Philbrook Museum Trading Tulips for Tomatoes

Path, from the Philbrook Museum gardens, by Flickr user trp0. Click image to visit on Flickr.
Path, from the Philbrook Museum gardens, by Flickr user trp0. Click image to visit on Flickr.

The Tulsa, OK Philbrook Museum of Art is doing something different with their grounds this summer. Faced with a budget shortfall that prevented them from maintaining all of their formal gardens, they decided instead to plant vegetables and harvest them for hungry Oklahomans. NPR reported on this story: click here to listen.

The Urban Tulsa Weekly reports that the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma welcomes the fruit and vegetable donations:

"Fresh produce is one of our most highly coveted items," [community relations director Cindy Stevens] said. "To be able to offer not just fresh produce, but produce picked that day or the day before is something that is a tremendous gift to our programs."

It will help people to eat healthier, too, which is so often a difficulty for low-income families. The seeds and other supplies for the vegetable garden were donated, and with the help of local volunteers, the museum staff is maintaining and harvesting the crops. Read the Philbrook Museum's full press release here.

This is something I love about living in Oklahoma. We seem to have an innate do-it-yourself impulse, and we are serious about supporting our local communities. Kudos to the Philbrook for turning economic hardship into an opportunity to help others.

UPDATE: Speaking of public gardens, here is a cool infographic of the new White House vegetable garden.

Later this month at the Philbrook, I will be giving a public talk about the Peggy Preheim exhibit. Preheim's mind-bogglingly intricate work, mainly miniature pencil drawings, present quasi-personal narratives that pull the viewer into her mysterious world. Come to the museum on Wednesday July 8th at noon to listen and discuss.

This post is part of NaBloPoMo for July 2009.