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That struck me, and I looked it up. It was something I had said in 1960. Inflation is worse today in that area, so why are we doing all this? When I look at agriculture, I see that other programs are taking funds that should be going for conservation. I find that at home, at a time when many farmers are heavily in debt, they have plenty of assets but little income. We see that that's cut back I will state for the record and for the benefit of anyone who might be here from OMB, that 28 times Congress has overridden budget recommendations in order to save soil conservation programs. If we had not done so, much of this country probably would be a dustbowl today. But once again they would cut those efforts to take care of our land. You have come here asking for increases for your activities, so you can send out pamphlets to farmers, but you have cut out other things that do a lot of good for the country. So you have to justify why you should get more money while everybody else is taking cuts, even those programs that involve actual work on the land. You see what a problem it causes for us.
Now on the other side of this question, you know there are about 100 Members of Congress from cities, and in some of those cities the urban gardening program, which you have cut, is very important. I received an award from the City of Los Angeles where I sponsored the gardening program. What would you advise me as Chairman of the Committee to tell my urban colleagues when we ask them to support agriculture each and every year, but every year the budget cuts out the urban gardening program, and we have to put it back? The urban gardening program was initiated by this Committee in 1977 to demonstrate the benefits of home gardening in our urban areas. The program is currently carried out in 16 major U.S. cities at an annual cost of approximately $3 million. Would you please provide for the record a summary of the accomplishments of the projects in each of the 16 cities? Dr. BERTRAND. All 16 cities participating in the urban gardening program have similar program components. These are the teaching of gardening skills and the utilization of the produce. The latter involves both fresh use and food preservation techniques. Data on individual cities will be provided for the record. [A table and additional commentary follow:]
URBAN GARDENING PROGRAM DATA - FY-79
Adults Youth Total
1 8,945 646 9,591
13,005 5,526 18,531
144,130 64,754 208,884
New York. This program costs $8.42 per participant. There are about 75 inner-city sections with community gardens. About 850 volunteers are involved in the program.
Chicago. Eighty-three percent of gardeners believe they save money by using the produce. About 57 percent will preserve extra produce by freezing and/or canning.
Los Angeles. Los Angeles has developed programs both in Spanish and English to help low-income people in learning gardening skills, improve diet and nutrition, and enhance skills in preservation techniques.
Philadelphia. Philadelphia has been involved not only in food gardening but also in city beautification by making citizens aware of the possibilities for improving the appearance of their city. Block-by-block projects with porch flower boxes and flower gardens have been very successful.
Detroit. Detroit uses the program to encourage youth to learn about gardening and also to learn of other aspects of citizenship such as team effort, community pride and organization, and to help senior citizens.
Houston. Houston's gardens differ in that there is an abundance of available space. Program officials have successfully used these large plots to encourage community participation and cooperation.
Atlanta. Atlanta's program is divided into five unique areas in which the Master Gardener Program's development techniques have been employed to expand the educational programs to reach a larger audience.
Baltimore. Baltimore has coupled the urban gardening program with the Mayor's Task Force on Urban Gardening and Nutrition and has produced an excellent sample of local government participation.
Boston. Boston has introduced "field" days to the inner-city areas. Special “Country Days" are held at the community garden sites and demonstrations, exhibits, clinics, and other educational programs are conducted.
Cleveland. Cleveland's gardening projects have transformed many undesirable eyesores into areas which enhance local pride. Container growing of trees, shrubs, and other plants has become a standard procedure in many neighborhoods.
Jacksonville. Jacksonville is one of the cities in which gardeners can participate year-round and the staff has used this factor to emphasize the proper preservation of extra produce.
Memphis. Memphis has an integral part of their program days in which produce grown is exhibited and judged. These days have created an atmosphere of pride and accomplishment which makes other non-participants want to become members of the program. It is also a morale booster for the participants.
Milwaukee. Milwaukee tempts people into joining the program by letting them sample and learn how to utilize in different ways some of the bountiful products grown.
Newark. Newark has tied the urban gardening program with the Community Organization Program to use publicly-owned lots as community gardens and recreation areas.
New Orleans. The New Orleans program is an all-year effort that has brought neighborhoods together by allowing them to have a common objective. Some participants have returned to school to learn more.
Mr. WHITTEN. The U.S. News & World Report said last year over 51 percent of American families had little gardens. You and I have a pretty good idea what they pay for a tomato if they raise them, but they do learn about growing things and about hopes in agriculture.
In Detroit last year they produced over $475,000 worth of produce from city gardens, but urban gardening would seem to be more than just a program to produce a given dollar quantity of vegetables. The program is to teach people to garden. It can also involve the raising of flowers and the beautification of an urban area. In addition, it can teach pride in the community. In develop ing these programs, how much attention is paid to other facets of the program in addition to just the growing of vegetables?
