lijit

Greening the Suburb

Bean seedlings surrounding an Agave near sidewalk in suburban garden.
     Victory Gardens are an important part of our cultural heritage as Americans, though largely unknown nowadays. During World War II, the government encouraged Americans to grow, hunt, and forage as much as they could in order to save domestic supplies for the war effort. Domestic supplies being food and other parts of the gross domestic product. Of course, times are different now. We export and import food like nobody's business, and indeed, people ignore food like it's not their business.
     I live in a food desert, and you probably do too. What would happen if there was no food at the grocery store, or if there was no grocery store? How long would it take for your family to be hungry? What would happen if Florida was cut off from the rest of the USA? How long would it take our population to feed itself, if we even could?
With the beans harvested, nothin' but Sorghum growin' on.
     Food production is a noble endeavor that should be embraced by the 99%. Humanity should take back the wasted space occupied by that unproductive grass and put in some plants more useful to us. Reclaim public grounds. Schoolyards could be growing greens for healthy kid lunches. Grassy pastures at parks and government buildings could be providing food for public food pantries. Prisoners could be providing their own fare and not draining on taxpayers.
     There are ways to do this sustainably without draining the aquifers and the taxpayers. But it has to start with one person at a time. Perhaps with your very own Victory Garden.