Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bring Back the Victory Garden!

The current state of the economy is forcing a lot of Americans to have to examine their lives in ways that they haven't been asked to before. Personally, not only do I think this is a good thing but something that is necessary. We have lived way too comfortably for way to long and it is time that we be required to consider the consequences of the choices we have made. 

There are so many reasons why I love living in Milwaukee. I think one of the things I love most though is the prevalence of "urban hippies." 

Here's the thing: I love living close to a city. I love the access to different restaurants and events and I love the diversity of people and experiences I see around me every day. The only down side to living in a city is that you can miss out on some of the great things about living "closer to the land." The very cool thing about Milwaukee is that a lot of people here are figuring out how to have the best of both worlds. 

Zach came across this video today. It is really interesting and if you have the time you should definitely watch the whole thing. The future quality of our world depends on our ability to learn how to live responsibly sustainable lives. 

The truth is, much of the food we eat today is a poor excuse for...well, food. Like the guy in the video said, in 1900 vitamin's weren't even invented yet. Why? Oh, maybe because the food people ate actually had the nutrients in it that we need to live and be healthy. 

During World War II the United States really struggled as a nation due to the fact that the majority of our resources had to go to fighting the war. During a national crisis (perhaps similar to the economic crisis we face now??) the response was to find ways to work together,in community, to have a larger overall effect on meeting needs and solving problems. One way American's came together to help the cause was through Victory Gardens. Aside from providing a much needed resource, Victory Gardens also brought people together for a common purpose and made them feel empowered in their ability to have a positive impact on something in the midst of a lot of global turmoil.

Zach and I live on a city lot in our 1927 bungalow. We don't have a ton of yard space but we have just enough. This year we are planning to grow our own "plants that feed us" garden. We started our seeds a few weeks ago indoors and can't wait to move them to the yard (I will post pictures of our little sprouts soon)!

Aside from being able to give us better nutrients, offer us a healthy and cheap alternative to quick and easy meals during trying economic times, there is also some serious emotional and psychological satisfaction in caring for a seed as it matures. Zach and I have started to experience this with our own little seeds. While only a few weeks old, I take such delight in checking on them every day to see how much they have grown. It is amazing to watch life happen right before your eyes. 

So what are you waiting for?!?! Start your own Victory Garden now! This site might be a good place to get some beginner information. I'll be sure to keep you posted with update on what we are growing and eating too!

1 comment:

  1. Alicia, if you have time you might enjoy reading through the last few months' worth of posts on this blog: www.hbrumerskyj.blogspot.com

    She's an Australian girl I met in New Zealand...really into gardening, chicken raising, biking instead of driving (when possible), weaving, cooking, art, etc. Her front yard isn't big at all but she's managed to plant all sorts of veggies, melon/squash vines, berry bushes... even a fruit tree or almond tree, I think. She is part of local farming groups, tries to eat and preserve local foods, sells extra produce at markets, and has even found a group online that organizes a system of bartering your home-grown foods or your services for items or jobs that someone else can supply. No money involved.

    Anyway, I'm probably not describing things well, but you might enjoy looking at her blog; and it might even give you some ideas of how to use a smallish yard to grow a lot of produce or how to get chickens to compost your garden for you...