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