Jason Burke from Pennsylvania was inspired by the Gardens for Single Moms program to create gardens in his own community, too! As high school teacher, he even got his students involved to raise money and build the gardens. What an amazing way to bring the community together! Read his story about how he became inspired to take action here.
This is a guest blog by Nicole Abrams from the Green Riders. She wrote this during the seventh week of the Green Riders tour as the Green Riders approached the end of their journey on July 31st, 2019.
The countdown to the end begins today, 10 days to the Black Sea. Ironically, I sit down to write this entry in a cafe named “Coffee Nicole” in Vidin, Bulgaria and unexpectedly learn how to write my name in the Cyrillic alphabet, “Никол”. The foreignness of this exquisite script feels less novel after riding these past weeks out of the Schengen region of Europe and into the Balkans. The pace of pedalling allows me the time to slowly sound out the words on the signage and compare the letters to my native alphabet. Now having crossed into Bulgaria, I realize I actually have some of these letters committed to memory, a testament to full immersion in a new culture and the plasticity of the human brain.
This is a guest blog by Suzie Roberts from the Green Riders.
I was recently contemplating why being apart of the Green Riders Europe tour was so important to me.
In the summer of 2016 I was on my first cycling tour solo. I met a friend named Marc living in Arcata, California. He invited me to volunteer at Food Not Bombs, an anarchist group who feeds anyone who is hungry for free. At the time Marc was living at a community called The Spoon House. Twice a week they hosted the cooking for Food Not Bombs in their kitchen. We hooked up bike trailers to our bikes and went around to grocery stores to collect the food that otherwise would have gone to the landfill. These grocery stores were expecting the food pick ups as they had this arrangement for a long time. The grocery stores loaded us up with rescued food. We brought the food back to the community and cooked a big meal that fed around 70 people in the Arcata Plaza.
Churches own millions of acres of land around the world. Much of that land is used wastefully, just to grow grass. If that land was used to grow food, churches could be a the center of a food sovereignty movement. They could create local, sustainable food, feed their neighbors and improve their communities. My friend Pastor Sarah Robinson at Audubon Park Covenant Church in the Audubon Park neighborhood of Orlando, Florida is a great example of this vision.
Imagine if every church followed this example? We could greatly reduce hunger, provide healthy food to people in need and decrease our dependence on heavily fossil fuel based foods.
This is a guest blog by Gray Harrison from the Green Riders.
Hello dear readers!
Lexi here, writing to you from Champvert, France. I thought I would give an introduction to what we plan to do with these blog posts. We are going to aim to have one Green Rider write a new blog post every week. These posts will give an overall summary of what our week has looked like while also evoking the personal experience of the rider who is writing the blog. They will touch on where we have biked through, where we have volunteered, and what the overall feel of the trip and group has been. Additionally we will share separate posts that will be short biographies of all of our Green Riders as well as highlights of some of our hosts and projects.
Our first blog post is written by a first-generation Green Rider, Gray Harrison. A retired teacher, Gray hails from Fort Collins, Colorado where he volunteers his time to working on bicycles for their homeless population. He takes his bicycle skills and knowledge to the Green Riders tour where he always finds the time to help our riders with all of their bike ailments even after riding all day and doing other good deeds like picking up litter. Here is what he has to say:
This is a guest blog by Maya Madjar from the Green Riders.
On June 3, 2019, the Green Riders arrived to our very first project location near Grezille, France. After being received and treated so well by our first two hosts, we were all in good spirits for our third day of riding. I was in the group of the first Green Riders to arrive thanks to a sneaky shortcut we scoped out after lunch. Manoocha, a woman of boundless energy, welcomed us warmly and gave us a tour of the community that would soon catch everyone by surprise; the entire commune consisted of caves. Each varied in its color, shape, and size, yet they all carried the central theme of a dreamy and eclectic multi-cave house. Included in the layout was a library, communal kitchen, shower, and several hostel-like sleeping rooms alongside a private room with a greenhouse at the top. This may seem like a first-draft introduction to a fantasy book about a family living in caves with stained glass windows surrounded by fields of poppies. However, I am not here to fool you, and this is an actual place called “Troglobal.”
Update on my health:
Two weeks ago I wrote that I thought I was feeling deficient in something.
Yesterday I met with a new friend in my neighborhood Pam Legowski, a registered Dietitian Nutritionist and her partner. She is part of my new launched Community Compost Program and offered to help me. We discussed my diet and lifestyle and we went over my labs that I had done at the beginning of this project and discussed what labs it would make sense to do now to check for a deficiency.
When I decided I was going to grow and forage 100% of my food for a year, I really didn’t know what my meals were going to be like. Heck, I barely had any practice with growing or foraging food! My first step was to figure out what grew well and what I could abundantly harvest from my surroundings to meet my basic needs. I had to figure out the calories, nutrients, vitamins, fats, proteins… you name it. Today is day 210 of my yearlong project and I’m here right now to show you what I’ve been eating. I’m well over half way into the year and have had hundreds of hours in the kitchen to share with you. In this blog I’m going to focus on my most common meals and the staple foods that I depend on to create them. I have grown over 100 foods and foraged over 80 foods to date. While this blog certainly doesn’t cover it all, it will give you a really good idea of what my meals have been looking like.
If you want to see my daily log of what I’m seeing you can find that here and if you’d like to see a list of each food that I’ve grown and foraged you can see that here.