Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the victory garden reinvented

for many of you north of the mason dixon the garden season is in it's rest period. if that's you, you may have a cover crop growing for protection and early spring feeding or you might have mounded leaves over your garden for protection. it sounds like lots of you might have snow covered gardens by looks of the latest weather reports.

if this is you, i bet i bet you are already dreaming about next season's seedlings, planning the layout, scanning the seed catalogs or stocking up on seed packets from garden centers throwing an end of the year sale.

we down here in central texas probably won't experience the snow. maybe several ice storms here and there and the occasional freezing temps but the days always seem to warm up enough that a true longer term freeze proves a rare event. most of us serious garden folk will not put the garden to rest as winter time is one of our peak growing seasons. we're not able to grow lettuce any other time than winter down here because otherwise, it's just too darn hot for the babies. carrots, beets, cole crops, greens, onions and garlic thrive through the winter down here. i had my basil plants kicken hard up until the past week, so we do ok this time of year. my artichokes are also doing well right about now, putting out a whole lot of green growth. i don't know if they should be, i'll have to ask some wiser folk about that.

still i'm dreaming about the planting of the new spring potatoes and the tomatoe and pepper seedlings. i'll debate once again about trying to grow squash. why? well as i above stated, we don't often experience long term freezes and longer term freezes really help kill off some of the bad bug's larva like squash vine borers which i have had real trouble with down here. i'm also learning this about fleas and ants and other such buddies i like to keep OUT of the house. it's now my third year down here and every year i tell ya, i learn something(s) new. i'm off topic - no surprise.
~image from revive the victory garden site - click the image to visit~

the point is - inside of the all the dreaming i'm doing about next year's garden, i'm also thinking about how my garden might help to benefit others in my neighborly community. and i've come up with this based upon the old idea of the victory garden.

victory gardens were those gardens many families and communities planted during the war years to supplement the government imposed rationing system. it allowed folks to enjoy fruits and vegetables they might not normally have access to and in many cases helped folks to survive thin living times.

once the war was over, many folks stopped gardening. the nation prospered and the need to grow your own was not so great with the rise of the supermarket.

nowadays there are folks that not only do not know where their food comes from, there are folks who do not ever cook for themselves; city folk living the take out or go out life. funny how so many have lost touch with one of our most necessary needs - food.

for those of you who have followed my blog, you may be aware of why i started to grow my own. but for those who are new, the reason is short and sweet. i want to know where my food comes from.

on top of that, i absolutely disagree with genetic food modification. i am uncomfortable with the extent to which gmo foods have infiltrated the national food market. and i'm furious with the "no label necessary" attitude for gmo foods.

so i grow my own. i am a careful selective shopper for everything else. i purchase my beef and eggs at the farmer's market. the beef is from an in town ranch that raises grass feed cattle and my eggs from another local farmer. i'm not often in need of veggies, i've got plenty of my own either growing, frozen or canned but if i am i do try to hit the farmer's market first not just because of freshness and the direct connection to the farmer but because i feel it is important to support private small farms. it's been an incredible adventure so far and i don't see an end to it anytime soon.

am i off topic again or is this all part of it? i think it is. expository but part of the whole. ok back to my quest to make my efforts benefit my neighborly community.

a victory garden reinvented. yes we are at war (don't get me started there!) but we have not to date been forced as a nation to rations. and i don't see that coming anytime soon. still we have folks who are daily hungry. (don't get me started here either!) breathe, girl, breathe. ok breathing...

~art by joe wirtheim - click the image to visit his site~
~make sure to download the "our story, our future" pdf - tre' interesting~

so what can one person do to help? give food to a local food bank, yes! give your time and/or dollars to a local food bank and/or soup kitchen, yes! another idea is to create a new victory garden dedicated to feeding those in need. that's what i'm planning for now.

i'm adding another raised bed just for this purpose. i have made arrangements with my local food pantry to accept the fresh veggies (whatever i've got whenever i've got them) as donations. i'll take care of it just as i do my other gardens only the purpose will be not for me but for others.

this is not a new idea on my part. lots and lots of folks are doing this. there has been an upward surge for a while now. here are some links that might inspire you too to dig your own victory garden. believe in the power of one.

  • victory garden of tomorrow
    • the victory garden of tomorrow: positive, constructive values for the future! designed for home, work, or community, the artwork has opened a can of worms on america.

  • revive the victory garden - for victory over global warming
    • each one of us may only be one person. however, we each have an impact on the environment and can make changes to reduce our impact.
  • victory gardens 2007
    • local to san fransisco but some great information to get you stared in sustainable food practices.
  • the victory garden
    • the long time mucho excellente' pbs gardening program with the movement's namesake
  • city farmer
    • a great canadian site offered by the canada office of urban agriculture
    • excellent excellent information here

and this my friends may be even more pertinent today than it might have been back in the 1940's.


act now.

make a difference.

believe in the power of one.

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