The President calls for Victory Gardens

wwtwovgardenpres

My friend Steve just posted this to Facebook, and I thought that I’d steal it.

At the moment that I happened across it, I was debating between posting a photo of a headdress made of mice or a literal version of Billy Idol’s video for the song White Wedding. As cool as a cowl made of white mice is, posting this, I decided, would be in the better interest of the word. And, I’ve been feeling guilty lately about not having written more about victory gardens…

I’m sure either the agribusiness lobby or the teamsters would have his ass for doing it, but how cool would it be if Obama came out and urged Americans to start growing produce in their yards, and eating locally grown food, decreasing the number of highway miles their food has to travel, and thereby cutting national fuel consumption, and the associated global warming pollution? One simple letter like this one from Harry S. Truman, could have an amazing effect.

And I love the idea of a community canning center. How do we go about getting one of those, I wonder.

[And, speaking of Facebook, did you know that you can now follow this site on there? It’s true.]

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20 Comments

  1. Posted March 2, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Why wait for an authority figure to tell you to do something when we can do it ourselves? Are we Ypsilantians or are we not?

    And why not donate to an exiting Ypsi based not for profit that helps set up community gardens, such as Growing Hope?

    And why donate to Growing Hope with your own money, when you can just be a Facebook fan of Black Jake & the Carnies, Ypsilanti’s own musical Victory Garden, and get me to donate for you?

  2. Posted March 2, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I would question the efficiency of everone growing their own food. I have had gardens and have found that not much money is saved in the long term, plus the fact that the growing season in the midwest is so short. For much of the year, you can’t meet your own food needs and you can never meet your grain needs on 1/10th of an acre.

    Not to mention that for every personal garden created, some reasonably responsible and efficient vegetable farmer loses a potential sale. It seems that encouraging people to take time out of their working lives to grow less than $100.00 of food in a year is silly.

    Plus, encouraging people to grow food in arsenic and lead contaminated urban soil borders on irresponsible. Sure, you can get top soil moved in, but that takes gas both to the bag and to your house increasing the inefficiency.

    Not saying that people who grow food as a hobby are bad, it’s just not a viable substitute for a professional and responsible farmer. You are not encouraging good farm practices by taking yourself out of the market.

  3. Posted March 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Before I get flamed, my greater point is that food is not an eithor/or scenario. That is, we don’t have just two choices between growing food in our poisoned urban soil or big agrobusiness. There are plenty of responsible farmers within a short distance from everyone that grow food and sell it for reasonable prices, either at farmer’s markets or at large grocery stores.

    While I understand that it is sexy to tout a “stick it to the man” reactionary attitude, I don’t see why it is unreasonable to encourage people to support responsible and efficent farming, no matter how big or small.

    Personal gardens are not a long term solution.

  4. Posted March 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I guess you haven’t seen “Eat the View” yet? http://www.eattheview.org/

    Their historical cartoon video is actually very good: http://www.vimeo.com/1767242

  5. Posted March 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    That is the stupidest shit I’ve seen in ages.

  6. Paw
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t read in the original post where it said that people should grow all of their own food. What it said was that people should “start growing produce in their yards, and eating locally grown food”.

    And the idea of asking Obama to grow vegetables around the White House is no a “stupid” idea IMHO.

  7. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    At the very least, lawn crops are more useful than grass.

    Since we can’t have sheep in the city yet.

  8. Posted March 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Are they? There’s a farmer out there that could use your business. Too bad you don’t want to give it to him.

    The end results is that everyone but you will just keep buying big agrobusiness bad food since you don’t create a new market for anything else.

  9. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    So?

  10. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    That same farmer is taking away some other farmer’s business. What a dick.

  11. Posted March 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    The point is, that the small responsible farmer is more apt to fail than the large, corporate farmer with the big bank accounts, etc. Not that you care.

  12. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I come from a family of small responsible farmers and was raised on a small responsible farm. I’m not a sap. My peach-farming grandpa would rather have filled some good-intentioned unsolicited defender’s skull with buckshot than take a hand-out from pity. If small farmers want to corner the market on small farming by trying to appeal to their competitors’ sense of tear-jerk stupid, because they can’t adapt to people being more independant and raising their own food, then they can kiss my ass. Division of labor never disappears, it just changes. If they can’t adapt to change, they’ll starve, so they better adapt. Same as in any business. Take pest-control: all the do-it-yourself stuff you can buy on the shelves or learn online is taking away from some small-time local exterminator’s business, which is probably all he has in these troubled times. If he can’t get enough income from that because people would rather do it themselves, he better fucking adapt, migrate, or die. Begrudging people’s self-reliance is an immoral solution to his unwillingness to meet the challange. That’s life, you big baby.

  13. Posted March 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    So what? That’s hardly the point.

    Your pesticide example is ridiculously lame.

    I don’t want to raise my own food. It’s a pain in the ass and costs money. I’d rather buy it somewhere with money that I make from working. It’s cheaper in the long run and much less of a drain on my time. If there is no market for decent food, then I will be forced to buy the regular crap they sell.

  14. Posted March 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Personal gardens may be fun, but they are not a long term solution to your real or imagined food problems.

  15. Posted March 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Mark, re: community canning–have you heard about Preserving Traditions? A friend of mine started it and, while it’s not per se a community canning place, it’s a good start.
    http://preservingtraditions.wordpress.com/

  16. wtf
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    It feels like little by little a hippy commune is forming in ypsi. Let them have frog island. Fence it off so their chickens and sheep and goats can roam and put a bubble on it so we don’t have to smell their compost and animal shit. Hey!…even better….the Ypsi Bio-Dome! Maybe they’ll find a way to power their hybrid cars with compost so they can leave the bubble now and then and venture into the real world.

  17. Posted March 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Damn. 92 to 86. Mark’s favor.

    No one likes me.

  18. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I’m not a hippy, I’m a libertarian. It’s like a hippy, except with more guns and a fondness for western civilization.

  19. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Good news for farmers, dude.

  20. Posted March 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    from my perspective, the food growing is irrelevant. the idea of the shared sacrifice that is asked of us during tough times is what sticks with me. instead of being a mobilizing force, this would fall on deaf ears these days.

    you want me to do WHAT?

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