In 1943, American households “farmed” 20 million vegetable, fruit and herb gardens on residential property. The harvest accounted for nearly a third of all produce consumed in the United States that year (according to revivevictorygarden.org).
During both World Wars, families across the United Sates, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany planted “Victory Gardens.” Here, everyday folk grew vegetables, fruits and herbs.
The initial goal was to reduce pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. It quickly became a civil “moral booster.” It allowed people to feel empowered.
In fact, you can watch the 20-minute training film, Victory Garden, issued by the United States Department of Agriculture”>United States Department of Agriculture.
Today, with millions unemployed, planting gardens would be one way to achieve victory over the recession. With plenty of variety and some forethought for the winter (e.g. squash!) you can easily reduce your food bill. If your yard’s big enough you can even sell or barter food to supplement your income.
My Hui Garden Experience
If you don’t have a yard, you might be able to join a hui garden. “Hui” is a Hawaiian word for yard sharing. Speak to a neighbor, relative or friend who is tired of mowing their lawn. They may let you convert their backyard into some “edible landscaping” in exchange for a portion of the produce.
With our hui garden, here, one member of the South Maui Sustainability Project owns the property. Members chip in with costs and labour in exchange for some of the produce.
I go down every Wednesday. At the moment, I walk away with a savory arugula, aromatic basil, sugar snap peas, lettuce, dill and some beet tops — enough for a large salad I’ll eat within the hour (talk about fresh!).
Still to come: Snap beans, carrots, squash, broccoli, lettuces, beets and green peppers. Plus, we are cultivating banana and pineapple trees.
Honestly, though, I would still participate if I received nothing back for my labours. It’s time spent outdoors with nature. I usually go when nobody else is there and all is quiet. It feels like a meditation to me.
So what to do if you can’t even find a yard to share? Well, I’m growing basil on my deck in pots. It wasn’t more than a few weeks before they were two feet tall.
After all my time as a health freedom advocate, taking real action (growing a large community garden), instead of protesting and complaining, is so appealing. It’s one of the best ways we can experience victory over factory farming.
It’s as local as you can possibly get. It’s 100% organic. It’s certainly not processed.
What about you? Do you garden? Have you considered making 2009 the year 20% or 50% of your food comes from your own soil? Please leave your comments in the comment box below.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.