Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Victory Gardens for We, The People!
We may not be asked to ration our food with coupons at the grocery store... for that I guess we can be grateful, even in this dearth of the economy. But with many folks on unemployment there are a ton of people with just enough income to pay bills and little else. Therefore, if you have the room, may I strongly encourage you to grow a Victory Garden?
Only this time we'd be growing them for a true victory, our victory at overcoming adversity by creatively coming together to help each other. Even a 10' by10' space can contribute a ton to your monthly budget, allow you to cheerily bring something over to a friend in need... Somehow it doesn't seem like charity if it's presented as a home-grown gift of stuff you "can't use" or grew "just for you" instead of "I know times are tough." Who knows, maybe you'll inspire someone to put out a couple of container pots with some potatoes on their fire escape? Beauty AND the Feast!
Many community gardens run a coop program... if several folks on your block are interested in pooling together, you can each concentrate on one or two plants, and rotate them every year to keep the ground fresh. Thisis especially useful for corn, which like growing in large plantings, or squash varieties that tend to ramble
The following heirloom site has a Victory Garden Package, with 75 plant types (two of some types of veg) for a large garden, for $95. It sounds like a lot of money at first, but these seed packets typically plant quite a bit. 4 people could easily split a pre-planned victory garden, with delicious and very pretty veg, for $25 each. For 75 types of veg, that is quite the deal (average seed package is around $1.50 per package, and heirlooms typically run $2 or more, so it's a steal of a deal) They also have a basic chart on what to plant when based on out frost date (I typically pick early May for mine, but you can adjust the calendar if you want to get fancy with it and use the local cooperative exchange date for your elevation and area.)
If anyone would like help designing a garden, whether traditional, space saving, or a container garden (if you only have a patio) I would be more than happy to lend my knowledge and help you design it. I have a few seeds I can swap as well :) There is also a program in the Denver area that gives out free seeds for those in need. Deadline for applications is Feb 2nd, and no exceptions are made for late arrivals! Check out the Denver Urban Gardens site for more info on community garden sites as well their Delaney Farm Shareholder Program. Yep, for less than $30 a week, you and three others can eat a bounty of fresh, sustainably grown veg, free of pesticides and other crud put in our regular food supply. Plus you can also go and pick your own herbs and flowers, and there are a ton of volunteer acitivies and classes (free for shareholders, suggested $5 donation for non-members) .
So check it out, and gimme a holler if you'd like to know more about any of this stuff.