As far as i can tell, my backyard really really wants to become a garden. That concrete is bursting green at the seams!
When I was little, my parents grew corn, tomatoes, squash and dill in the backyard. We also had (and still have) many fruit trees. It was so satisfying to walk around in the sun, most plants taller than me, and just pluck and eat from the world around me. My grandparents in Sweden grew potatoes, carrots and many kinds of berries. My grandmother made all sorts of jams and drinks from the berries, decidedly the most delicious berries I've ever eaten.
Mormor and morfar preparing to plant
I went to the SFMOMA last week, and was so inspired by an art-political-environmental-gardening project called Victory Gardens 2007+ being shown, that I wanted to share it with you. I admit I was drawn to the project because of the beautiful posters the artist, Amy Franceschini, had made advertising the various gardening events. I’m a sucker for nice graphic design, words and color (as I’m sure many of us are). I love that this project brings together artists, gardeners, scientists, politicians, environmentalists, ordinary citizens.
Here is the website about Victory Gardens 2007+: http://www.futurefarmers.com/victorygardens/
(On the right side of this page at the bottom, you can see one of the posters I was drawn in by at the museum, though it’s more beautiful in person.)
Victory Gardens 2007+ is based on a historical community gardening model established in 1941 in the US.
Victory Gardens, also called "war gardens" or ""food gardens for defense,” were gardens planted both at private residences and on public land during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. These gardens produced up to 41 percent of all the vegetable produce that was consumed in the nation.
In 1943's San Francisco, there were 800 gardens for food production in the Golden Gate Park alone! Read more about the history here: http://www.futurefarmers.com/victorygardens/history.htmlToday’s Victory Gardens program draws on the historical one and
puts a new spin on the meaning of “victory.” In this program, “victory” is:Some interesting info from the website:
- independence from corporate food systems
- community involvement
- getting people closer to the natural environment.
Seed banks represent genetic reservoirs of adaptive traits. By knowing the conditions under which the seed's ancestors have developed, botanists can identify characteristics signaling where else a plant might thrive...The Svalbord Global Seed Vault is located in Norway and has the mission to store as many seeds known to humans as possible, under the terms of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.There is so much to gardening that I have no experience with. But, I think home and community gardening will become more and more important as we try to get out of the mess we've gotten into with corporate farming, soil pollution and overuse, pesticides, food contamination, long distance food transportation, packaging, superfund sites, etc.
What are some of your community gardening experiences like? Send us links to your community gardens or city gardening efforts.
Other topics I’m hoping to learn/do more about through Sew Green are:
Superfund sites and electronics waste/cleanup
Milk (Seems like a simple topic, but I think one can investigate milk production from many angles.)
Paper (Chlorine use, getting institutions/entities to switch to chlorine free, recycled paper)
Plastic (So much cool stuff is made with plastic. What are the consequences/alternatives?)
Art for environmental change