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Produce in public spaces? Author to speak on Bainbridge and in Seattle April 28, 29

Imagine a city where idle public space - the vacant lot, roadside easement or lonely park - is planted with edible crops. Darrin Nordahl author of Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture (Island Press) is coming to Bainbridge Island on April 28 to share his vision of how municipal agriculture may be practiced in the Pacific Northwest. The idea is catching on: Nordahl grows corn in a busy Davenport parking plaza. Portland, Oregon, is planting fruit-tree orchards in neighborhood parks. Potatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins and melons grow outside City Hall in Provo, Utah. Beets, chard, kale and lettuces grow on the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier, Vermont. In Baltimore, Master Gardeners grow some of the biggest and best chard, cabbage and collard greens citizens have seen on public grounds. In Los Angeles, community activists created maps of fruit trees that citizens can legally pick.

From Davenport, Iowa, Nordahl has appeared on National Public Radio, writes for the Huffington Post, and is a regular public speaker on food, farming and city planning.  Nordahl is available for interviews and copies of his book will be available for purchase at the readings listed below and through www.islandpress.org .The author and advocate wants America to overhaul its food system, from what we grow, how we grow it and where we grow it. Food affects our health, energy system and even national security.

And for Nordahl this is also a matter of community. He writes:
"What we are just beginning to witness in this country is a paradigmatic shift in public food policy. It is not being initiated by central government, but by a local one. This unique brand of urban agriculture - what can more descriptively be termed "municipal agriculture" - is promising to restore individual and community health, to the benefit of our cities, and to the benefit of our nation."

Municipal agriculture is for real and it is growing.  Is our area next? Nordahl says the payoff will be enormous for our neighborhoods, our cities, and our entire country.

Current scheduled appearances include:

Wednesday  April 28
9:00 a.m. KUOW NPR Weekday Program with Steve Scher -  94.9 FM

7:00 p.m. The Great Hall at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island - no charge
4450 Blakely Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Thursday April 29
11:00 a.m. KIRO radio Dave Ross Program 97.3 FM  -  710 AM

7:30 p.m. Seattle Town Hall downstairs entrance - $5 donation, 8th & Seneca, Seattle, WA

Nordahl's appearances are made possible through a partnership of Island Press, Town Hall Seattle, IslandWood, Elliott Bay Book Co., and Eagle Harbor Book Co. The City of Bainbridge Island and local community faith and sustainability groups are also sponsoring Nordahl's visit.

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