Dr. BERTRAND. The urban gardening program has three separate but integral parts. They are the teaching of gardening skills, the teaching proper diet and nutrition, and the teaching of food prese
To achieve these three objectives, community leaders
are approached and asked to help. These leaders and volunteers act as a nucleus to attract other participants. When people in the program are placed together on a common property that has to be collectively maintained, a sense of community participation evolves. This continues in the preparation and preservation of food aspects of the program. At the same time, participants are encouraged to beautify their garden plots and their homes by planting flowers and other ornamentals.
Even though adults account for two-thirds of the total participants, there are over 64,000 youth actively involved. These youth are participating with their family and neighbors and, therefore, learn to care about family and community relationships as well as the gardening and eating of proper foods.
All participants do gain an appreciation of the efforts necessary to grow produce and use food and will better understand agriculture and its related sciences.
Mr. WHITTEN. According to page 295 of the Notes, you state that 300 Extension specialists in the 16 cities worked with more than 2,600 volunteers. Would you please describe, in a little more detail, the role of these volunteers in the urban gardening program?
Dr. BERTRAND. The volunteers involved in the 16 cities' urban gardening programs work in the following three areas: gardening, food utilization, and food preservation.
The volunteers in the food production aspect of the program serve to extend the Extension staff's time. These volunteers help participants in cultural aspects of vegetable production in community, home, and container or mini-gardens. They do teach pest control, proper soil management, and other practices. The volunteers in the diet and nutrition aspects of the program teach participants the possible substitution of foods, the nutritional value of the foods utilized and how to best utilize them to attain a better diet. The volunteers in the food preservation programs teach freezing and canning techniques through personal, one-on-one contacts, and through workshops in which the actual preserving of the product is accomplished.
Mr. WHITTEN. Under the urban gardening program, how many senior citizen projects have been started?
Dr. BERTRAND. Senior citizens account for about 65 percent of the adult participants in all of the 16 cities' programs and number over 85,000. These senior citizens participate in all aspects of the urban gardening program, including the learning of gardening skills, the learning of proper diet and nutrition, and food preservation.
OTHER GARDENING PROGRAMS Mr. WHITTEN. According to your Notes you states that a large number of states have incorporated similar gardening information and assistance within their normal responsibilities through the Master Gardener Program. Would you please describe, in greater detail, the Master Gardener Program?
Dr. BERTRAND. The Master Gardening Program is now a part of horticultural programs in 35 states. It consists of persons interested in horticulture and willing to undergo formal classroom and practical training and then donate some of their time to expand Extension horticultural programs. The program is as follows: announce
ments are published in newsletters, through gardening clubs, and garden centers to identify possible candidates for the Master Gardening Program. After identification, these candidates are given formal classroom and practical training in horticultural, pest management, and other related areas by Extension specialists. This educational period is usually about 40 hours. After this point if the candidates are competent, they are then asked to reimburse the original cost of the 40 hours of instruction. These candidates then become Master Gardeners and help Extension programs in the areas of their own expertise. What this accomplishes is that they are trained in group sessions, and, therefore, a multiplier effect is achieved. The Master Gardeners are then used to answer questions from other beginning and avocational gardeners on various topics. The Extension county agent still acts as a resource or backup person for these Master Gardeners. The program, however, does not stop there. The Master Gardeners are retrained and their knowledge updated every two or three years. The program has been extremely successful in all the states in which it occurs and has been spreading since its inception. It is a way in which Extension can, through the use of volunteers, reach more people with the correct methodologies and facts in a certain program area. Mr. WHITTEN. Exactly how many states now have gardening programs that are separate from the urban gardening program? Dr. BERTRAND. All states are involved in gardening programs that are not part of the urban gardening program. However, specific effort in the 16 cities involved in the urban gardening program is not present in all 50 states. Mr. WHITTEN. What resources are devoted to these programs? Dr. BERTRAND. Exclusive of the urban gardening program, approximately 600 staff years annually are devoted to home horticulture programs. This includes the state, area, county, and paraprofessional staff members of the Cooperative Extension Services.
FUNDING FOR URBAN GARDENING
Mr. WHITTEN. Does the urban gardening program receive any matching funds from the states or any local contributions? Dr. BERTRAND. The urban gardening program receives matching funds or contributions from the states, cities, and industries in the areas. They are: matching funds—$178,550; funds for supplies or equipment, or supplies and equipment donated are valued at $279,770; office space donated to the program is 39,340 sq. ft., and there are 2,592 garden sites made available to the program. Mr. WHITTEN. Now, I have to go to the floor, along with my colleagues here, and justify these actions which the budget recommends. You didn't request this cut, did you? This was handed to you. You didn't capture it. They handed it to you. What did you ask for in this instance, do you remember? Now you recall, I started off by saying your work is the backbone of agriculture, and that is true; but all of this information you give farmers to get them to do a better job doesn't help much if they don't have the means to do the job at all. This budget would have us show them what to do and then not let them do it. Dr. BERTRAND. Your specific question, sir, was what did we ask for as an agency and a department?