The Philadelphia International Flower Show is always a big crowd-pleaser, but it’s never been something I’ve been interested in seeing. I just read about the Soup & Salad: From Camden to the World exhibit at the flower show that began Feb. 27 and runs through March 7. Now I’m interested.

This exhibit addresses food security and sustainability and educates visitors about how easy it can be to grow their own produce. The Camden City Garden Club wants to motivate families to prepare fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and enjoy meals together.

Why soup and salad? The salad part is fairly self-explanatory. The Camden City Garden Club is committed to bringing fresh, local foods to the community through things like community gardens. In 2009, the club began 29 new community gardens throughout the impoverished city of Camden. The club also sponsors a GrowLab program in Camden, N.J., classrooms where students grow produce in mini-greenhouses. When they harvest their crops they have salad parties.

What about the soup? Why soup? Camden is famous for soup. It’s the home of Campbell Soup Company, and the soup giant is a large supporter of the Camden City Garden Club. Part of the exhibit will be housed at Campbell’s World Headquarters in Camden when the flower show ends. For those of us who live near Camden, Campbell Soup is a company that we admire because it has dug in its heals and stayed in the city while other businesses fled in the past decades.

I don’t know if I’m going to get time to hop on the train and head into the city for this exhibit, but for the first time, there’s something at the Philadelphia International Flower Show that interests me. 

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