Breaking Through Concrete: Day 1 — Seattle to Talent, Ore.
(Michael Hanson photos)
(Michael Hanson)The Breaking Through Concrete team — David Hanson, Michael Hanson, Charles Hoxie, and Edwin Marty — is taking a 21st century road trip to document the American urban farm movement. Driving across the country and back in a biodiesel-fueled, Internet-enabled short bus they’ve nicknamed Lewis Lewis, they’ll visit 14 diverse projects that are, in distinct ways, transforming our built environments and creating jobs, training opportunities, local economies, and healthy food in our nation’s biggest cities. Along the way, David will post stories for Grist (and for one of the team’s sponsors, WHYHunger), illustrated by his and Michael’s stunning images — material that will ultimately be collected into a book — and Charles’ short video snippets.
A bottle of Korbel’s christened the front right bumper of Lewis Lewis last Tuesday night in Seattle. We rolled out Wednesday morning, picked up five pounds of farm-direct Sumatra beans from our friends and sponsors at Caffe Vita, and hit I-5.
Flipped the switch to veggie grease south of town and ran on the waste fry-juice for over 370 miles. It doesn’t smell nearly as bad as they say, and Lewis Lewis ran smooth as butter.
Pulled off in Eugene, Ore., for a visit to Huerto de la Familia, a community garden project for low-income Latin American families. Sarah Cantril and the Huerto project were recently awarded one of WHY Hunger‘s 10 annual Harry Chapin Self-Reliance awards, honoring community-based organizations for innovative and sustainable approaches to fighting hunger and poverty.
Norma and Jesús will have a plot for the first time this year. They used to farm in their hometown of San Pablo Tecaleo, Mexico. They guess that they pulled 80 percent of their household food from the farm. They came to America last year to find a better life. This year they hope to grow 70 percent of their veggies here at the Churchill Community Garden.
We slept in Lewis Lewis outside Talent, Ore.
Look for the white short bus emblazoned Lewis Lewis, and if you see us, come and get some coffee. We want to hear where your food comes from.
More stories in this series:
The Breaking Through Concrete crew is back, and now they have a book that chronicles urban farming around the U.S.
Get the lay of the urban farm land with these striking photos from Kansas City, Santa Cruz, and everywhere in between.
January 2011 update: Many of the photos have been removed from this series so they can be published in a Breaking Through Concrete book, forthcoming this year from UC Press. The real estate market dealt Melvin Price a double whammy. …
January 2011 update: Many of the photos have been removed from this series so they can be published in a Breaking Through Concrete book, forthcoming this year from UC Press. Karen Turner, 25, wants to farm 100 acres in Texas. …
Get Grist in your inbox