Archive for the ‘Local Foods’ Category

Every Garden a Munition Plant

Back in the days of old-school wars, WWI and WWII that is, food shortages challenged the culture and vexed the governments. In the U.S. and the U.K., citizens were encouraged to start Victory Gardens, and people did so to support their country. There are a number of modern Victory Garden movements on, although this time they have nothing to do with war, or government. They are mostly grassroots movements, although some communities seem to be getting the idea that having people grow food could be helpful in many ways.

Vintage Victory Garden Newsreel¬†Archived movie from the 1940’s depicting the Victory Garden. Did you know that gardening is just like owning a share in an airplane factory? Does that make you want to start a garden? Me either. This is here for nostalgia’s sake; I’m sure there’s lots of kitsch here. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Short Attention Span.

San Francisco Victory Gardens program¬†A few people are selected each year to participate in their program converting available space (yard/rooftop) to gardens. If you live in San Francisco, you can apply for the program. If you don’t live in San Francisco, this info is meant to inspire you to new ideas for your own community. Here’s another community inspiration: The Edible Plant Project in Gainesville, FL promotes edible landscaping and local food abundance.

Old Victory Garden Art

Every garden a munition plant? Allrighty then.

Maybe we can come up with some modern phrases that don’t compare our gardens to munition plants and airplane factories, and will appeal to the general public. But we won’t let Dick Cheney come up with it, or it would be something like “Every bit of food you grow is oil money out of my pocket.” I’ll have to work on some of these…Please post in comments if you have any good ones, and by good ones I mean would literally be good slogans OR would be hilariously funny or sarcastically attacking the mainstream consumer culture. I just can’t see the Fed endorsing a Victory Garden program because it might cut into big food company profits, and we gotta keep those people spendin’!

Love that soil and it will love you back!



What are Local Foods?

You’ve probably started hearing more buzzwords like “local food”, “locally grown” and “locavore”. What is this “local” buzz all about?

The local foods movement has been a grass roots movement, literally and figuratively (I like to say “literally” for the cow farmers who grow grass, a cow’s natural diet). Partly inspired by the notion of peak oil, rising oil prices, health concerns over chemical use and vitamin loss, and a desire for more natural ways of human living that don’t involve constantly manipulating nature to fit our whims.

Do you need to give up such “spice of life” goodies like bananas, pineapples, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla? Clearly it would benefit no one to leave the tropical countries which produce these items without an economy. If you can afford it, search for “Fair-Trade Certified” items, harvested and sold with the farmers, laborers and citizens of those countries in mind. If you can’t afford it, don’t give yourself a guilt trip. You can’t do everything at once.

We have become accustomed to eating what we want when we want it. We eat substantial amounts of food out of our locale and out of season. Were our bodies designed to eat apples, grapes or bananas all year round? My best guess is no. That doesn’t mean I never eat an apple out of season; old habits die hard. But I continue in the garden, improving my soil so I can increase my own local harvest.

Start looking around your town and community for local farms and other producers using Slow Food USA, an organization preserving traditional regional foods, or the definitive Local Harvest where you can search your region in detail for farms, CSA’s, farmers markets, etc.

Happy local eating!