Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


New Book Makes the Backyard Gardener a Part of the Solution to Global Hunger

Erv Lampert, at Winner Enterprises, (407)696-2103, 670 Nighthawk Cr, Winter Springs, FL 32708
Tomi Jill Folk and Hank Bruce, (352)383-2704,
30548 St Andrews Blvd., Sorrento, FL 32776,(authors)

Press release for Global Gardening:

Rarely does a book come along that invites the everyday gardener to become a part of the battle against global hunger. In "Global Gardening" authors Hank Bruce and Tomi Jill Folk take us on a global journey of exploration and discovery. They explain how each and every one of us can turn our backyard garden into a global garden where exotic vegetables can be grown and harvested. In the process they encourage us to learn more about our neighbors in this, our global village, do backyard research and share our knowledge and wisdom with others.

The authors tell us that "All over this earth, our global garden, people are cultivating a great diversity of vegetables and fruits. There are over 15,000 edible plants that can help to sustain our global village, yet over 99% of the American diet is based on less than 100 plants." They describe and give instructions for growing over 200 rare and exotic edible plants. They suggest that "Some of these might even become a part of your garden and add to the diversity of your mealtime adventure."

Hank and Tomi take us on another journey in this book. They lead us into villages, rural areas, coastal salt marches and deserts as they give insight into the causes of hunger, mal-nutrition and starvation. Over 20,000 people die each day from hunger related diseases. They help us to understand the causes of hunger, and encourage us to be a part of the effort to save lives, improve diets and plant the seeds of hope everywhere. They point out that hunger is not only a problem in Haiti or the remote jungles of Africa, it is a serious and very real problem in the urban areas of every nation, including the United States. In this country one out of every five children is mal-nourished, as is one out of every five of our senior citizens.

The following is a list of the objectives the authors hope to achieve with this entertaining, interesting and enlightening book.

1. To create an awareness in the mind of the gardening public that there is a world of potential beyond tomatoes and green beans, zucchini and cabbages. As gardeners we can experience some exciting plants, foods, fragrances and herbs. The world is one big, wonderful, varied and fascinating garden; and we are all tillers in this, 'the global garden.'

2. To help bring an understanding to the global public of the problems involved in feeding a hungry world. We will note what some of the hunger relief organizations are doing, what more can be done, and how we can all be a part of the solution to the problems of hunger, malnutrition and starvation.

3. To introduce the gardeners of the industrialized world to some of the unique, unusual and exotic plants that have been used by peoples from all parts of the globe. In so doing, we may be able to prevent the extinction of some species, learn more about others and expand our knowledge while enjoying the thrill of growing something new. We can literally preserve and increase the biodiversity of the backyard garden. At the same time we gain an understanding of the wonderfully diverse peoples of this our planetary home, and combine our efforts to solve our problems together.

4. To explore the people-plant connection by respecting the traditions, legends, stories and cultures of diverse peoples. There is much to learn, and little time before many of these traditions are lost, great wisdom is forgotten and cultures become extinct. For almost every question there are many right answers.

5. To discover together new, different and sometimes ancient agricultural techniques and gardening practices. We will glimpse a future abundant with hopefulness as technology and humanity work together. Hopefully this text will lead us toward a partnership with nature, and a willingness to cooperate among ourselves.

In this book we become explorers discovering uncommon plants that have been used as food sources in the past; continue to be used today and have potential for tomorrow. We discuss vegetables with exotic names and unusual flavors; plants used in ways that may not be a part of your dining tradition. We ask you to open your mind to the diversity, and your garden to the variety. Hopefully you will be curious enough to seek further, dig deeper, learn more about the plants and the people who grow, harvest, and use them.

Tomi is a writer and a former Lutheran minister from North Dakota with a deep compassion for the hungry of the world. Her husband, Hank is a horticultural therapist and writer from western Pennsylvania. Together they are activists and advocates for the poor and hungry all over the world. They have done research on micro-intensive gardening systems, and have personally grown and eaten most of the foods discussed in "Global Gardening."

This is a MUST READ for all of us gardeners interested in the unusual and the exotic, those of us concerned about the environment and everyone who is concerned about the devastation caused by global hunger. The book is 288 pages, contains 24 color photos and over 70 line drawings. Included is a list of organizations that are concerned with hunger issues all over the world and a list of resources for many of the plants described. The authors also invite you, the reader and gardener, to experiment and share your results. Every backyard gardener can also be a backyard scientist, helping to solve hunger problems, improving the quality of life for our neighbors in the global village and enriching our own lives as well. The retail price is $23.95 and a portion of the proceeds go to ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) in Ft Myers, Florida to help them in their efforts to alleviate hunger throughout the world.

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Revised Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture