Monday, October 29, 2007
"Dig! Dig! Dig! And Your Muscles Will Grow Big"
The Good Life Garden
Another fantastic thing you can do as a Subtle Activist is to grow a garden! And in lieu of that, buying locally as much as possible is wonderful. Our favorite gardeners/Subtle Activists are Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of "The Good Life" They continue to teach and inspire many, many people today, years after their deaths. One of our dreams is to go and spend a good length of time at The Good Life Centre. Helen and Scott were also so close to being raw foodists that we include them in our minds as some of our favorite raw gurus. We also love Elliot Coleman, who grows greens all year round on his farm called the Four Season Farm!
If you don't have a farm, don't worry. You can fill your yard with food. If you don't have a yard, don't worry. You can fill your windowsills with food.
Have you ever heard of John Raeburn? He was a visionary who also happened to be a agricultural economist and when Germany vowed to starve the U.K. during World War II by blocking food imports he organized the "Dig for Victory" campaign. Crops were planted by British citizens in backyards, parks, golf courses (yay!), vacant lots, schoolyards, and even the moat of the Tower of London. These urban gardens had an enormous effect, and they quickly produced twice the tonnage of food previously imported! You may have heard of the "Victory Garden" campaign in the United States, well, that was inspired by the work lead by John Raeburn.
There is today a worldwide growth of urban food production, especially in developing countries where the numbers of urban poor are multiplying. For these people, gardening on any available land provides a substantial amount of food; In Shanghai, over 600,000 garden acres are tucked into the folds of the city. In Moscow, two-thirds of families grow food for themselves. In Havana, Cuba, more than 80% of produce consumed in the city comes from urban gardens.
So, now that you are no longer watching T.V. (hint hint), you can spend that time in your garden, be it a few acres, a mound by the sidewalk, or a pot on the porch! Urban gardens not only feed people fresh, local produce, but they also serve as air filters, absorb rainfall, create tranquil green spaces, lessen the loss of land to development, help recycle waste, provide food security, teach children self-sufficiency, reduce fossil fuel usage, create jobs, and create or revitalize communities. Because cities and the sprawl around them cover 2% of the earth's surface and consume 75% of the earth's resources, creating an urban garden helps to lessen the gigantic ecological footprint of the city you live in.
Yes, besides the joy of sweet, sun ripened, deep red, juicy tomatoes of your own vine, grown with pride from a little seed, there are many good reasons to grow food.
Let us all join in with John Raeburn in crying out "Dig! Dig! Dig! And your muscles will grow big!"
If you want to learn more about city gardening go to www.cityfarmer.org or www.urbangardeninghelp.com
AND, if you want to find a local farmer's market near you, go to www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets or www.localharvest.org or www.csacenter.org.
Oh, and don't let me forget the magical Findhorn Garden! One of my dearest friends came to be because her parents met and fell in love while in the Findhorn Garden, and I think she has special "Findhorn Magic" that follows her where ever she goes.
There is nothing quite as nutrient dense as your own garden grown food!
OK, time to go. We are watching an amazing Gary Null lecture at the moment. David just put it on Day 1 of the Program, go check it out! Or Google Video for Gary Null - Change Your Life. He is an amazing, powerhouse of a speaker.
With abundant love for you dear gardener (because I know you will at some point in your life have an amazing lush garden),