I just got back from a meeting at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. They have potlucks every second Wednesday of every month and invite guest speakers. Tonight's speakers were from the Victory Garden and they spoke about Permaculture. I see that word everywhere now and I know that somehow they relate to what I'm trying to do or the philosophy that I live by and tonight and I finally saw the connection. The first speaker from Victory Gardens talked about sustainability of our planet and our food system and how it relates to permaculture. Permaculture literally means sustainable agriculture systems by mimicking the natural world. I happen to live where there is a very large plot of land that right now is using all of its energy to grow some over-zealous grass that needs to be cut every three days when it rains a lot in the summer. What I want this land to do instead is to feed me and thats exactly what tonight's topic was centered around - bringing gardens into an urban environment. I feel we can grow all the food we need in order to feed ourselves. This is truly what resiliency is all about.
Victory Gardens are also trying to create more resilient neighborhoods by providing the education and tools that home owners and renters need to transform whatever space they may have to become gardens. In their own words:
"The purpose of the Victory Garden Initiative of WWI and WWII was to support the war effort. People throughout the United States grew their own produce in yards, parks, and other community spaces so that all available resources could go towards the war effort. At this time, we are once again in our green spaces growing food, but today we are fighting a different kind of battle. We are fighting for food security and the health of our ecosystems. We are fighting for resilient communities that support one another and for strong local economies. Through gardening we are seeking a connection to the cycle of life, and for good, tasty food…from garden to plate.
So how does one become a Victory Gardener of today, you ask? It’s quite simple. We become vegetable gardeners. If we are already vegetable gardeners, we help someone else do so through mentoring. We find creative ways to grow food right where we are, in our yards, on our rooftops, on our patios – no piece of earth should be overlooked. We garden ubiquitously and confidently knowing that we are doing what is best for our families, our communities, and our country."
What I took away from tonight's meeting is that literally anyone can do it no matter how small the space. Sometimes we DO have to look to the past and recreate what was already being done. Skills and knowledge will be lost if we don't teach the next generation what today's generation have taken for granted.
VICTORY GARDEN INITIATIVE
Victory Garden Initiative empowers communities to grow food, reintegrating human and food ecology and advancing a resilient food culture.about
VICTORY GARDEN INITIATIVE
Victory Garden Initiative empowers communities to grow food, reintegrating human and food ecology and advancing a resilient food culture.