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Gardening for Change: On the Front Lines and the Home Front

Gardening for Change: On the Front Lines and the Home Front
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By Allison Dudas, Community & Editorial Manager for Changents

Gardens are simple things. They begin with arable land and seeds, and reach fruition with the help of water, sunlight and a generous serving of TLC. Yes, they are simple. But they can have life-changing importance to gardeners and the communities in which they grow.

Rachel Zedeck “gets” the value of a garden. The social entrepreneur behind Backpack Farm — which equips and trains small landholder farmers in Kenya — is expanding her focus to include the power of gardens in schools. Not only will these gardens help combat malnutrition with the food they produce and the education they provide, they will also serve as investments in one of Africa’s most valuable and vulnerable resources: its youth. ROOTZ Rising, the apropos name of this brilliant initiative, aims to get to get at the “roots” of many challenges faced by East African communities. With the ambitious goal of planting 10,000 school gardens by 2025, ROOTZ reminds us of the simple yet profound value of growing food, and the potential for community-based agriculture to change lives.

Rachel Zedeck

Rachel’s pioneering work got the Changents team thinking: if she and ROOTZ Rising are doing so much good with gardens on the front lines of change in Africa, how are people using their gardens to have a positive impact on the home front? To find the answer, we launched a photo contest on Facebook. The entries were uplifting, colorful and just darn cute! The five gardeners whose photos received the most “likes” will receive a ROOTZ Rising t-shirt courtesy of Love + Water Designs, the t-shirt company that creates wearable philanthropy.

Congratulations to our winners!  Take a look at how gardens are helping good to grow in their communities.


Next page: Check out the winning photos!

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Photo from John Pozadzides via flickr

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1:48PM PST on Nov 14, 2011


3:37AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Nice post! Very informative and full of sense. I like it very much. Thank you!

2:15PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

change the world a garden at a time

6:08AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

I try hard to grow veggies and fruit with little success. Too much shade in yard and hate to cut down trees. I compost.. Pickup bagged grass and pine straw to mulch that others are throwing out. I plant bushes..trees..perenniels that wildlife can eat. A wonderful thing about gardeners is that we share. Im happy to divide perennials for others to share. I also spread seed or plant a bulb or two in community.

3:47AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

Gardens are good for body and soul, good for the family and the community.

2:01PM PDT on Aug 7, 2011

Unfortunately I can't have a garden, because I am renting and only have a balcony. I do grow a few plants, such as tomatoes, potatoes and herbs, but it's difficult because of the high winds we get. I have been saving all my teabags and emptying them into my soil.

8:09PM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

Nice to see all the entry examples of youngsters involved in gardening again. For too many years that has been sorely neglected in our society. When children experience first-hand the toil & joy of growing garden produce, they remember & realize their connection to Mother Earth. That can only lead to a more healthy, cared for world for us all!!!!

5:09PM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

i really love the first entry. I think it's awesome how guests leave with a bag of organic produce (rather than common things as gifts)!

8:10AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Gardens are good for the soil and the soul!

6:08AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Dear Friends, There are a lots of varieties that you can choose

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