Day 133: Roots of a Nation

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May 12, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Springtime.  Time to get my garden in order.  While my garden could hardly be considered urban – I don’t run into quite as many concrete barriers as somebody trying to farm atop a high-rise – I’m still proud of the sweat I shed over my little patch of suburban sprouts.  I’m still impressed, maybe even a little amazed and certainly inspired by the movement taking root in cities across America – urbanites and city-folk are bringing life to the nation’s metropolises in fresh, new ways.  Urban farms are a thing to behold.  They’re little intrusions – invasions – of botanical beauty in the shadows (or ideally, the sunlight) of mankind’s biggest nature-defying environment.  Yes, they’re a little artificial, insofar as the without human hands, salad wouldn’t grow on skyscrapers, but you can’t help but respect the human hands responsible for bringing natural bounties to big cities.  Today’s project is roaming the country to explore these guerrilla gardens.

Growing Cities is a documentary bringing sunlight to America’s urban farms.  With more than 80 farms on film from across the country, Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette have captured urban cultivators in a film that I think and hope will help sprout life into new and unexpected places.

GROWING CITIES is a feature-length documentary that examines the role ofurban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat.  The film follows two friends on their journey across the country as they meet the men and women who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time.

It’s the inspiring true story of innovation and passion, creativity and sweat, planting seeds and nurturing them to life in an otherwise unwelcoming world.  It’s a story about what we’re capable of when we turn our power to conquer and control nature into something a little more nature-friendly – when we become nature’s ally.  And now, through Kickstarter, you too can join me in being an ally by backing “Growing Cities” before May 16.


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