Backyard Produce: Wither or Whither?


Posted by admin | Posted in Community, Gardening | Posted on 08-19-2010

Some days it seems like nothing is going your way. If it is not a quarantine or some proposed legislation with possible consequences, it is something else. Given all the discussion in email over the last couple weeks, this picture (that Gail sent me) seems all the more appropriate:

But we can’t wallow in pity for long. As we come up with new creative ways to keep our community going (like having a baked swap and getting clear and verified interpretations to know how to remain legal), we can take heart also. A happier note may be struck by the momentum that the “Victory Garden” revival has been having recently – and we are part of it folks! The WWI victory garden posters are really awesome. Here is an example:

More of these can be found at the Library of Congress picture catalog (search for victory garden posters).

Last weekend, at the California Rare Fruit Growers Festival of Fruit, Rose Hayden-Smith of the UC Victory Grower site ( gave a rousing talk about how there is a new “victory garden” movement – call it “victory over type II diabetes”- and even the USDA is getting involved (in a positive way).

There are movements afoot to make it easy for schools to have their own gardens and eat what they grow (even the businesses that provide school lunches are supporting this – with their own money), and to encourage urban gardens. A great example of this is the Richmond Public Library up in the San Francisco Bay Area – where a community garden planted in front of the library has blossomed into a full fledged movement. They now have a seed bank in the library!

Looking around, I see more encouraging signs now than ever before in my lifetime that there are grass roots movements that are affecting more than a few committed individuals. How can we lose when the veggies themselves (see below) are on our side?