[Sust-mar] Response to Anne Rogal

geoffrey tanner lewddite at hotmail.com
Thu May 10 09:50:23 EDT 2007

Hi Anne et al

I would love to explain why I think the Hellmanns garden are a bad idea. 
Here are some of my main gripes;

---It's not a COMMUNITY garden, it's a UNILEVER (Hellmann's parent 
multinational) garden. It's incredibly top down. They have total control. 
There are two pages of small print which are exclusively about the sponsors 
RIGHT. Not one word about the sponsors DUTIES and nada about the 
prizewinners rights. The sponsor even reserves the right to take over your 
garden if they don't like the way you are tending it. This is not about 
community gardens. It's about selling mayonaise. And YOU get to be the ad!

---You get your plot for four months. May 15 - Sept 15. Y'all know what 
maritime garden look like on Sept 15. It's no time to rip them out. They're 
exploding with produce. In response to this criticism, Sharon MacLeod, 
"brand-building director" at Hellmann's Unilever canada inc. had this to 
say,"The gardeners will be able to tend their plot all summer long without 
having to worry about preparing their garden for winter". Has this woman 
ever gardened? I have. I've gardened/farmed for 25 years and I've never 
"worried" about preparing my garden for winter. I LOVE cleaning beds, 
planting garlic, mulching, sowing winter cover, putting away tools, 
reflecting on another year of fulfilling gardening and dreaming about next 
years garden. To suggest that watching my garden get bulldozed into the back 
of a dumptruck on Sept 15 is preferable to this autumn reverie is the most 
execrable sort of spin imaginable.

---Yes. Bulldozed. These gardens are to be built on an asphalt parking lot. 
For four months. Their plan is to truck soil in and put it ON TOP of the 
asphalt and then truck it out again in Sept. I haven't done the math, but 
I'll eat my underwear if this isn't infinitely more fossil fuel intensive 
than shipping lettuce from California! Amidst all the discussion about 
buying local food, food miles, etc., It's surreal to think of trucking 
actual gardens from place to place. Also to be considered is where does that 
topsoil come from? I lived in rural Cape Breton for 15 years and I witnessed 
som horrible ecosystem rape caused by demand for topsoil.

This is just a short list of my concerns. It represents what I see as the 
worst aspects of this contest. If anyone is interested in further 
discussion, I welcome that.
I am not entirely opposed to corporate funding, but the process is critical. 
Hellmanns/Unilever had gross income in 2006 of almost 50,000,000,000 
euros.If they really care, they could easily buy lots of plots in cities 
across the country, turn them into land trusts and turn them over to local 
citizens. Then they would be gardens in perpetuity. If they did something 
like this, I could even live with a big Hellmanns logo on the garden. JUST!
Geoff Tanner

>From: "Anne Rogal" <anne.rogal at gmail.com>
>To: sust-mar at list.web.net
>Subject: [Sust-mar] re the Hellmans urban gardens contest posting
>Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2007 18:52:44 -0300
>Send your message to sust-mar at list.web.net
>10K size maximum please.

>I wonder if the person posting could explain a bit more about why a prize
>which involves being able to grow food in a city is so bad?
>Somehow, compared to the sorts of prizes usually offered by multinationals,
>this one seems like it tends to the less harmful end of the spectrum.. at
>least it's not an SUV.
>Anne Rogal

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