Gaza gardeners, with harvest.Photo: Grassroots InternationalThis is the time of year when gardeners start to reap their rewards–fruits and vegetables that make for a healthy feast. But for the people of Gaza, gardens produce a serving of self-sufficiency, too.
Urban gardens usually bring to mind savvy urbanites indulging in an organic lifestyle–witness Michelle Obama and her model urban garden at the White House. Although urban gardens in the West may not be a total indulgence–Ms. Obama, for example, is trying to counteract the growing instances of diabetes and obesity–they are hardly a necessity.
In the Gaza Strip, on the other hand, where more than 80 percent of residents are dependent on food aid, urban gardens mean survival, and resistance to Israel’s policies of occupation and blockade. When only half of the U.N.’s food aid is actually allowed in to Gaza (during the last siege on Gaza, only 10% of the food trucks were allowed entry), planting an edible garden on just a scrap of land can be enough to ensure self-sufficiency. In an enormously insecure and unstable zone, a simple urban garden ensures food security, and food so... Read more