Useful Content from the TEDx Talk

As promised, here’s some of the relevant content from our slides for the October 16 TEDx talk in San Antonio. Granted, this won’t make a lot of sense just yet to most of y’all… at least not until the video goes up on next month.

Suffice it to say that the content below is for people who want to fight hunger “one vegetable at a time.”

For those of you who saw the speech in person or via the livestream and are itching to plant something, well… here ya go… the official “notes.”

• Food security, defined: A person is “food secure” if she has steady, reliable access to safe, nutritious food. According to the Department of Agriculture, 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure [Read more on this]. This is outrageous, and a lot of folks believe that gardens–be they named victory, kitchen, dinner or plain ol’ veggie gardens can help.

• Charrette, defined: A facilitated discussion with all stakeholders committed to collaborating and resolving a problem. For communities interested in supporting individuals who want to fight hunger through gardening, we think that a charrette can be a useful means of inventorying assets, opportunities and obstacles. (Web bonus: here’s a link to the food/gardening charrette idea that I first proposed on RW&G way back in 2009.)

• Possible assets and opportunities [or, the kinds of stuff to look for via a charrette process]:
– Governmental, religious and non-profit programs and agencies (Ex. County/parish extension offices, Master Gardening groups)
– Garden-centered businesses
– Land
– Gardening themed media (Ex. in San Antonio: Milberger’s Gardening South Texas/PlantAnswers)
– National programs and resources (Ex., Kitchen Gardener’s International, “Plant a Row for the Hungry“)

• Origin stories, defined: stories from a community and/or region’s past that illustrate how people can become food secure through gardening; these stories need to be told through traditional and new media to enhance the citizenry’s sense of self-efficacy with regard to food security. Examples include the Peterson Garden in Chicago and the story of the Texas Governor’s Mansion garden. (Web bonus: The White House garden)

• Additional online resources (a.k.a. official Dinner Garden partners): – Connecting gardeners to food pantries in need of fresh food – Gardening information around the world, including planting times and seed swaps
Life on the Balcony – Growing food in an apartment or with limited space

Finally, if you’re all fired up about gardening in Texas, please sign the NON-partisan, pro-garden Dig for Texas campaign. Details over on


  1. Maybe it’s Freudian, but I completely forgot the content for the slide re: possible outcomes that may be revealed in a charrette:

    Possible Obstacles:
    – Local climate (drought, extreme temps)
    – Restrictive laws and rules
    – Misperceptions about “difficulty” of gardening

  2. Greetings, Pamela,
    Sometime between now and the end of the year (which is quickly creeping up on us), let’s get together to compare notes on roof vegetable gardening. Whadda ya say? I love the “Garden Again for Victory” poster. –SC

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