Fall 2009 SPOTlight

For the first installment of spot light, HCP Member and Houston-based photographer, Linda Walsh, presents an image from her recent series on Houston's community gardens. Linda's photographs are featured in Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas: Profiles of Organic Farmers and Ranchers across the State, published by Texas A&M Press (2009).

My current project is a visual exploration of Houston's community gardens. Since childhood I have been involved in gardening and I have also tended a backyard garden after moving to Houston in the mid seventies. It brings hope and beauty, and it is a refuge.

Several years ago, I was introduced to community gardens in the Houston area through Urban Harvest, a non-profit organiĀ­zation dedicated to building and supporting community gardens. They have developed over 130 gardens in the Houston area. The gardens help educate school children and feed the hungry, and simultaneously, they provide citizens a place to grow their own food and touch the earth. Community garĀ­dens cultivate our individual experiences with our own limited gardens to expand them exponentially and beneficially; as a way to grow food for ourselves and others, provide habitat and beauty, and build a crucial sense of community.

These urban gardens also move us toward new ways of being in the world, ways that can help solve some of our country's most vexing issues: the hunger that comes from limited food availability, the food contamination that comes with industrial agriculture and the energy efficiency that comes with local growing.

- Linda Walsh