Victory Gardens

Eat as if your life depends on it.

 As I was reading through my usual blogs today I saw this post about Victory Garden posters. The nostalgic art and concept inspired me to do a little “research” on the Google, and I thought my findings may be deemed share-worthy by some.

In case you don’t know, I’ll let Wikipedia provide you the definition and brief history of the Victory Garden:

 Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany 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. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front. [1]

As mentioned before, the art of the propaganda posters is what piqued my interest. These posters would make for some nifty little aesthetic pleasures on your wall. And apparently I’m not the only one who thought so as the posters have even inspired some modern graphic art.

Beyond the art, the concept has even inspired creation of modern Victory Gardens. Again we turn to the mighty Wikipedia:

Since the turn of the 20th to 21st century, there has existed a growing interest in victory gardens. A grassroots campaign promoting such gardens has recently sprung up in the form of new victory gardens in public spaces, victory garden websites and blogs, as well as petitions to both renew a national campaign for the victory garden and to encourage the re-establishment of a victory garden on the White House lawn. In March 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama, planted an 1,100-square-foot (100 m2) “Kitchen Garden” on the White House lawn, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s, to raise awareness about healthy food. [1]

One such initiative (which inspired the opening line of this post) can be found here.

Ultimately, I’ve been inspired, yet again, to give a great deal more thought to gardening, and where my food comes from. One of these days maybe we’ll be growing and preserving all our own food, but in the mean time, I’m going to take little steps toward victory in the food system. Hit the link to see more of these great inspirational posters mostly courtesy of the Ghost of Government Past… Continue reading

Wendell Berry on Food

“I have taken in the light

that quickened eye and leaf.

May my brain be bright with praise

of what I eat, in the brief blaze

of motion and of thought.

May I be worthy of my meat.”

Wendell Berry

“Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine—which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes.”

Wendell Berry

“Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato.”

Wendell Berry, A Continuous Harmony

“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.”

Wendell Berry

“We can grow good wheat and make good bread only if we understand that we do not live by bread alone.”

Wendell Berry

Fall brings Change, Death brings Life

Tomorrow is the first official day of Autumn. It’s starting to get cool. I’m beginning to see the leaves change as the cold grip of death takes hold of them yet again. Old things are dying to bring about new life – a process going much deeper than the leaves and grass alone.

Just as the food we eat must first die in order to sustain our life, so the old self must die daily to give birth to the new self. Life always trumps death, and whatever is lost is always found again. It is a strange cycle of mourning and rejoicing that makes up our days. I’m grateful for the sacrifice and the new life that it brings, but there is such great sorrow and loss in the death of all things.

As my physical surroundings are changing, so are other aspects of life.
We’re in the processing of purchasing a home with a quarter of an acre – good space for gardening. It’s not exactly a farm, but maybe we’ll just be urban homesteaders for a while. Good thing the township allows chickens. We’re daily in the process of building the life we believe is best, and I’m looking forward to having a more permanent place to lay the roots for this process.

I always look forward to Fall (not my own pictures):

I probably owe an obligatory “I haven’t written in so long!” statement or something to that effect. Let’s just get that out of the way and jump start the writing again.

I’ve got a back-log of interesting food-related links I’ve been saving, so look for those to be coming soon.
Does anyone read this? Leave me a comment or a like or something if you do (on the blog, not Facebook).

Why the big pig farms stink.

Real pigs aren’t that gross. Some people even keep them indoors as pets! There is something incredibly wrong with the way most people are getting their meat. See the post linked below.

“…pigs were in a barn on a cement slab all day every day, and they were given something in their feed so they’d have only liquid stools. This made the waste easier to deal with because it went right into a big tank, and then was pumped out into a ‘honey wagon’ and spread on the fields.”

via A Conventional Pig Farm in the 1980s.

Organic or Local?

Organic or local, what’s more important? Often times we ignore the little guy in favor of the big, cheap organic food for the same reason people often ignore organic food: convenience. This blogger does a great job of breaking down why local food is important. And I am certainly inclined to agree with her hierarchy in order of most desirable food:

Homegrown
Local Organic
Local
Organic from local health food store
Organic from big chain grocery
Conventional

Organic or Local? | Chiot’s Run.

Why I want you to call me Farmer Brown

People think I’m crazy when I tell them I want to have a farm. Honestly, I don’t blame them. But maybe the picture you and I have of a farm is quite different. Maybe when I say ‘farm’ you think of the miles and miles of corn fields you see driving through Indiana or any of those other fertile, mid-west states. I don’t think of that as a farm, I think of that as a corn factory – a highly controlled, utilitarian food (or fuel) production plant. Maybe you think of the huge pig barn that makes you hold your nose when you’re anywhere within a mile radius. Who would want that? Not me. I’m not an industrialist. When I say ‘farm’ I imagine anywhere from 1-20 acres of land hosting a plethora of different plants and animals that are all essential to each others’ survival (myself being one of them) – a community built on sustaining life with very little need for outside intervention. Sounds weird, huh? But believe it or not, it can be done. Below I’ve attempted to expound upon just a few of the things I value about farming. Continue reading