Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Garden of One's Own

I get why the Obamas are putting in a garden on the South Lawn. They have the space and the staff to tend it. I love the idea of gardening. And this summer I might just assemble a kiddie pool container garden on my roof deck. But, I'm much more inclined to support my local CSA (find yours here) and neighborhood farmer's markets than grow my own. Virginia was right. The reality behind having a garden of one's own comes down to being able to afford it.

Also, victory gardens served a specific purpose and it seems odd to suggest we go back to that place in time. Granted, we're in a bit of a pickle right now. But food is not the only thing that travels to us. Are we going to go back to making our own clothes? Become isolationists? Take time out of the workweek so we can put homegrown cabbage on our tables? I don't know what's going to get us out of this mess, but I know what won't: donning overalls, composting our 401K statements (and dollars), and living like survivalists.

Greed and selfishness got us where we are. Not everyone's greed, of course, but I think we'll go farther as a nation by looking out for another with more concern. We build community and an economy by depending on each other, not by hoarding cabbages. Let's let the small farmers do the farming.

1 comment:

Katie Fairbank said...

I would just add, after some thought provoked by a reader*, that my experience growing up with a garden and having a strong connection with the great outdoors skews my opinions a bit here.

I do think that is does a mind and body good to know the whole story behind whatever goes down the hatch, be it animal, mineral or vegetable. Appreciating our food and the price paid for it will make us more conscientious consumers, and quite possibly healthier ones.

while we may not all have the opportunity to keep chickens or visit a slaughterhouse, gardening is within reach.

*thanks to KL for exchanging emails on the topic.