Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Economic Downturn: Malls Trade Baby Gap for Baby Eggplant

I just ordered seeds from an organic seed company for the fast-approaching growing season. A handful of items were already out of stock, an indication of gardening's rebirth as people look to avoid our compromised food supply (pesticides, lack of flavor) and to combat rising food costs.

In addition to helping reacquaint people with the satisfaction of growing their own food, another positive of the economic downturn is the transition of indoor shopping malls from retail-only destinations to more dynamic spaces. According to "How About Gardening or Golfing at the Mall?" in yesterday's New York Times:
"Cleveland’s Galleria at Erieview, like many malls across the country, is suffering. Closed on weekends because there are so few visitors, it is down to eight retail stores, eight food-court vendors and a couple of businesses like the local bar association.

"So part of the glass-covered mall is being converted into a vegetable garden."
Holy dramatic about-faces, Batman! A vegetable garden! Instead of a TCBY (These Chemicals Belie Yogurt)! The world is a better place!

Not to mention, visitors to Galleria at Erieview will now smell real strawberries and basil instead of the nauseating chemical alternatives wafting out of Yankee Candle:
"The shift to gardening began with the carts that used to sell jewelry or candles, where . . . herbs [were] planted in the disused retail carts inside the mall.

"The garden now produces lettuce, strawberries, basil and other crops, which are sold to visitors and used for the mall’s catering business. An unexpected benefit has been an influx of visitors, which has prompted related retailers to open in the mall, like a company that sells rainwater collection barrels."
Click here to read the entire article.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking back to the "nauseating chemical post" -- it may be helpful to a friend who gets sick almost every night after being Ok all day. Maybe his home contains a chemical product he is sensitive to that he is not exposed to when away from the house.

Also, yes, good news about the mall -- amazing. Let's hope and encourage more such creativity. Here in Indianapolis I believe someone is experimenting with organic fish farming in an indoor swimming pool that is no longer in use as such. I heard about it but haven't seen it for myself. But there are some large "ponds" close together south of here that look new to me and I can't think what else they would be for, as they are not in an area that's being developed that would need drainage/retention ponds, so I'm assuming fish farming maybe there also.

Anonymous said...

Me again. Thought I would add this link for a creative idea, although I'm sure other places are trying similar things.


Chef Rob said...

Thanks for the link. It's good to know that so many people are making changes for the better.