Create Green Jobs
“The recovery of the people is tied to the recovery of food,
since food itself is medicine: not only for the body,
but for the soul, for the spiritual connection to history, ancestors, and the land.”
- Winona La Duke
Too often, the "green jobs" conversation is narrowly limited to highly industrial sectors that demand millions and millions of dollars in capital input, inaccessible to a working class person wanting to start a "green" business. The dominant focus is on high-tech “clean energy” sectors, and little attention is paid to the minerals that must be mined and the waste that is generated when these products reach the end of their relatively short life cycle. Renerable energy is a big step in the right direction, but it can and should be done sustainably while efforts are made to reduce our energy consumption. And while industrial energy projects dominate the green jobs discourse and receive all the federal funds, food is left out of the discussion.
Sustainable agriculture and organic and diverse urban food production hold the key to local economic revitalization and job creation, while drastically reducing our society's energy consumption that sends food thousands of miles from farmer to plate. Planting Justice will provide a different model for creating green jobs in our neighborhoods, one that connects food justice with economic justice and can be replicated anywhere with little capital input. This can and should be done by anyone, in every U.S. city. All you need is a people, seeds, sun, water, some space, and a little guidance and inspiration.
Our green jobs program will provide dignified jobs to disenfranchised urban residents that make them feel proud and of benefit to their community. After some extensive training in Permaculture design and implementation, we will hire Planting Justice Team Leaders, who will each oversee a crew of three or four Urban Farmers, all of whom will have also gone through some of our trainings. These teams will be hired to implement and maintain edible gardens at our non-profit projects and for middle and upper-middle class clients who are willing and able to pay full-cost for them. We will also be able to train nursery specialists to work at our nurseries and community organizers to work as Planting Justice canvassers. Let's get to work, providing solutions to the problems that ail us!