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April 13, 2011

Recognizing Home Farming Day

[Page: H2579]  GPO's PDF 

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Illinois (Mrs. Biggert) for 5 minutes.

Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Home Farming Day, an initiative launched by the nonprofit organization Urban Farming in partnership with the Kraft Foods Triscuit brand. The event celebrates those who are growing food at home or with their communities and, in turn, nurturing and inspiring healthier eating habits nationwide.

Last year, the first Home Farming Day resulted in the planting of 50 new farms in unused urban spaces in 20 cities. I was pleased that my office could participate in the groundbreaking on one of those gardens in my congressional district.

This year, Triscuits and Urban Farming plan to replant all 50 gardens and add 15 new farms throughout the country, totaling 65 community-based home farms. Food grown at these community farms goes directly to the volunteers who grow the crops, along with their families and communities. Volunteers can also donate to local food banks for those that are in need.

In my home district, crops are delivered to the Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry in Naperville, Illinois, where they provide low-income families with fresh, healthy meals.

[Time: 12:20]

Mr. Speaker, from the White House to our own backyards and windowsills, more and more Americans are taking up the fun and healthy pastime of growing their own food. It is not unlike what many of our parents and grandparents did during World War II when they planted 20 million ``victory gardens.'' I can recall stealing into my own mother's victory garden to eat the raspberries and gather crops of rhubarb, squash, and tomatoes.

In fact, home gardening already is an activity that most Americans enjoy. A 2010 Garden Writers Association survey found that 66 percent of Americans have some form of lawn or garden, and younger Americans between the ages of 25 and 40 are now gardening at the same rate as the general population. And Home Farming Day is an opportunity to encourage that trend, especially among young people in urban communities where fresh fruits and vegetables may be less available.

Whether on a kitchen countertop, in a balcony flower box, or at a community plot, home farming is a great way for people of all ages to celebrate natural living, and treat themselves to some fresh fruits and vegetables while they're at it.

It is a goal worth pursuing, and I'd like to commend Triscuit, the 109-year-old cracker brand manufactured in my congressional district, and the home farming movement for helping to show Americans how easy it is to grow fresh vegetables and herbs right in their own backyard.

I'd like to congratulate Urban Farming and their partners on their success in expanding Home Farming Day across the country, encouraging communities to utilize open spaces to bring fresh ingredients to our homes.

(House of Representatives - April 12, 2011)

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