Local Food Heroes Honored
Remember Abu Talib, the urban gardener I met on my visit to Taqwa Community Garden in the Bronx? He was recently honored at a soiree in New York City for local food fans.
I couldn’t attend the gala because tickets – at $150 a pop – were all sold out, but food writer Jeanne Hodesh provided a great account of the event, which was organized by Just Food, a local food advocacy group.
“We are not just raising food, we are raising people,” Talib is quoted as saying in Hodesh’s article. “It is not right that a handful of people control the whole food industry because he who controls your breadbasket controls your destiny.”
That’s classic Talib – sharp and profound. At least that’s how he struck me when I met him. Talib doesn’t just speak out against what he sees as the injustices of the food system and the control of the food supply by the few. He does something about it. The man walks the talk, teaching people how to grow food in small plots in a community garden.
Also honored at the award ceremony were Ted Blomgren, a CSA farmer and owner of Windflower Farm, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a supporter of initiatives that provide poor New Yorkers with better access to fresh produce. La Familia Verde Garden Coalition – a community gardening group – and the family members of the late McKinley Hightower-Beyah, a committed gardener in whose honor the award was created, were also recognized.
The gala drew some of New York City’s finest chefs who provided all manner of local food delicacies.