Hi! I’m Bridget, and today I’m taking part in a one-day internship at WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? I’m actually in NYC for a week-long feminist intensive program, and have been very excited to come to WOYP? since I found out that I would be coming here as part of my week, because food justice and social justice are very much connected. Everyone should be able to find healthy, good foods! At a meeting earlier this week at Sista’s On the Rise I told some of the women there that I would be at WOYP? and they told me about the excitement in their community and around NYC to create community gardens so that healthy food that is accessible to everyone. They then told me about the urban rodent problem in the gardens and how much of the food is being compromised due to the rodents burrowing into the gardens and eating the crops. There are about 600 community gardens in NYC and rodents often thrive there because humans aren’t in the gardens often enough to scare them away, and the crops and seeds are easy for them to find and eat undercover. It seems that the rodents are ruining individual’s gardens as well. I could really relate to this problem because where I’m from, in a more rural area, we deal with other animals such as rabbits and deer eating the crops! So, the fact that animals are invading gardens is not just a New York problem, they just happen to be rats rather than bunnies! But, I’m really enjoying my visit to NYC and was saddened to hear about this problem that the farmers and communities are facing. Hopefully, more strategies and more groups such as Green Guerillas (a group that helps people cultivate community gardens,) will be developed to protect the gardens from rodents and to keep opportunities for healthy, fresh food available to everyone!
What do you think? Are rats our neighbors? Do they deserve to share some of our food?
courtesy of http://tastytufts.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/ratatouille.jpg