Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dig for victory

During the World Wars, governments encouraged civilians to . . . garden. And be thrifty. When was the last time you heard our government advocating either of those things?

Now, preoccupied with GDP, we are told to consume more. After 9/11, President Bush advised us to continue taking vacations at Disneyworld.

I'm not sure I love the idea of my garden as a "munition plant". And that last woman looks a little crazed (botulism, maybe?) But I love the idea of a national ethos of production and conservation rather than consumption. And I'm pleased the Obamas have followed in Eleanor Roosevelt's footsteps with a White House vegetable garden.

It's spring - time to start growing your own food! Depending on the space and interest, you may not grow every tomato you eat this summer. But it's worth it for things you want really fresh, like salad greens or herbs. Seed is so cheap! Try it!

Internet instructions like to make gardening sound easy-peasy, which it kind of is. But be realistic: your plants need good soil, good light, and enough water. Container gardens are a good place to start if you have trepidations or limited space. Better yet, make your own sub-irrigated planters. The internet will tell you most of what you need to know, and the rest you'll learn from experience.

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