Thursday, August 07, 2008

A national vegetable garden

I came across this video, put together by Kitchen Gardeners International, and just thought it was a really neat idea. So, here I sit on a hot Austin afternoon giving you all the details.

We have all heard the benefits of buying all we can locally. Kitchen Gardeners International's purpose is to promote the cultivation of home vegetable gardens with a side benefit of reducing the distance food must travel from the field to your table, now an average of 1,500 miles. A nice side benefit is that you just might get some better tasting, healthier food at a reduced cost and, not only save the fuel cost of transporting the farm grown veggies, but reduce your own fuel consumption with fewer trips to the grocery store. I find it interesting that during the second World War the, so called, Victory Gardens, promoted by the government, were producing 40% of the nation's produce right out of the yards of it's citizens, thereby freeing up resources for the war effort.

It just goes to show what can be accomplished through education and leadership by example. At the time Eleanor Roosevelt had a Victory Garden planted on the lawn of the White House, I believe, the last to do so. This video makes the case for another vegetable garden on the White House lawn. No doubt, tomatoes out of that garden will cost a thousand bucks each ;-) but, that's not the point. It sets an example that could lead to something very helpful to many people.

No doubt, gardening is not for everyone but, think about it seriously. Peggy and I have been gardening, off and on, our whole lives and find it to be a lot of fun on top of all the other benefits. You will be amazed at the huge quantities of food you can grow in a very small space. Apartment dwellers can use pots on the patio. Our last garden we had at the RV Park where we stayed in downtown Austin was no more than 10' X 10' and we had fresh vegetables every day throughout the year. If you want to see what can be accomplished if taken to the extreme, take a look at Path to Freedom's Urban Homestead - 3 tons off one tenth acre!

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