Friday, August 11, 2017

Eden in Indianapolis

This afternoon I walked by this sign and I took a photo because people often call the neighborhood this is in a “food desert.”  One of the problems is that when someone calls a place a “food desert” they miss all the food that is being grown and is present in the generosity of neighbors, one for another.  Last Saturday I stood in a kitchen in another “food desert,” while one friend was making sriracha.  His wife (another friend) was telling me about the garden she is growing in her backyard.  In this particular “food desert” there are over 20 gardens in a three block area around that kitchen.  The problem with language like this is it disguises what is really missing.  What’s missing is not food. What’s missing is a grocery store (in both of these communities).  What is missing is an economy that invests in the goodness being literally grown by the hands and land of the people of these places.  They aren’t food deserts.  In fact one friend once called one of these neighborhoods “Eden in Indianapolis.”  That person sees with Gospel eyes.  That’s the more accurate picture of these neighborhoods.  If one can see that - then one can begin to figure out how to “grow”  off of and invest in the gardens that already exist in people’s backyards, front yards, and side yards.