Although it’s hard for us to believe, in less than one month, we will be departing on a long bicycle journey from Washington, D.C. to Montreal. We are a small group of women that have formed the Women’s Garden Cycles Bike Tour, a roving documentary project that will be investigating, interviewing, documenting and collaborating with innovative projects on the east coast that have to do with sustainable agriculture and local food initiatives in both urban and rural communities.
In our community in Washington, D.C., we have noticed that while some residents benefit from the local, organic produce found at farmers markets and through Community Supported Agriculture, this is rarely a trend that is extended to the urban poor, and those in underserved communities.
The aim of our bike tour is to apply lessons of other organizations and individuals to projects in our own community in D.C., so we’ll be visiting urban farms in big cities, but also grassroots organizations in small towns – anywhere where people are being reconnected with the food they eat. For example, we’ll be spending time at Mill Creek Farm in West Philadelphia which yields fresh, affordable produce in a malnourished, urban neighborhood. Red Hook Farm in Brooklyn is another site we will be visiting, in which youth from the surrounding neighborhood are employed to harvest organic vegetables and market the produce from the urban farm. These projects are just a taste of an array of inspiring projects that we look towards for inspiration.
Bicycles are our means of transportation in order to demonstrate the alternatives to fossil fuels. The use of people-powered transport is an inter-related commentary about appropriate technology and the global food supply chain. The bicycle tour investigations will be documented through audio and visual recordings that will be distributed via website and public forums, ultimately promoting the journey as a resource for academic institutions and bringing it back to use in budding grassroots initiatives in Washington DC, where we live.
The team leaves July 6th, and although we are waiting to hear back on some grants, we still have a long ways to go in order to be able to cover our expenses. We need your support. The cost of meals while on the road will be our biggest expense. In order to make this journey a reality, I’m asking you, fellow friends, to help and support this trip if it is within your means. Donating is easy – just send a check in the mail to the following address:
2603 Connecticut Ave., NW Apt. 2
Washington, D.C. 20008
Memo: Women’s Garden Cycles Bike Tour
Every little bit helps. A donation of just $10 would support roughly a day of travel for one person. We are already so thankful for your emotional support – any financial help you could give our group would be gratefully received.
Keep checking our website for dispatches from the road. And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at gardencycles[at]gmail.com We’re happy to talk about local food and gardening anytime! Thank you so much for the work you do to make your communities beautiful. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you all!
Liz Tylander, Lara Sheets, and Kat Shiffler