Most of my interests this year have revolved around food, plants, and the urban core. Jennifer Cockrall-King's book Food and the City takes a look at how cities are creating places where residents can obtain food locally. Granted, in some places the residents have created their own garden spaces by taking over unused land. But other cities have decided that they want to have orchards of fruit trees as part of their city tree planting program. I will say that after reading this book, I have been eyeing the fruit-laden citrus trees while riding by on my bike and have debated knocking on doors to help glean some of this bounty.
Now in order to get this food planted in the city, we're going to have to rip up some of the concrete. Which wouldn't break my heart, as the less concrete around and the more plants and trees in the ground the cooler the temperature. Take a walk near the intersection of University and 9th Avenue to actually feel the temperature difference. David Hanson's Breaking Through Concrete: Building An Urban Farm Revival is just the book to inspire - lots of beautiful photographs to spark some urban gardening ideas.
Finally, we're going to need some money to make this all happen. I would love to donate my lottery winnings to make all of this come true. But at this point, I still probably need to purchase a lottery ticket to make that happen. In the meantime, check out Michael Shuman's Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money From Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity. Granted, a lot of us don't have money sitting around, but if you do and want to make real change happen in the Tucson community, I urge you to check out this book.
And with that, it is time to head back into the world of fiction......