I grew up frolicking through cornfields, gardens of tomato planted compatibly with zinnias, and honeybee hives. My parents were essentially hillbilly hippies and my father grew the food and my mother created delicious meals with what he harvested. As an adult, I have rarely had a place to have a garden. At one time, I lived in base housing in California and the garden bloomed. Southern California is inundated with Botanical Gardens that introduce you to all the beauties of the natural world. At that time, I was enthralled by the very unique Bird’s Of Paradise and the Passion Flower and so my garden focus was mainly flowers of the tropical variation.
Now, I am in a place where I can have a garden. Winter is here and the ground is frozen. The idea is planted and planning is in progress. I want to grow food; organic at that. I was so inspired by Ron Finley and his Urban Food Forest, in which he planted the curb line and medians with vegetables and fruits ; moving on to empty city lots. Grow Foods, Not Lawns is another tagline for a revival of an old idea: The Victory Garden. Our food system is corrupt and poisoning the world either directly or indirectly. Maintaining manicured green lawns is poisoning the very soil and water table that we depend on for our life force.
My garden will be called Harvest of Hope… hope of a better food system, hope for healthier lifestyle and hope for a community and global change. I always am stupefied by the massive grounds around Churches, Mosques and the ilk that are groomed in green perfection. All the money, time and energy spent in making the expanse look so posh, much like a country club golf course. Yet, the faithful within, wish to follow their Prophets and feed the poor. They ask for donations; use money for storage and look for volunteers to distribute the loot, but always come up short… so many still left in need. Why not take the direct route and make use of the land surrounding them. In my small patch of land (in comparison) could grow enough food to feed my family and a few more. Imagine what the faithful could do with their plots.
Food would not be the only benefit of “Religious Gardens.” The faithful would be engaged in physical activity, the soil and water table would be healthier, and if they involved the people in need… letting them work the gardens in exchange for food, the faithful would empower people. Possibly even greater than all of that, the faithful would actually be following their Prophets and earning good deeds.
Cannot wait for Spring!