The French say potager. In Italy, it’s called an orto. Anglophones use the term kitchen garden. Wherever soil can be found, you’ll find people getting their hands in it with visions of home-made feasts dancing in their heads. Recently, a new 501c3 nonprofit organization called “Kitchen Gardeners International” (KGI) has taken root to unite and grow the global community of gardening gastronomes.
The organization was founded by Roger Doiron, an American who lived for 10 years in Europe, as a hopeful response to what he sees as a troubled food system. “We’re becoming increasing distant from our food, both literally and figuratively to the detriment of our health, environment and gastronomy,” says Doiron “. For Doiron, the kitchen garden offers both a means and a metaphor for people to reconnect with their sustenance.
Although still a seedling, the organization would seem to have sprouted on fertile ground. “The response to our launch has been very encouraging,” says Doiron. “We now have over 2300 people from over 45 countries subscribed to our e-mail newsletter, from Alabama to Albania”. Through its newsletter and other activities, KGI offers gardeners and food lovers a portal to multicultural world of kitchen gardening and hand-made foods.
Its future plans include new activities for bringing kitchen gardeners together both literally and virtually. It will once again organize “International Kitchen Garden Day” which it dubs a “global celebration of the most local of foods”. This year’s event will take place on August 27th, 2006.
For more information, see the KGI website:www.kitchengardeners.org