Victory Gardens were popular during World War 1 and 2 when the public food supply was being strained due to many farm laborers being sent overseas to fight in the war, along with food of course. If you have a moment, look up “Victory Gardens” in the Google image search; their are countless beautiful old posters.
Today though, we still need Victory Gardens! Maybe they would be more appropriately named as “Sustainable Gardens,” but their success is definitely still a type of victory. Anyone have any ideas for a sort of new age Victory Garden poster? I think that would be totally awesome. The easily accessible cheap food supply we have become accustomed to is a result of cheap energy. Ross Jackson cleverly points out how we are “eating oil.” He notes that, “…if we take into account the oil used in chemical-based industrial agriculture for fertilizers production, farm machinery, transportation, irrigation, livestock raising (exclusive of feed) and pesticide production in the United States, over 400 gallons of oil per year are used to feed each American.” (Jackson, 25). He also notes that this estimate is not including the energy costs associated with packaging, refrigeration, or transportation to retailers. Soil erosion and pesticide and fertilizer run off are also huge negative consequences of industrial agriculture. In the long run, our agricultural practices are simply not sustainable.
Home organic gardening is an excellent way to eliminate many of the energy costs hiding in all the beautiful food at the grocery store. Most of us are not in any sort of position to live off our gardens, but every little bit does count! Filling open space with well kept grass is a recent modification and serves no real purpose. Even if you can’t quite sacrifice all of your yard, set aside a small part for gardening; you may be surprised how much a well kept garden can yield.
Here in New England, the outdoor gardening season is definitely coming to a close. We have recently cleared most of the beds to prepare them for next season. In the greenhouse though, young eggplant and squash plants are growing like crazy! Our tomato plants are still pushing through some of the increasingly cold nights as well. It is beautiful and healthy place to be. At times, the garden is a lot of work, but the satisfaction of eating the actual fruits of your labor is incredible.
Thanks for reading. Follow your bliss. Love and be loved!