Food Voices: Urban Gardening Is Hip

This installment of “Food Voices” makes a case for the urban agriculture movement as a way of increasing access to fresh food and as a sustainable way of life.

WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, longtime food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement. In 2010, Andrianna began a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living a just and sustainable food system. As she continues her journey, spanning from Nova Scotia to Ecuador to Brazil and beyond, we will feature highlights of the stories she gathers. 


William Gardener: Urban Gardening is Hip

In 2008, William Gardener started gardening in his backyard in Detroit, MI. He now has a total of 1.4 acres of land. At the Edgeton Community Garden in Detroit, he grows a variety of fruits, herbs and vegetables; keeps bees; and raises egg-laying chickens, meat producing chickens and ducks; and plans on expanding.


“I’m trying to show that it is hip, it is cool to do this and that you don’t have to change your lifestyle too much but, rather, work a lot harder. I definitely know my kids are going to benefit from this experience and the neighborhood kids who see this going on. I know they are going to benefit because I have benefitted so much from just doing it. I’m loving it.


“People will get more interested over the years. It’s not going to happen overnight, and I knew that. But that’s what a lot of people look for – that instant gratification. Next year, there’s going to be a thousand people out here. Well, no it’s not like that because people would rather go to Randazzles and go to these other shops and not garden. Why get all dirty when you can go to the store and get it all fresh and looking clean? But it’s tasteless. It’s a process we have to go through, and I have to show them that it takes hard work and the benefits of it. You save money and gas. Relationships. People talk and discuss. The people in the neighborhood come and you just talk. Just having that vibe together. You need that.  A lot of people respect the garden. I don’t have vandalism in here. They walk down the rows and I see the respect. If we can do this more, it will make a change.”