Where’s the “Garden” in Home and Garden Shows? Baffled.

From $12,000 stovetops to Rent The Chicken at $450 for a six-month period (including the chicken coop and food!), the 38th Annual Duquesne Light Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center brought visitors a chance to explore anything from energy efficient windows and robotics run by the Gateway High School in Monroeville.  You could just feel the technology vibes and home improvements and forget local agriculture.

Who decides the Home and Garden Show? Why was Farm to Table pushed in a tiny 144 square feet(?) of the convention’s 1.5 million square feet.  The convention center should have had 1,000 or more garden and farmer business owners vying for attention.

What was severely lacking was the “Garden” in Home and Garden.  I don’t care about buying a cutesy lawn ornament or bird house. I care about having food straight from the garden to the plate.  While the zany news reporters zip around and point out fireplace companies ($Ads$) and wine companies ($Ads$) and interviews customers about “home improvement projects” ($Ads$) let’s first get back to basics.

I was excited for the “Farm to Table”, thinking there would be tapas samples from different homegrown foods to try in Western PA.  Although I was pleased to see cheesemakers, apiarists, herbalists, winemakers, and even hemp pretzel makers, the showcase was lacking the need for culinary prestige and any affirmation of Pittsburgh’s drive to support local business growth. I left hungry, literally and figuratively…

Generally speaking, Pennsylvania has a really big problem with not supporting the infrastructure, capital, and entrepreneurship.  I saw the faces of so many excited small business owners. I talked to several vendors who don’t even have a brick-and-mortar shop. People are just setting up their shopping experience via Internet and visiting someone’s house or farmstand.

So I did a little more investigating. I had a side conversation with one of the event coordinators to Farm to Table PA and she said America HealthCare Group LLC controls Farm to Table. Why is a healthcare management company in charge?  Why can’t this by run by local farmers?  Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture Association “PASA” also pays a part in this activity too.  There’s so much micromanagement and a lot of people, this event could have been so much more spectacular than just walking aisle after aisle of hardwood flooring, windows, and technology gear.

She said a couple years ago, Farm to Table had so much more space. Each year, it’s dwindling more and more….

Anyway, I was scrolling through the 2019 Western PA “Local Food Guide” and was smiling at the headline “What is a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant”?

  • Donating Food
  • Sourcing locally
  • Providing healthy options
  • Reducing or recycling waste

Umm…shouldn’t that be common sense for any restaurant since thousands of years ago?

Another “shocking” headline: “Using Local Produce to Nourish the Body and Heal Disease”.

WOW! What an amazing concept! (*Sarcastic*).  How is this a revolution?

“It’s a sad commentary on a civilization’s idea of healthcare when it’s collectively considered normal to know your family doctor and your family dentist but considered strange and revolutionary to know your family farmer” — Edwin Shank

What does this say to Pittsburghers?  I think we’re all smart. Let’s start the revolution right here in Pittsburgh before it’s too late. Let’s save the planet and our health.









Author: Kimberly Kweder

33 years old, career woman, Pittsburgh native, and loves projects that involve communications, social media, and international development.

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