my recent travels to germany reactivated my passion about localized food distribution and its intersect with urban agriculture.
the local food movement is not on the activist radar in germany, because the nature of their distribution is local. houses, buildings, and urban necessities are nestled together closely within each city - increasing the amount of farmland just outside the city functioning primarily to sustain its citizens. as an added bonus, ample space is left outside of this agricultural perimeter for uncompromised forests and other such natural areas.
as i engaged with locals about the mission of all edibles to encourage localized food production, it was not so much my shattered german that was hard for them to understand, but rather the nature of a "localized food movement". why wouldn't food be from a local source? they were even more shocked as i continued on, explaining that the average plate of food that americans consume travels an average of 1,500 miles from field to table. the carbon footprint of food consumption just isn't as rediculously high for the average german urbanite as for the average american one.
farming food locally doesn't seem compromised in germany as in america (not to say that their agricultural system is free of corporate grip). because in america it has, we must ensite a "movement" and return to a localized system that will sustain itself for years and years. so buy local? yes! and better still, grow local! it doesn't get any more local than your own yard.
a featured, discriptive blurb regarding european open air markets directly from the overseas journal of sara hart weihmann:
a labyrinth of individual booths spilling crisp, shapely fruit and vegetable abundance into courtyards crowded with shuffling feet over cobblestone. iron-pressed cuffs exchanging money for lettuce heads en route home from the office. aproned women replacing the produce on display with overflowing back-up crates, struggling to meet the pace of shopping citizens. children with berry-stained grins chasing one another, figure-eighting around ten foot tall clocks and extravagantly chiseled fountains. elderly women steering bicycles to avoid pedestrians and preserve the root vegetables and brassicas carefully packed into baskets. the sound of teeth slicing fresh nectarine flesh faintly breaking steady accordion melodies.