Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Victory for Veggie Growing
So what are we fighting for? Does the increasing interest in Victory Gardens tied to Iraq or Afghanistan? Not directly.
The movement for victory gardens points out that with one act, growing food, you can positively affect many of the concerns of our time. By growing your own, you can help supply food banks, reduce stress on the environment and make sure what you and your family eat, is safe. You can also save a little money.
Food bank supplies are dwindling while demand is increasing. Local groups are forming to collect gardeners excess and transport it to food banks. (More on this. Check back)
Aside from helping those in need in this deepening recession, the celebration and primal necessity of food draws folks to their pitch forks. Shirley Halk, a Dauphin County Master Gardener said a variety of forces account for renewed interest in vegetables.
“It’s the prices of things, the recall of things, and the concern over where did my food come from and how was it handled.” And it’s the memories. Halk said, “ People want vegetables to have the taste they had when their Grandmother grew them.”
Vegetables that end up in our grocery stores are bred to ship well over long distances and be attractive. Flavor has lost out to a beauty standard and efficiency. The transport of those travel toughened veggies burns fossil fuel.
Several studies, including an Iowa State University study comparing the average miles between locally produced vegetables and trucked in vegetables showed that it’s not unusual for a vegetable to travel 1500 miles before landing on your dinner plate.
Home gardeners also have faith that their own vegetables were not doused with pesticides and other chemicals. The primal connection to our own fuel, food, becomes almost sacred as you invest emotionally and physically in your food through growing.
With your own Victory Garden, you could get your hands dirty and extend a helping hand. And, hey, it's hip. For more on Victory Gardens check out this great blog: http://www.redwhiteandgrewblog.com/