GROW a Do-Gooder Victory Garden
WHAT and WHY of a Do-Gooder Victory Garden?
Back in WWII, FDR encouraged folks to grow their own veggies, to help the war effort. They did, growing some 30-40 % of their own food. They were called Victory Gardens. President Obama recently planted a garden in front of the White House. We have an economic and environmental crisis (aka “war”) on our hands. Lots of people are disconnected from the land. There are lots of adults and kids who don’t know what fresh vegetables that are grown naturally taste like. Naturally, as in without toxic chemicals like pesticides and herbicides and bred just to look good. Some Activists have a name for it – they call it ‘Slow Food’.
There are lots of older people who grew up in the South, working the land. They would love to see this. It would renew their connection to the land. They have farming KNOWLEDGE
These are good, but they cost money to rent, and they are not VISIBLE to the community.
The solution to healthy food is right under our noses.
Actually, in front of where we live. Here in Chicago, the area between the sidewalk and the street is owned by the city.
We are talking hundreds and hundreds of blocks of land that is just wasted because of our grass addiction. Residents are welcome to landscape it.
By growing edible plants there, we can inform and feed lots of our neighbors. And in a nice way.
And we can still have our private gardens ju
Maybe they’ll get inspired to grow stuff in their own yard or back porch.
The basics of it are:
1) Grow edible plants. This includes stuff like spearmint or herbs.
2) Put it in a space accessible to the public.
3) let them know it’s ok to nibble on them. A sign like “when these are ripe, taste a few, but leave some for others.”
Additionally: Grow native plants as well. These are good for the environment. If you boarder it with rocks, don’t use store bought ones. Use stones local to your area. This can be a geology learning place too.
1) Start off small, if you like. Even a 2 x 2 area can grow a few tomato plants, or lettuce, or some herbs.
2) Issues and obstacles. Duh – this should come as no surprise. But a Good idea is still a Good Idea. Don’t let the issues stop you from getting started. Don’t give in to the Negative Nellie’s and Poop Pooper Paul’s – these folks are like weeds. It’s easy to problem solve and create solutions.
Problem 1: The soil might be contaminated. Solution 1: It might, that’s true. But so is Lake Michigan, and it’s ok for folks to each a little of the fish. A lot will do you harm eventually.
Problem 2: It could pose some type of health hazard, or liability problem. Solution 2: I don’t have the answer off-hand, but I’m sure there is some way around this one. Let’s not let this one be a Show Stopper.
Problem 3: It looks bad. Solution 3. This is so easy. What do you prefer – Unhealthy & starving people or Nice-Looking? Sheesh, you can always make it look nice by growing wild flowers or other attractive plants around it. Put up a frame or chicken wire and grow Morning Glories.
Problem 4: There’s too much shade. Solution 4. Maybe there is stuff that grows in the shade. Or call the city, they may be able to trim stuff, and/or get a tree cut down. Or, plant wild flowers and such that grow in shade.
Problem 5: Kids may be take the tomato’s and throw them. I swear to God, this came from my Alderman Patrick O’Connor. Solution 5. This is truly LOL – laugh out loud.