juliet' instead.

Why do we want diversification? According to a reference on the Global Issues website, "75% of genetic diversity in agricultural crops has been lost."  In fact on its website, Slow Food USA maintains a list of foods, called the ARK of Taste, that are on the verge of extinction.  Some examples: 'Moon & Stars' watermelon, 'German Pink' tomato, 'Crane' melon.

So as you're thinking about your winter crops, chat up the folks at your local exchange to see who's planning to grow what and work together to create a diverse harvest that you can share. But always remember, first and foremost, to pick the right plants for your climate.

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