Honoring the New Year, is a series of posts highlighting sites and links, that I find amusing or inspiring when viewed through the lens of my identity and world-view as a Witch and Pagan.
So this is a bit of a rant and exploration of Gardening, Victory Gardening, and Pagan Communal Gardening…
The house I grew up in in Anchorage, Alaska had a huge back yard and a vegetable garden that my father worked in every summer. I just barely remember the house in Fairbanks, having a greenhouse and garden.
Now live in a rental house, and The Big Guy and our roommate The Amazing Todd aren’t too keen on the idea of our starting a Garden… too expensive or labor intensive they say… I am marshalling my resources and working on my arguements and evidence.
See part of it is just my natural hunger, as an expatriate Alaskan, for a garden. Alaskans are seriously into gardening, vegetabls and flowers, as after months of long-long Winter nights and cold snowy weather and getting a little stir-crazy… well Alaskans tend to go a little Garden happy in the short Spring and Summer months. One of my hometown’s nick-names is “The City of Flowers” after all…
I also have a desire to reconnect to the land and the Earth and to Nature here in my new home in Florida, and it seems like Gardening would be a spectacular way to do just that!
I became especially intrigued with vegetable and kitchen gardening in the last year or two as prices have sky-rocketed. In looking around the net I came across the recent Victory Garden meme…
Victory Gardens were a phenomenon of World War I and II, where folks planted vegetable gardens to help supply themselves and the troops with plenty of food in tough times.
Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. Making victory gardens became a part of daily life on the home front.” ~ from the Wikipedia entry
There are a couple of good sites, here and here, about the modern effort to revive the Victory Garden.
Gardening can also provide a much needed savings in gas and food costs, yes, there is an initial investment of money to start the garden… but in the long term there are savings… which is part of the reason I think my parents got into Gardening in the first place. I was born in 1972, so much of my childhood coincided with the recession of the late 1970’s… folks were very concerned with saving money and providing for their families and gardening is one way to do that.
Many of us, as Pagans, are also concerned with our relationship with the natural world around us. Gardening, even container gardening, is one way to to experience that relationship and to build upon it!
I’d also like to mention the idea of co-operative gardening for our community, or as I think of it Pagan Communal Gardening. Not all of us have big back yards, and some of us have the land but not the time, this is where we can not only provide for ourselves but encourage our community at the same time…
Get together with a few friends from the Pagan community and form a Gardening club… you meet once a week at the Garden site, work the land, hang out, have some fun… when it comes time to harvest each member gets a share of the harvest to do with as they see fit. Maybe each of you needs the extra food… or maybe some of you want to offer it to a local Pagan community Elder in need, or perhaps you want to donate it to your local branch of Feeding America in the name of your local Pagan community!
Together, we as a community can save money, provide extra food for ourselves and our neighbors, and do good in the world! All in an afternoon’s work!
Here are a few links from my own files… when in doubt talk to your local nursery and garden stores and search out your State or regional dept. of Agriculture… they often have resources for the home gardener, the last of the links is a good example of this…
Kitchen Gardeners International
National Native Plant Nursery Guide