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ReGeneration Road Trip: Victory is Ours

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The ReGeneration is on the move! To make it easier for customers, Dell employees and stakeholders to find and participate in our conversations about the environment, we’re moving the best of our ReGeneration.org blog over here to Direct2Dell.  You’ll find the same great posts about what’s news in “green” business and technology, along with the green tips so many of you tell us you love. Join the conversation!

laundry Sarah and I have been having a blast so far learning about what people are doing right now to save the planet.  Not only have we been treated to the new ways of thinking and innovations being made to this end, but have also spoken to people who are looking to past generations for more environmentally-responsible practices that we may have lost along the way.   There wasn’t a huge global environmental movement then providing impetus to find the most sustainable practice to accomplish a task.  People were just living their lives the way they always had, or responding to other challenges of the time that had nothing to do with “greening” their lifestyle.  Laundry was hung out to dry in the backyard, not because their driers were using up so much energy, but because that was just how it was done back then.  People cooled off on hot summer days by dabbing some cool water on a few key points, not because their electricity bills were too high from their AC units, but because there were no AC units, and that was just the best way to make the most out a summer breeze.  More and more people today are starting to rediscover these methods as they search for ways to stop consuming so much energy.

city hall2 Along these same lines, people are starting to have another look at the concept of the victory garden, a practice that was adopted during WWI and WWII.  People across the country were starting their own vegetable and flower gardens, not because they were concerned about whether or not their food was locally grown, but because there simply wasn’t enough to go around.  Victory gardens at one time produced up to 40 percent (!) of all the produce consumed in the U.S.  However, I doubt that anyone planted one on the same scale the City of San Francisco has done this year.  Right in the heart of the city’s Civic Center, a 10,000 square foot victory garden was planted this year by the Slow Food Nation and Victory Gardens 08+ to demonstrate the potential of truly local agriculture, even in the middle of a big city like San Francisco.  (OK.  Turns out I’m wrong about the scale of this project historically – The city had an edible garden out in front of their City Hall in 1943, and the city itself had more than 250 garden plots in Golden Gate Park alone.  At that time, every park in the city had a victory garden.  Wow). 

Sarah and I had the chance to get a tour by the city’s “green czar” himself, David Pascal.  Here’s the footage that came from that tour:

One of the archival images David referenced of San Francisco’s original victory garden can be found here

All vegetables that result from the garden will be donated to people with limited access to such healthy, organic produce through a partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank.

Our heartfelt thanks goes to David Pascal, Mayor Gavin Newsom, The Slow Food Nation, Victory Gardens 08+, and the fine citizens of the entire Bay Area of California for their hospitality during our stay there.  You guys are doing some truly inspiring work, and I can’t wait to see what is next on the city’s green horizon. 

More dispatches are on the way.  Stay tuned!

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