Urban Farm School celebrated its 4th anniversary May 1. Four years and so much, and so little, has changed. In looking through the archives, revisiting the vision and the goals of UFS I came across this post from July 2008. It is as true today as it was then.
In 1941 during WWII, the Department of Agriculture informed the public that if they want fresh fruits and vegetables in their kitchen they should plant a “victory garden.” Over the next couple of years everyday Americans, some who didn’t know the difference between a hoe and a spade, planted gardens. They planted in backyards, vacant lots, and rooftops. Cities turned over unused public property to food production planted by eager patriotic citizens.
By 1943 these everyday Americans had started over 20 million victory gardens! The Department of Agriculture estimates these gardens produced an estimated 8-9 million tons of food and nearly 50% of all the fresh vegetables consumed in the USA at that time.
Tom Brokaw called this generation of Americans “The Greatest Generation.” They were a people who saw an evil in the world and rose up. They could not cross seas to fight the battle like theirs fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and boyfriends. So they armed themselves with shovels and trowels and began their own fight. Here was something every man, woman, old and young could do to defeat Hitler and his armies . . .
We need a victory too! Victory against a poisoned environment, global warming, tainted food, food grown with pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and inhumane and toxic conditions for pickers. These are just a few of the atrocities we know about! At Urban Farm School we believe one of the most simple, affordable, life-changing, and politically subversive things you can do is to plant a vegetable garden.
Plant a parking strip paradise, convert your lawn into an edible outpost, sow some salad seeds in a container. You might not have space for a traditional vegetable garden, perfectly square with tidy little rows. Experiment, get creative, think outside the raised bed!
I have grown to be thankful for the high gas prices, the food cost increases and the other ills of our present food systems. Why? Because humans when faced with adversity wake up and rise up.
Humanity driven by desperation, love, and common sense is on the verge of getting much more creative in how it lives, believes, and shares -David James Duncan, author God Laughs and Plays
Urban Farm School exists to help you in your efforts. Let’s get creative together as we plant, live, believe, and share that which we are passionate about